Patna Literature Festival concludes with discussions on cities, culture, environment and media

Final day of Patna Literature Festival was dominated by discussions on environment, art, culture, media, society, role of women in Gandhi’s Satyagrah movement and many other important issues

NH Photo
NH Photo

Jay Prakash

The third and the final day of Patna Literature Festival was dominated by discussions on environment, art, culture, media, society, role of women in Gandhi’s Satyagrah movement and many other important issues. The day began with the launch of the book ‘Patna- Ek Khoya hua Shehar’ written by Journalist and writer Mr. Arun Singh. The book is about the history of Patna city. After the launch of book, ‘Shehar Bhi ek kahani kehta hai’ a session took place where the panelists discussed how a city becomes a medium of story or book.

Senior Journalist, Avdhesh Preet said that every city or villages tells a story and it is up to us to find one. Giving the example of Ashok Rajpath in Patna he said that we can find all the important educational institutions, medical colleges, hospitals and other government offices situated near it. Besides this, Ashok Rajpath has been a witness to many political and social movements. He admitted that these things inspired him make Ashok Rajpath the central theme of his writings. ‘History holds only great incidents, but literature touches the nerves of commoners’, he added. ‘All stories have a locality; my stories have my village as a locality. All the cities and village tell their own stories to people’. Another Journalist Vikash Jha said that when we imagine a city, we see the brighter side only and fail to understand the darkness that lies beneath it.

During a session – ‘Rapidly receding resources- Ignoring the Ire of nature’, the panelists discussed global warming and its impact. Ratneshwar Singh raised concern about the environment. Tripurari Saran talked about the concern raised by Inter governmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) which says that if there is even a slight increase global temperature, it will threaten the food, water, shelter, energy grid and health of human on earth and will bring in its fold untold destruction. He further talked about the irregularity in the environmental pattern by giving the example of Bihar where one part of state suffers from flood while at the same time other part faces drought. He emphasised on the importance of collective work to save the environment.

Subash Sharma raised the concern related to increasing pollution. He said that among the top 20 polluted cities of the world, 14 are from India. Talking about the most polluted cities of India he said that Delhi, Kanpur, Gurugram and Patna are among the top polluted cities. In Bihar, Patna, Gaya and Muzaffarpur are the top three districts in terms of pollution he added.

Nirdesh Nidhi outlined the importance of rivers in balancing the environment. All the civilisations have developed near rivers which itself speaks about its importance. It is very sad to see people throwing wastes in rivers as a result of which, these rivers are dying. She further added that man can live without love but not without water.

In another session on ‘Migrants and Media,’ discussion on how media covers issues related to migrants were discussed. Professor Pushpendra, Director TISS, Patna cited a research done by an American researcher in which he found that American media has used pictures showing migrants crossing border or in jail/detention centre to show that migrants are a threat. However, in reality the migrants are involved in lesser number of crimes he added. He further said that the global trend shows that there is a decline in migration, but media reports shows its increasing trend. Senior Journalist and Critic Anant Vijay said that I have spent a lot of time in Delhi and other places and have heard about the negative projection of Biharis but have never faced it personally. Giving the example of Chhat Puja he said the national media covers the event rigorously from Delhi and Mumbai which shows that the media is not equally biased everywhere. Situations are different at different places he said. Mauritius based writer Mr. Ramdev Dhoorandhar said that in Mauritiu, the print media is dominated by the French and therefore they always give wrong reports about the issues in the country. Giving an example he said that when Mauritius gained Independence in 1968 the media reported it in such a way that after Independence the country will face anarchy and cos.

While discussing about the ‘Preservation of art and literature and its impact of the moral values’ panelists emphasized that it is very important that we should preserve our art and literature so that our coming generation can know about us. Vice Chairman of Bihar state Disaster Management Authority, Mr. Vyas said that art and literature helped the European countries in attaining renaissance. Author Imtaiyaz Ahmed added that Mughal art is very secular in this context but has a great synergy. Famous writer Vinod Bhardwaj added that in India, we don’t have the tradition of preserving the memories related to art and literature.

During session on Bihar diaspora Srikant asked Sarita Bodhu that what attracts you most in India that make you come here again and again. She answered-the culture and language Bhojpuri attract me most about Bihar. She told that I sent folk song 'Gai ke Gobara Mahadev' to UNESCO She is running about 50 schools to teach children these types of songs. Where grandparents of there as teachers in these schools. She said in Mauritius they don't have any cast, they migrated there through boat and so they call them self Jahaji. Ram Dev Dhurandhar said, Their grandparents carried holy books from India when they were migrating.He told that in Mauritius everybody has a statue of hanuman in front of their houses.

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