Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters 2019 ends on a high note

Curtains were drawn on the Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters 2019 at Kanakakkunnu Palace grounds today.

The last day concluded with a valedictory function inaugurated by Hon Governor Sri Justice ( Retd) P Sathasivam, Shri Kadakampally Surendran – Minister of Cooperation, Tourism & Devasoms and key note address by Sri N S Madhavan, . The other officials present at the event included Sri M P Veerendra Kumar – Managing Director, Mathrubhumi Group, Sri P V Chandran – Managing Editor, Mathurbhumi Group, Sri Sabin Iqbal – MBIFL Festival curator, Sri Unni Balakrishnan, Chief of News, Mathrubhumi Television.

Hon Governor Sri Justice ( Retd) P Sathasivam said “ Malayalees readers have always been noted for their interest in world literature and global ideas, the malayalee exposure to the greatest writers Russia, france, latin America is also well known therefore it is not surprising that international literature festivals ensures presence of guest writers who are apt attractions in kerala, the overall impact of this festival will be known in the days to come, he added “  he also said “ in the era of globalisation Malayalam literature cannot remain confined to the geographical boundaries of Kerala, it is high time we ensure better global exposure to our work through translations in to other languages in the world, we also need to imply our best resources in translation to ensure a steady flow of old literature in to our language he quoted

Day 3, opened with a with an interactive session on Literary Festivals as Creative Platforms, with Jonathan Davidson, Anil Dharkar, K Satchidanandan, and T K Rajeev Kumar. They spoke on the different aspects for the need of literature festivals and essential constituents needed for making a literature festival popular and playing an important role in encouraging not only literature but a positive celebration of diversity. They also emphasised that as curators of literary festivals one would have to popularise reading of books amongst people particularly emerging writers, it should be more than a carnival glamorised event but a platform where serious discussions happen and also opens a whole new horizon to not just literature but other fields like theatre, visual artist, science and technology, theatre etc.

Another relevant session at MBIFL was of a session on The Editor’s Dilemma by acclaimed journalist Raj Kamal Jha and founder of India’s first regional satellite TV channel Asianet who spoke on the sea change paradigm shift in journalism in today’s times, he raised his concern about how journalism is under threat across the world due to corporate, political pressure, it has come to a stage where editors are expected to work on raising advertising revenues for organisations, supporting his stand Raj Kamal Jha spoke on how social media, and other media platforms other than print are facing increase attrition in their role of sourcing and delivering news which boils down to the fact that as how we as editors can still hold our relevance for our readers. .

The day also had a session by Anil Dharker, Satish Padmanabhan which was moderated by Shireen Quadri on the topic of “The Magazine Days”. The discussion revolved around the significance of magazines in times of today, they shared their opinions about how a magazine presents a 360 degree look of why a certain thing is happening, and opinionated their thoughts for having a literary magazine which talks about literature in a more universal manner.

The festival also experienced a heart-warming session by Rishiraj Singh IPS officer who spoke on the topic of Benign but wrongful parenting leading to drug addiction among children where he shared various reasons for children choosing the path of drug addiction which is mostly due to the less attention parents are giving to their children and shared the story of his own son Chatrasal Singh who did not do very well academically but chose animation as an profession and was one of the animator of the famous children movie Kung Fu Panda 3. He encouraged parents to support their children not just by encouraging their talents but also speaking to them as friends.

Highlights of few sessions of the last day as follows:

  1. Asian Imaginations – Shyam Selvadurai, Mirza Waheed, Sucharita Dutta Asane
  2. MBIFL SOLO: How AI is reshaping journalism – Devadas Rajaram
  3. Conversation: Powers of Historical Perception – What powers our perception of history, memory, knowledge or historical context ? – Daman Singh, Andrei Kurkov, Jonathan Davidson, Amandeep Sandhu
  4. Conversation : Youth Unrest – Shubhrastha, Nikhila Henry, Sumeet Samos, Aiswarya Thara Bhai
  5. Keynote: Mathematics and God – Prof Piers Bursill -Hall
  6. Book Reading – Daman Singh, Jonathan Davidson, Jane Commane, Nilanjan Choudhury


The last day concluded with a remarkable performance by famous musical band Thaikoodam Bridge who entertained the audience with his stunning performance. This year the festival witnessed over 6000 people participating for 4 days. MBIFL 2020 will be held from 30th Jan – 2nd February, 2020.


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