Bhubaneswar: February 9-11, 2024 – The temple city of Bhubaneswar is poised to unfurl the timeless sagas of “Legends of Ancient Bharat and Beyond: Inspiring Lived Experience in the 21st Century.” At the esteemed Swosti Premium, the Kalinga Literary Festival (KLF) is humbly set to embark on its 10th edition, knitting together a mosaic of diverse literary forms ranging from poetry and politics to art and athletics, from science to environment and mythology to mysticism. The highly anticipated 10th Kalinga Literary Festival is set to welcome esteemed speakers from four nations, including Japan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, adding a diverse international flavor to the event. Renowned figures from these countries will grace the festival with their presence, enriching the discourse and fostering cross-cultural exchange. The virtual inauguration by Odisha’s Hon’ble Chief Minister, Shri Naveen Patnaik, underscores the festival’s commitment to inclusivity and accessibility, allowing participants worldwide to join in the festivities. Moreover, the festival’s multilingual nature serves as a testament to its global reach, with languages representing a multitude of nations echoing throughout the event. This emphasis on language representation across borders highlights the festival’s dedication to celebrating the rich linguistic tapestry of our world, ensuring that voices from diverse backgrounds are heard and valued. As international luminaries converge at the Kalinga Literary Festival, it becomes a vibrant melting pot of ideas, perspectives, and literary traditions, united in the spirit of cultural exchange and mutual understanding
The Pulse of the Festival:
At the KLF, every thread of conversation weaves into the rich fabric of India’s storied past, celebrating not only the diversity of our cultural expression but also the unifying power of our stories. With sessions ranging from democracy to digital revolutions, and from cultural nationalism to climate justice, the festival promises to be a kaleidoscope of thought-provoking dialogue.
The pinnacle of this literary celebration is the recognition bestowed upon four exceptional women writers with the prestigious Kalinga Literary Awards for the year 2024. Renowned Hindi Novelist Nasira Sharma and distinguished diplomat and author Lakshmi Murdeshwar Puri have been honored, alongside Nepali academic and writer Prof. Beena Poudyal and promising young talent Radhika Iyengar. Their contributions mark a significant moment in literary acknowledgment and are a testament to the festival’s commitment to promoting diverse voices.
In recognition of the pivotal role of the publishing industry, the KLF also presents the Publishing House of the Year Award to Penguin Random House and HarperCollins Publishers India, underscoring their exemplary work in fostering literary excellence and promoting inclusivity.
Founder and Director of the Kalinga Literary Festival, Mr. Rashmi Ranjan Parida, affirms the festival’s dedication to celebrating and championing literary achievements across genres and platforms.
The festival’s theme, “Legends of Ancient Bharat and Beyond,” will resonate through engaging sessions featuring over 300 esteemed speakers. Esteemed personalities such as Padma Bhushan and Jnanpith recipient Sitakanta Mohapatra, Amish Tripathi, Paramita Satapathy, Arundhathi Subramaniam, Usha Uthup, Uday Prakash, K.R Meera, Dr. Hindol Sengupta, Milee Ashwarya, Yatish Kumar, Maria Goretti, Koral Dasgupta, Nila Madhab Panda, Sudharsan Pattnaik, Sandeep Bamzai, others, will grace the festival, bringing with them a symphony of ideas that promises to resonate with audiences. As we embrace the literary brilliance from across the globe, including Nepal, Sri Lanka, Japan, and beyond, the KLF will reverberate with the echoes of myriad voices and perspectives. These sessions will explore a spectrum of topics ranging from democracy and digital revolutions to cultural nationalism and climate justice, creating a kaleidoscope of thought-provoking dialogue.
The festival will also unveil over 30 new literary works and scholarly monographs, adding to the vibrant tapestry of literary creation. Delegates and speakers will have the unique opportunity to engage with the cultural heritage and environment of Bhubaneswar through Mystic Walks, cycling tours.
- Kalinga Literary Award: Novelist Nasira Sharma, Lakshmi Murdeshwar Puri
- Kalinga International Literary Award (English & other language) – Prof. Beena Poudyal
- Kalinga Literary Award (Youth): Radhika Iyengar
Profile: Novelist Nasira Sharma
Nasira Sharma is an acclaimed Hindi writer. She has published 10 Hindi-language novels. Some of the books are- Parijat, Mere Priya Kahaniyaan, Ajnabi Jajira, Patthar Gali and Aurat Ke Liye Aurat. She was the only woman from South Asia to interview Ruhollah Khomeini after he came into power. She won a Sahitya Akademi Award for her novel Paarijat. She won Vyas Samman for her novel Kagaz ki Naav in 2019.
Profile: Lakshmi Murdeshwar Puri Lakshmi Murdeshwar Puri has been an Indian Foreign Service diplomat for twenty-eight years. She served in leadership positions at the United Nations for fifteen years, most recently as its Assistant Secretary General. She was a leader in the first global organization to promote gender equality—UN WOMEN, for seven foundational years. She is the recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights, among others. Lakshmi Murdeshwar Puri’s debut novel Swallowing The Sun is a vast, evocative, multigenerational saga interspersed with the freedom movement.
