Agra, Mar 14 (ANI): The SAARC festival of Literature has commenced in Agra with terrorism forming the central theme.
Activists and academicians from the region including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka seemed determined to make sincere efforts to develop a peaceful atmosphere and promote culture and creativity in the entire SAARC region.
The aftermath of unprecedented terrorist attacks in Mumbai, ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka and the political turmoil in Pakistan are important events, which have shaken and shattered societies.
GLW Samarasinghe, secretary in the Sri Lankan Department of Culture said "This SAARC literary festival is a very good platform to discuss everything with regard to violence or terrorism."
The festival will cover a wide range of themes: role of wordsmiths in terror ridden times and its impact on literature and popular culture, prevailing conditions of chaos and confusion, exploring history, resolving ethnic angst and poetry recitations, and readings of short stories.
Dinesh Mishra, a writer, said that the country needs a homogenous society with an understanding of a great variance of multiple races, religions, languages, castes, colours and cultures.
"Definitely, we need to build a platform for it. We need to increase human sensitization so that everyone in society realizes the right and wrong aspects. We need to strike a deal with the right forces and develop brotherhood. Our differences need to be tolerated and have to learn living with it so that we can live peacefully," said Mishra.
The eight South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries to be represented at the festival are India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, the Maldives and Afghanistan.
The Festival comes at a difficult time, when expectations from creative fraternity and right-minded peace activists have soared high in the aftermath of unprecedented terrorists attack on Mumbai.
The SAARC festival Literature is a four-day event, which will conclude on March 16. (ANI)