SAARC literary fest ends in Agra

March 16th, 2009 - 5:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Agra, March 16 (IANS) A four-day SAARC literary festival ended here Monday with a declaration calling for greater involvement of poets, writers and intellectuals in containing terrorist activities which affect lives of millions.
“Terrorism has to be collectively fought at every level with determination,” Ajeet Cour, the convener of FOSWAL (foundation of SAARC writers and literature), told reporters here.

The concluding sessions were addressed among others by former Indian ambassador to the US Abid Hussain, Jamia Millia Islamia vice chancellor Mushirul Hasan, former MP Uday Prakash, eminent Dari poet Khalida Forough from Afghanistan and Rubina Haq, a young poet from Bangladesh.

Nearly 60 poets and writers from SAARC countries participated in the festival.

“They all shared a common perception and were unanimous on the Agra Declaration that outlined the expectations and dreams of the peoples of these countries,” Cour said.

“Through the Agra Declaration, the collective fears and resentment of literary workers have been expressed, and a firm resolve to fight forces of hatred and terrorism not only in the region but the whole world was vocalised,” said Dinesh Mishra, a director of FOSWAL.

Salina Husain, a writer from Bangladesh hoped some day we all would be free of the scourge of violence and terror, while Pakistan’s Raja Rumi said terrorism had become an industry.

But some critics said that the festival had more “poetry reading sessions” than serious discussion on how to solve problems facing the region.

“Actually there was more of poetry reading and story telling than any serious effort to understand or prescribe solutions to problems of the region,” said a senior journalist.

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