Ratan Thiyam yearns for enriching literature

IMPHAL, 28th Nov: A three-day Imphal Literature Festival whose main activities are poetry readings, recitation, interaction and symposium began Wednesday at Chorus Repertory Theatre Complex, Uripok Kangchup Road.
The festival is being organised by Sahitya Thoupang Lup in collaboration with Directorate of Tourism, in connection with the ongoing Manipur Sangai Festival and will continue till November 30.
Chief guest of the opening function and renowned theatre personality Ratan Thiyam said that for a country like India where 22 languages are recognised by the Constitution, there is a need to ponder on ways to improve Manipuri literature.
While lamenting that organisers of the on-going Manipur Sangai Festival has ignored the need to give art and culture its due space in the festival, the award winning theatre director stressed that the festival needs to be made a platform for promoting and showcasing the rich cultural tradition of Manipur.
He pointed out that books written by Manipuri authors are not available to the rest of the country. The number of translated books is also very less compared to other states, he added.
Stating that there is a need for reciprocal approach to learn the literatures of other states, Ratan Thiyam said there is a need to introduce a mechanism to expose the rich literature of Manipur.
He stressed that books and poems should be translated as the first step towards building a solid base to make it available to the people in other parts of the world. Ratan Thiyam observed "even though we are blessed with a developed and beautiful archived language, the speed of literature development is very slow. We should try to speed up the pace similar to that of Bodo literature which saw development in a short span of time."
He further stated that without ‘icon’, organising literature festival is ineffective and for future literature festivals, including renowned writers and poets from different backgrounds will make it more meaningful. Delivering the keynote speech, Organising committee chairman Saratchand Thiyam said that authors/writers contribute a lot to the society and added that the Imphal Literature festival will further aid to the process, thereby promoting the growth of the rich literature wealth of Manipur.
Sahitya Akademi Awardee Yumlembam Ibomcha; Sahitya Akademi Awardee Arambam Ongbi Memchoubi; renowned poet Hori Masako and novelist professor Nomura Susuma, Takushoku University, Japan and Maisnam Rajesh from Bangladesh recited their poems during the inaugural function of the Festival.
After the inaugural session, a ‘Multi-Lingual Poets Meet’ was also held with president of Manipuri Sahitya Parishad IS Kangjam in the chair.
Poets from different communities presented their poems in the session.
Renowned poets of the state and members of Sahitya Thoupang Lup were also present during the inaugural of the 3-day festival.

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