Gallery 2016

Demystifying Elections and Empowering India : A CEC’s journey

Decoding the undercurrents of elections in India, former Chief Election Commissioner, Mr. S.Y. Quraishi and Kena Shree conversed on the trends of elections in the country in the session, “Demystifying elections and empowering India.” Mr. Quraishi highlighted the fact that elections are generally perceived as merely a political affair, but they are also the world’s greatest management event. They talked about the ‘First past the post system’ of elections in India and how it can be replaced for the better. The National Voters’ day is his invention. He said “It is a cause for celebration when you turn 18, and that is why we decided to observe this day. The first time we gave away 8 lac voter IDs.”


Panel Discussion : Hamari Sheri Rawayat Aur Lucknow Ki Khawateen

The next panel discussion ‘Hamari Sheri Rawayat aur Lucknow ki Khawateen’ explored the unsung contribution of women to the world of Urdu shayari. Women have been a part of the shayari tradition right from the beginning – the Begums of Nawabs wrote extensively but could not get published under their own names. Leading Urdu women writers and poets, Sehba Ali, Aisha Siddiqui, Gazal Zaigam, Naseem Nikhat and Sahiba Anwar discussed the nuances of Urdu shayari as rendered by the female pen. Sharib Rudaulvi was also part of the discussion.


Cultural Evening: “Baul Papia & Baishnav Tantra” – By Sebastian Dreyer & Papia Ghoshal (Germany)

The performance by Sebastian Dreyer and Papia Ghoshal, who hail from Germany, enchanted everyone by their performance. The performance started by a soulful performance by Sebastian Dreyer. He performed a few songs on the sitar which ended with a rapturous applause. The fusion of both Sebastian Dreyer and Papia Ghoshal for the Baul blazed the stage and blew away everyone’s mind. The audience whole heartedly participated in the performance and cheered the artists with resounding applause throughout the performance.


Panel Discussion: Fiction Writing Taking Over All the Attention From Mythology

Best selling mythology writer Anand Neelkanthan talked with Utkarsh Patel, writer and a professor of comparative mythology on ‘Fiction Writing taking over all the attention from Mythology‘.They discussed the various factors that come into play while writing mythological stories. They critically analysed the western influenced reading culture in India today and the dismal ignorance of the people about legendary Indian characters.


Panel Discussion: Kahani Aaj Ke Parivesh Mein

The panel including popular Hindi writer from Lucknow Shiv Murti, Akhilesh from Delhi in conversation with Nalin Ranjan discussed the state of the story in today’s changing world in‘Kahani Aaj Ke Parivesh Mein’.


Panel Discussion: Asahishnuta Ke Sandarbh

With recent events in mind, Shiv Murti, H.L. Dusadh, Kalicharan Sanehi & Dr. Yashwant Viroday explored the weighty implications of intolerance, the issue being the central debate in India today, in a heated discussion on “Asahishnuta ke Sandarbh me.”


“At Language’s Edge” – Anand Neelkanthan in conversation with Ayaz


Panel Discussion: Urdu Masnaviyo mein Lucknowi Tehzib-O-Saqafat

Eminent personages of the Urdu world sat down to discuss -Urdu Masnaviyon mein Lucknawi Tehzeeb-O-Saqafat. Sharib Rudaulvi, Ratan Singh, Maula Baksh and Shafiq Hussain acquainted the audience with the form and its practitioners.


Source of Media & Changing Public Sphere – Dilip Mandal

Former managing editor of India Today Dilip C. Mandal discussed the current scenario of media and the changing public sphere in a power packed session. He emphasized how social media has captured the Indian audience, and how it multiplies geometrically. He talked about idea sharing and benefits of social media. Speaking of the JNU students’ sedition charges issue, he said “We are a nation living in fear. “ It was a highly informative session; the audience took an active interest, raising many questions about the issues he mentioned.


Panel Discussion: Faarsi Adab Aur Lucknow

The composite of Lucknow and its many languages has gained its richness from many sources. The purifying influence of Persian in Lucknow was examined by an elite panel comprising Asifa Zamani, Umar Qamaluddin, Khan Mohammad Atif, Dr. Arshad Jafri, Dr. Hina Bano, Mirza Shafiq Husain in “Farsi Adab Aur Lucknow”. The discussion started with importance of Farsi Adab and its role in Lucknow.


