Literature offers hope and optimism in difficult times: Vice President

New Delhi
August 27, 2021

In a crisis, literature poses questions and comes up with pertinent answers: VP
Literature helps us evolve into more refined human beings: VP
India, a repository of knowledge and wisdom from ancient times: VP
Vice President addresses Times Lit Fest

The Vice President, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu today said that literature opens pathways to new experiences filled with hope and optimism in difficult times. “Literary texts recreate places, events and experiences providing a magical escape into a world in which we lose ourselves”, he observed.

Speaking at the ‘Times Lit Fest’, the Vice President said that in a crisis, it is Literature that poses the most relevant questions and comes up with pertinent answers. Literary figures, through their work, appeal to our imagination in a number of ways—as creative writers, moralists, guides and philosophers, among other things.

Stating that great writing reaches out to us in ways that nothing else can, he said “We lose ourselves in the world of words in an experience that transcends all limitations of time and space. There is no such thing as an appropriate time to immerse oneself in great writing”.

Shri Naidu affirmed that Literature, through multiple forms, appeals to the inner being. He observed that it shapes our consciousness and helps us evolve into more refined human beings. “At different stages in our lives, various writers and themes appeal to us. Literature has the variety to provide each one of us something that we can relate to at different moments in time”, he opined.

Asserting India has been a repository of knowledge and wisdom from ancient times, he said “it is a celebrated cradle of culture which has given the world the Vedas, priceless treasures of philosophy including the Upanishads and The Bhagwat Gita, immortal epics like The Ramayana and The Mahabharata, fables packed with wisdom such as The Panchatantra and Hitopadesa and Kalidasa’s magnificent literary texts including plays, to cite only a few examples”.

Observing that since the early ages to contemporary times, a thread of unbroken tradition could be traced in all our languages, across all regions, the Vice President said that every single language in India was pulsating with vibrant literary activity in multiple forms today. “Perhaps, no other country in the world can lay claim to such a rich, diverse, cultural, linguistic and literary heritage”, he added.   

Shri Naidu said the silver lining of the last 17 months has been a rapid increase in the pace of digitalisation of activities. It has demolished barriers of access in a way that nothing else has and is without doubt, a manifestation of human creativity in the face of adversity. Not only is human imagination capable of finding ways to cope with extraordinary circumstances, but can also convert adversity into opportunity, he declared.

Lauding the Times of India for organising the event, he said,“I am told that the standout feature of the Delhi Lit Fest has often been the sparkling exchange between book lovers and authors”. He also expressed his happiness that Lit Fest has no entry barriers and is thrown open to all for participation. “I am certain that this is one of the reasons behind its resounding success”, he added.

“I am certain that the Lit Fest will emerge once again as a healthy platform for the exchange of different ideas and diverse views”, the Vice President added.

The Executive Editor of The Times of India, Shri Vikas Singh, Executive Vice President of Brookfield Properties, Shri Shantanu Chakraborty, Festival Director, Smt. Vinita Dawre Nangia, Shri Puesh Kumar Gupta, Director DS Group and others attended the event.

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