Curtains came down on the third edition of Bangalore Literature Festival on Sunday after over 150 authors from across the globe shared and discussed ideas for three days, besides celebrating creative spirit and literary diversity.
Intellectuals Arun Shourie and Girish Karnad were the focus on the concluding day. While Mr. Shourie provided a historical perspective to contemporary issues, Mr. Karnad drew the attention of the audience by unveiling intricacies of his plays and acting skills.
Issues such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the U.S., India’s relations with China, Jayalalithaa’s conviction, falling standards in the media, socio-political-cultural situation in the north-eastern part of the country and Kashmir were discussed in depth.
In the din of words, visuals got its space with the audience watching an exhibition of pictures of writer U.R. Ananthamurthy, who passed away recently, and documentaries on prominent Indian writers.
Susmit Sen, a man with an eloquent guitar — as described by Satya Saran, enthralled the gathering with his purity of notes and melody.
Mr. Shourie spoke on his On Fatwas, False Gods and Fascism and held a discussion with journalist Shekhar Gupta.
His response to questions by Mr. Gupta on politics impressed the audience, especially those on the Nehru–Gandhi family. He provided a historical perspective to the fall of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
In his conversation with journalist Madhu Trehan, who set the agenda for the session by taking up two major issues — Mr. Modi’s visit to the U.S. and the conviction of Ms. Jayalalithaa — Mr. Shourie did not mince words to criticise the U.S. “double standards in dealing with terrorism.”
On the recent visit of the Chinese President to India, Mr. Shourie underlined the need for the country to “develop capacity” to face China.
Noting that Mr. Modi was the only person who was confident of a landslide victory, he said people’s expectations from him were very high and he had to meet them early.
Elaborating on Article 370, he said the provision was losing its charm and “it was time to offer good governance.”