Guild of Indian English Writers, Editors and Critics (GIEWEC) in collaboration with Department of English, School of Humanities, Pondicherry University conducted a two day national level literary festival at Pondicherry University on 20th and 21st March 2014. The topic for the festival was "Indian Literatures in English: New Directions, Newer Possibilities."
In the inaugural session at 10 am on 20th March Dr. S. Murali, Professor and Head of the Department of English, Pondicherry University was the president. Shri Jayanta Mahapatra and Shri Ashokamitran were the distinguished chief guests. Dr. Clement Lourdes, Associate Professor of English, Pondicherry University welcomed the guests and audience. Jayanta Mahapatra inaugurated the festival by lighting the lamp. He delivered a memorable speech on English poetry associating with his own experience in India and abroad. Dr. S. Murali and Shri Ashokamitran spoke excellently on new directions and newer possibilities of Indian Literatures in English. Prof. T. V. Reddy, president of GIEWEC and Dr. K. V. Dominic, Secretary-cum-organizer of the festival delivered felicitation speeches. GIEWEC and Department of English then collectively honoured Jayanta Mahapatra and Ashokamitran with LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS. It was followed by GIEWEC’s LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS presented to Prof. Murali Sivaramakrishnan and Sudarshan Kcherry (Authorspress Publisher). In the book launching ceremony that followed more than two dozen new books and journals of the participants were launched. The authors include Prof. Murali Sivaramakrishnan, Prof. T. V. Reddy, Dr. K. V. Dominic, Dr. Jaydeep Sarangi, Dr. Ratan Bhattacharjee, Dr. Ketaki Datta, Dr. S. Kumaran, Fr. Varghese Paul, Profs. Gopichand and Nagasuseela, Dr. Vinita Agarwal etc. Dr. K. Reshmi, Assistant Professor of English, Pondicherry University delivered vote of thanks at the end of the session.
In the plenary session that followed Dr. S. Murali chaired. The participants included Jayanta Mahapatra, Ashokamitran, Dr. K. V. Dominic and Dr. Jaydeep Sarangi, Vice President of GIEWEC. All except Dr. K. V. Dominic spoke on “Indian Literatures in English: New Directions, Newer Possibilities.” Dr. K. V. Dominic spoke on the topic “Indian Feminism in Sarojini Sahoo’s Sensible Sensualities.”
After lunch parallel sessions of paper presentations started. There were more than 80 paper presentations on poetry, fiction, plays and non-fiction in Indian Literatures in English which continued to the second day. There were nine sessions in three venues chaired by Dr. Clement Lourdes (Dept. of English, PU), Dr. H. Kalpana (Dept. of English, PU), Dr. Ujjwal Jana (Dept. of English, PU), Dr. Lakhimai Mili (Dept. of English, PU), Dr. K. Reshmi (Dept. of English, PU), Dr. Jaydeep Sarangi (GIEWEC), Dr. Ratan Bhattachrjee (GIEWEC), Dr. Ayyappa Raja (GIEWEC) and Sibasis Jana (GIEWEC). Besides there were two poetry reading sessions where 24 poets of the country including Jayanta Mahapatra read their innumerable poems. Prof. T. V. Reddy (GIEWEC), and Dr. K. V. Dominic (GIEWEC) chaired those sessions. Ashokamitran mesmerized the audience with a very touching short story. There was a panel discussion on the second day on the topic "Why I write . . . What I write . . . Well, who are my readers." The participants included Jayanta Mahapatra, Ashokamitran, Prof. Murali Sivaramakrishnan, Prof. T. V. Reddy, Aju Mukhopadhyay, Dr. K. V. Dominic and Sudarshan Kcherry. Prof. Murali Sivaramakrishnan was the moderator.
In the election to the Executive Committee of GIEWEC at 6.30 pm on 20th, the following members were elected/re-elected:
PRESIDENT: PROF. T. V. REDDY
SECRETARY: DR. K. V. DOMINIC
VICE PRESIDENT: DR. JAYDEEP SARANGI
VICE PRESIDENT: DR. RATAN BHATTACHARJEE
TREASURER: DR. S. KUMARAN
JOINT SECRETARY: DR. JOJI JOHN PANICKER
MEMBERS OF EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: DR. POONAM SAHAY, DR. KETAKI DATTA, DR. AYYAPPA RAJA
Fr. Varghese Paul was the Returning Officer.
Overall, the festival was a grand success. The credit goes to the organizers. Dr. S. Murali, the HoD of English as well as the chief organizer took the initiative several months before and got GIEWEC’s proposal sanctioned by the Vice Chancellor, Registrar and Finance Officer. He worked really hard for several days and nights and could very well coordinate his colleagues, research scholars and PG students for the great outcome. He was greatly assisted by his faculty members, particularly Dr. Clement Lourdes, Dr. K. Reshmi, Dr. Lakhimai Mili and Dr. Ujjwal Jana. Dr. K. V. Dominic in his speech during the valedictory function at 3.30 p.m. on 21st expressed GIEWEC’s deep gratitude to Pondicherry University--the Vice Chancellor, the Registrar, the Finance Officer, Dr. Murali and his faculty members as well as Research Scholars and PG students for their selfless, tremendous effort and dedication. Loyal to the sublime status of one of the best universities in India, the entire Department of English showed their mettle and the festival thus became unique and exemplary. The greatest attraction of the festival was the presence of two literary legends—Jayanta Mahapatra and Ashokamitran who deserve Nobel Prize for literature. The participants could talk to them freely, share ideas on literature and have photographs with them. A million thanks to Dr. S. Murali for bringing them to the festival. Jayanta Mahapatra was there as resident poet from 15th to 23rd of March. Certificates were distributed to the participants during the valedictory function. The festival ended with national anthem.