Panel Discussion: Has Fiction / Romance writing turned into a writing business

Blatant obscenity in fiction and romance writing were analysed by contemporary writers Sachin Garg, Vani Kaushal & Sanil Sachar. The writers said that they were not in favour of showcasing obscenity in writing because if it is too explicit then they stand to lose one section of readers, but sometimes they have to give in to readers’ demands.
The session started with defining the line between intimacy and obscenity. Narrating an anecdote relating to her first book, Vani Kaushal, author of “The Recession Groom” said that she received reviews that her book fell short in terms of ‘steaminess’. Sanil said that it is a matter of perception and that it is not vulgar to include sex in fiction writing. Sachin, on the other hand, talked about the different kind of content that Indian writers are coming up with. Innovative techniques, new plots in the crime and thriller genre are expected to evolve further in the coming years.


Panel Discussion: Scope of Political Writing in the World of Fiction

Priyajeet Debsarkar and Sriram Karri discussed the scope of political writing in the world of fiction. They discussed the various factors that come into play while writing and researching for a book on political issues and the problems they face while doing it.


“Beyond Doubt” : Understanding Teesta Setalvad and her book

Activist Teesta Setalvad sat in discussion with Ayaz Khalid on her book ‘Beyond Doubt’. It was a highly charged session with the audience hanging on to the magnetic pull of the revolutionary’s words. On her book Teesta Setalvad said “The entire effort is to expose deliberate propaganda by the people who believe in Hindu Rashtravaad. The centre has a schizophrenic relationship with Gandhi; they use his use his photographs but denigrate his politics.”


Cultural Evening: “Dastan Ghummi Kebabi Ki” by Fouzia & Fazal Rashid

The compelling “Dastan Ghummi Kebabi ki” was told by the dauntless Fauzia, the first female Dastango of modern times along with Fazal Rashid. This antique performance by Fauzia and Fazal gladdened everyone present their and drew back in the yellow pages of Awadh. The performance told the tale of Ghummi Kebabi and his journey of making the kebabs and his shop in the lanes of Old Delhi. The audience was spell bound by this art of storytelling and was listening intently to the words and the style of storytelling. Each member of the audience was hooked to every word of the Dastango.


Panel Discussion: Modern Technology Aur Urdu Duniya

With many attractions in tow, for the enthusiastic crowd of Lucknow the day unravelled with a panel discussion on “Modern Technology Aur Urdu Duniya ” in which honorary panelists-Canadian writer Javed Danish and poet Zamin Jafri, writer, professor Urdu department , AMU, Maula Baksh, AMU professor Shafe Kidwai, Dr. Mirza Shafique Hussain Shafaq elaborated on where the language stood in the modern world ,among social media platforms.
Coming from the family of legendary Urdu poet Mir Anees Javed, Javed Danish appreciated the youth on their efforts in the festival and also for lending importance to a session on Urdu, on language and words, which often the young are accused of neglecting.


Panel Discussion: Jung-e Azaadi me Urdu ka Kirdaar

Another panel discussion on “Jung-e-Azaadi me Urdu ka Kirdaar” suggestively based on the role of Urdu in the Indian Independence Movement. The panel was presided over by renowned writers and scholars like Javed Danish, Ratan Singh, Maula Baksh, Shafe Kidwai, and Dr. Mirza Shafique Hussain.
Maula Baksh described how Urdu superseded all other languages in uniting the nation, becoming a common link throughout its length and breadth. The history of Indian freedom struggle as fought under the wings of Urdu was discussed. Maula Baksh also admired the youths organizing the festival saying that “If a group of young people can arrange such an event, where literature, language, culture is being celebrated – I have seen in my time here, these kids have been working so hard, helping out the delegates, accompanying them even to the railway station, -if such is their dedication, kon kehta hai adab mar gaya.”