Profile: Prof. Beena Poudyal
Professor Bina Paudyal Ph.D, born in Bikram Sambat 2013, in Kupandol. She lives in Kathmandu, Nepal, she has done her PhD from Banaras Hindu Vishwa Vidyalaya. She is former Head of Department, Professor – Central Department, History, Culture and Archeology of Nepal, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur. She is a professional training instructor. She has been honored and rewarded by many organizations in the country and abroad. Forty years of teaching, researching, & administrative responsibility and she have published more than 100 research articles so far in the field of culture 19 books, including the history of Nepalis culture.
Profile: Radhika Iyengar
Radhika Iyengar is an Indian journalist, writer, and recipient of the 2018 Red Ink Awards in the category of human rights. She held the Prabha Dutt Fellowship in 2016, the Bianca Pancoat Patton Fellowship in 2019, and the Charles Wallace India Trust fellowship in 2020. She has written for several news magazines including Al Jazeera, Christian Science Monitor, Vogue India, and Conde Nast Traveller India. After seven to eight years of research on the Dom community of Varanasi, she produced Fire on the Ganges: Life among the Dead in Banaras, published in 2023 by HarperCollins.
KLF Book Awards 2023
The prestigious annual KLF Book Awards showcase a diverse range of literary works across various genres. The longlist, featuring fiction, nonfiction, poetry, business, children’s literature, translations, and debut works, represents the best of contemporary literature. The ultimate winners will be announced on February 11, coinciding with the final day of the 10th Kalinga Literary Festival in Bhubaneswar.
This year’s shortlist includes notable works such as Manoj Mitta’s Caste Pride: Battles for Equality in Hindu India, Amitav Ghosh’s ‘Smoke and Ashes: A Writer’s Journey through Opium’s Hidden Histories,’ Salman Rushdie’s ‘Victory City,’ Devika Rege’s ‘Quarterlife: A Novel,’ Ranjit Hoskote’s ‘Icelight,’ Gurcharan Das’s Another Sort of Freedom and former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan’s ‘Breaking the Mould – Reimagining India’s Economic Future.’ These selections exemplify the rich tapestry of narratives that the KLF Book Awards aim to honor.
The KLF Book Awards are not just accolades but a celebration of the enduring power of literature to connect, inspire, and transform.
8th Kalinga Art Festival
8th Kalinga Art Festival, showcasing contemporary and traditional artistic expressions. The Kalinga Art Festival embraces a broad spectrum of mediums and styles, fostering a platform for experimentation and innovation. This amalgamation of artistic voices sparks dialogue exchange on a global scale. Beyond showcasing established artists like Prof. Dr. Ranjan Kumar Malik, Meenaketan Patnaik, Anjan Kumar Sahoo, Bipin Martha, Dr. Panchanan Samal, Lalatendu Rath, Dr. Gourahari Rout, Rabinarayan Rath, Pritam Nayak and more, the festival provides a nurturing space for emerging talents, offering them a platform to showcase their creations and connect with seasoned professionals. The synergy between the Kalinga Art Festival and the Kalinga Literary Festival creates a dynamic interplay between visual and literary narratives. Through curated discussions, workshops, and interactive sessions, participants have the opportunity to explore the intersectionality of art and literature, delving into themes of identity, heritage, and societal change.
Reflecting on the significance of this year’s theme, Mr. Rashmi Ranjan Parida states, “As India emerges as a global leader, the legends of our ancient past offer a compass for ethical leadership and inclusive progress. The 10th Kalinga Literary Festival invites us to delve into these lived experiences that resonate with today’s challenges, inspiring a future informed by the lessons of the past.”
The Kalinga Literary Festival, in its 10th edition, remains a beacon of literary excellence, fostering dialogue, celebrating diversity, and inspiring the architects of tomorrow’s history.
At the 10th Kalinga Literary Festival, attendees will embark on a captivating journey through the realms of politics, science, mythology, mysticism, art, artificial intelligence, digital evolution, media & journalism, academics, book writing, cinema, poetry, global issues, start-up and entrepreneurship, societal pluralism and more. Engaging sessions will unravel the intricacies of contemporary politics, exploring the dynamics of power, policy, and public service amidst the digital age’s challenges. Meanwhile, the fusion of science and mythology will transport participants into a world where ancient narratives intersect with modern scientific inquiry, offering profound insights into the mysteries of existence. Mysticism will weave its spell, inviting contemplation of the divine and the transcendent, while art will serve as a mirror reflecting the complexities of the human experience. Discussions on artificial intelligence will probe the ethical implications and societal impact of advancing technology, while journalism and academia will scrutinize truth, knowledge, and the dissemination of ideas in today’s media landscape. Aspiring authors will glean wisdom from seasoned writers, and cinema enthusiasts will explore the power of storytelling on the silver screen. Finally, global issues will take center stage, fostering dialogue on the pressing challenges facing humanity in an interconnected world. Through these multifaceted sessions, the 10th Kalinga Literary Festival will ignite minds, inspire hearts, and catalyze conversations that transcend borders and boundaries.