Kolkata Literary Meet to be a star-studded affair

Kolkata, Jan 24 (IANS) The sixth edition of the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet that begins on Wednesday will see the presence of Hollywood actress Ashley Judd, Booker prize winner Paul Betty, JNU students leader Kanhaiya Kumar and sports legends Sunil Gavaskar and Abhinav Bindra, among over 100 other star participants.

The five-day event, being held in the backdrop of the iconic Victoria Memorial here, has “India at 70” as its theme and promises to present a series of thought provoking sessions and engaging performances on a wide range of issues from demonetisation to women’s safety.

Slated to be inaugurated by veteran Indian novelist Anita Desai, the popular event would host celebrated author Ruskin Bond, Tagore researcher Martin Kampchen, historian Romila Thapar, as also the multifaceted Ramachandra Guha and lyricist Gulzar.

Ashley Judd will talk on why men and women still need to be reminded of women’s safety even today while Bollywood actress Andrea Tariang is scheduled to converse with Director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury and actress Kirti Kulhari about the Hindi film “Pink” that addressed the importance of a woman’s decision.

Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor, who has already created a storm with his many candid confessions via his book “Khullam Khulla”, would give his take on life, cinema and the dynasty in what could turn out to be the most crowd pulling session, as it happened in the just concluded Jaipur Literature Festival.

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram would put forth his views on demonetisation and ethics of cashless society while 2016 news maker Kanhaiya Kumar is scheduled to talk about his remarkable rise in the Indian political scene.

The literary meet, which is being held months after the 400th death anniversary of literary genius William Shakespeare, would analyse the adaptation of the Bard of Avon’s plays on the stage in Kolkata, with ace Bengali actors Soumitra Chatterjee, Kaushik Sen and director Suman Mukhopadhyay as participants.

Another highlight of the meet is the spotlight on trans-generational writing, bringing together writers from two different generations with the mother and daughter duo of Anita and Kiran Desai, Nabaneeta Dev Sen and Nandana Sen and the father-son combination of Shashi and Kanishk Tharoor.