The sixth edition of the Hyderabad Literary Festival was off to a explosive start on Thursday evening after a war of words broke out between Nayantara Sahgal, who was the first author to start the 'award wapsi' and Telangana and Andhra governor ESL Narasimhan who was the chief guest at the event.
According to a report in The New Indian Express, the inaugural ceremony of the HLF turned out to be a face-off between the Governor and Sahgal who dwelt at length on the ‘climate of hatred’ in the country. In her address, she recounted the events that led forced the writers to return the Sahatiya Akademi awards last year. Not to be left behind, the Governor tried to explain how unity in diversity was the asset of India and how dissent could be interpreted in different ways.
A TOI report adds that the governor said. "Freedom is a universal right but dissent is a subjective matter. It depends on how you interpret it. There is dissent within families too but you get past them". He took off saying how "great" the nation was and how it was home to the richest language of all, Sanskrit.
"I hope Ms Sahgal's views change by the time she leaves the city," the governor was reported to have said sarcastically.
The three-day fest with an aim to promote and encourage creative discourse among various sections of the society will see 125 speakers and over 100 events.