Panel Discussion: “Fact or Fiction : The Storyline of the Youth”

Utkarsh Patel, accomplished comparative mythology expert along with new age writers Vani Kaushal , Sachin Garg ,UK based Priyajeet Debsarkar and Ratna Vira explored the theme ‘Fact Or Fiction :The Storyline of the Youth’ deliberating on what the youth accepts as truth in the prevalent fiction today.
The session focused on the content of books today. With a flood of new writers hitting the stalls, there is much confusion as to whether the published works contain truth or fiction. Sachin said that books are a mix of fact and fiction and that each book reflects the writer’s personality.


Book Launch: We Need a Revolution by Sachin Garg


Panel Discussion: Child Education – How Rightfully is Right to Education Working

Samina Bano, Aamir Hussain and Ritwik Patra sat in conversation to discuss the topic “Child Education- How Rightfully Is Right To Education Working”.Samina Bano said “Every child deserves quality education and amongst children there should be no class discrimination, in perception or behavior .”
She further said that beyond the home, school impacts the child most. Research says in a socially economic diverse classroom the child is more likely to grow as a socially aware human being, more helpful which is why it is necessary to have socio-economically inclusive classrooms today.
Ritwik Patra elaborated how Right To Education is working in Uttar Pradesh, saying there is a dialectical relationship between poverty and education. “The narrative of UP” he said, “is not simple. It is a Meta narrative.”


Panel Discussion: स्त्री विमर्श की चुनौतियां

Sutapa Sanyal, Rajni Gupta, a writer, Kiran Singh ,Anita Dubey, Editor, Rivvant magazine, Sheila Pandey and Anita Srivastava delved in a discussion on the challenges of women. They said that women have not gained the most important thing and that is respect in society and as long as that respect is denied to them, our cause remains a defeated one.
IG, Lucknow Police Sutapa Sanyal said “We see the pain of women everyday and try to lend them some relief, find solutions. The more opportunities women have the more challenges they face. The ground reality is horrific. We do gender sensitive policing.”


Panel Discussion: लखनऊ व्यंग्य के आईने में

Popular Hindi satirists indulged in a comic battle viewing Lucknow through the mirror of satire in ‘Lucknow Vyang Ke Aaine Mein’. Prominent Lucknow satirist Gopal Chaturvedi, the head of the satirists’ association in Delhi, Sushil Siddhartha, one of the few female satirists- Indrajeet Kaur, editor of the Hindi daily, Navbharat Times-Sudhir Mishra , other prominent names in the field ,Anup Mani Tripathi, Sandeep Saxena and Pankaj Prasun had the audience in laughter with their witty words. It was the most well attended session and the audience thoroughly enjoyed it. They engaged the audience with a satirical take on various issues that affect us all.


Panel Discussion: Role of Theatre in Moulding Indian Cinema

Bollywood filmmaker Sudhir Mishra, theatre and film personality Atul Tiwari, and Vinod Bhardwaj sat in conversation with Ayaz Khalid, deliberating on the role of theatre in moulding Indian cinema. They discussed a variety of issues, including the inclusion of songs in Indian cinema to the portrayal of theatrical stories in the cinema. Another important point that was brought out was that theatre needed much more marketing than cinema due to its approach.


The Power of Freedom of Speech in Building of a Nation

Radical Indian politician, activist and educator Sandeep Pandey along with Teesta Seetalwad, leading Indian journalist and social reformer engaged in a heated and informative discussion on “the power of freedom of speech in building a nation”. The session was power packed with the discussions focussing on the voice of dissent being important in a democracy. They discussed how some recent incidents have brought out the issues that we are facing in implementing the freedoms that we gave been granted. The audience was equally enthusiastic and asked a plethora of questions from the duo relating to politics and activism.


Bharatnatyam : Durga Stuti



The final day ended with a Bharatnatyam performance by young girls’ duo Manya Khare and Pragati Bajpai from Rhythm Divine Institute. It was only apt that the literary extravaganza in the city of Adab ended with the rapturous form of ghazal singing. Mr. Pradeep Ali gave a ghazal performance which enthralled the audience who whole heartedly participated and made the performance a grand success.


Award Ceremony: Wajid Ali Shah Award & Pride of Lucknow Award