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Actor Mammootty inaugrates 5th edition of Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters

Mathrubhumi Joint Managing Editor, P.V. Nidheesh welcomed the gathering and Manoj K. Das, Editor, Mathrubhumi daily and digital, proposed a vote of thanks

Malayalam actor Mammootty inaugurated the fifth edition of the Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters (MBIFL 2024) at the Kanakakkunnu Palace on Thursday. The actor noted that literary events like MBIFL are essential in an age where public spaces are shrinking and reading has transpired from flipping real pages to social media posts.

“Just as the sun acts as a natural purifying agent against germs in the atmosphere, literary fests and dialogues help remove the germs from our mindset and the society at large,” he said, adding that smaller editions of such festivals could be held in the countryside as public spaces are shrinking.

“Instead of limiting our world to ourselves, let us use these platforms to share our emotions. It will help remove many poisonous thoughts from society,” said Mammootty. “When there are no public spaces, we tend to cocoon ourselves and that is when poisonous thoughts creep in, keeping us from interacting with one another or share our emotions.”

According to the brand’s release, he also underscored the role of Mathrubhumi in the renaissance movements of Kerala and the development of language and literature.

During the inaugural ceremony, Egyptian writer and journalist Mansoura Ez-Eldin said she never takes writing for granted and believes in the power of the written word. “We live where literature is very important. The visions present before us are often clouded and literature is a bridge that can help us cross various barriers and see the world as it really is.”

“We writers should resist any kind of inequality; we should speak against injustice,” she said, adding that most of us are prisoners of fixed ideas.

Writer Sarah Joseph delved into the significance of plurality and the need of creating pluralistic spaces at a time when voices of dissent are subdued and silenced. Democracy is in danger, and such public spaces of dialogues are where the protest against autocracy begins, she added. The author said India has always celebrated plurality and Kerala has a special role in it.

M.V. Shreyams Kumar, chairman of MBIFL and Mathrubhumi Managing Director, said in his speech that the world is lacking plurality in current times. One is losing the freedom to make an opinion or to disagree with another. “This festival discusses the need for plurality in such times,”

India is a pluralistic nation and anything that goes against its grain will destroy its culture. “MBIFL focussed on plurality keeping this in mind,” he said.

Mathrubhumi Chairman and Managing Editor P.V. Chandran said the newspaper has been at the forefront of promoting art, culture and literature right from the days of its inception. “We used words as a weapon in the fight against the British,’’ he said.

Mathrubhumi Joint Managing Editor, P.V. Nidheesh welcomed the gathering and Manoj K. Das, Editor, Mathrubhumi daily and digital, proposed a vote of thanks.

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