Dera Baba Nanak Utsav and Kavi Darbar

Literary Round Up by Gopal Lahiri



 Dera Baba Nanak Utsav was held at Gurdaspur, Punjab from November 8th to 11th to mark the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. The four-day programme was organised by the Ministry of Culture, Government of Punjab.

The sprawling Dera Baba Nanak area wore a festive look with beautiful white tents, mellow sunlight and the feather touch of winter, even though a sharp shower before the inauguration played spoilsport to some extent. This is the place where we spread our wholeness, our creativity, our soaring energy erasing our narrowness, our wounds and pain.

Kavi Darbar was reverberated with poets from all parts of India. Artists, scholars, musicians, dramatist- all assembled here to join the festivities and to showcase their talents.

We need poetry now more than ever and it’s an essential language. The poets writing in different languages like Assamese, Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, English, Urdu, Hindi, Odia, Marathi, Maithili, Manipuri, Nepali, Kashmiri, Kannada, Konkani, Rajasthani, Sanskrit, Sindhi, Santhali, Tamil, Telegu and Punjabi were all there to read their poems at the event in sync with the Sikh Guru’s ideology of love, coherence and equality and represented a stylistically diverse cross-section of contemporary literature. All the poets were asked to write two poems and those were translated in Punjabi language and read by the local Punjabi poets’ side by side. An anthology comprising these poems along with the Punjabi translations will be published soon. There were a good number of Punjabi poets read their original Punjabi poems.

For poets, words are a kind of sustenance reflecting optimistic moments and this was amply evident in the poems read at the event dedicated to Guru Nanak Dev and their poems offered a look at humanity writ large. In all, 117 poets participated in the poetry festival.

Every evening the poetry session started with Bhagti Sangeet Flute or Sitar or Rabab recital and Tabla where the performers envisioned the path of hope and enthralled the audience.

The Dera Baba Nanak Utsav were coincided with the landmark events of opening of Kartarpur Corridor, the border linking India and Pakistan. It connects Dera Baba Nanak and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib where Guru Nanak Dev ji spent his last fifteen years.

Sahitya Akademi, Kolkata organised the Literary Forum featuring Multilingual Poetry readings.
The programme was held at Sahitya Akademi Auditorium, Kolkata on 5th November, 2019. At the outset Shri Subodh Sarkar, an eminent Bengali Poet and recipient of Sahitya Akademi award, pointed out various activities of Sahitya Akademi relating to poetry especially the commendable work in rural fronts.
Dr Devendra Kumar Devesh, Regional Secretary, Kolkata reiterated the need of multi lingual poetry session in addition to the poetry reading in local language.

The poets writing in Bengali, English, Hindi, Odia and Santhali have participated and used words as a prism to examine love, passion, struggle, inequality, history and heritage in their poems which touched the heart of the audience.

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