The latest edition of the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet 2020 was inaugurated on January 22, 2020, at the Victoria Memorial. Renowned English author Joanne Harris, especially known for her award-winning novel ‘Chocolat’, inaugurated this year’s edition in the presence of Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel alongside Kunal Basu, author, Dr. Jayanta Sengupta, Secretary & Curator, Victoria Memorial Hall and Malavika Banerjee, Director, Kolkata Literary Meet. While this is the ninth edition of the Kolkata Literary Meet, it is the sixth edition of the Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet (TSKLM).
The Kolkata Literary Meet has become an integral part of Kolkata, the city of joy. Each year, enlightened minds from various parts of India and the world congregate at the Literary Meet. The SREI Group was associated with this event.
Like earlier editions, the literary meet celebrated unexplored ideas. Prominent literary voices focused on literature, poetry, current affairs and women’s issues. Each session witnessed noteworthy names being a part of engaging discussions with the audience, bringing together a range of expertise and perspectives on stage.
Speaking at the inauguration, Chaudhary said, “This is a signature community outreach programme from Tata Steel on an intellectual platform that brings together people from the world of literature, art and culture to share their ideas and thoughts on contemporary issues.”
Some of the eminent speakers who were a part of this year’s literary extravaganza included Abhijit V. Banerjee, Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics 2019, Amitav Ghosh, Sahitya Akademi, Jnanpith Award and Padmasree winner, Ann Cleeves, English crime-writer, actor Ayushmann Khurrana among others.
Dr. Sengupta said, “As we celebrate the ninth edition of TSKLM, we look for-ward to a confluence of the brightest literary minds from across the globe and the legion of book lovers who have always welcomed TSKLM with an open heart.”
Malabika Banerjee added, “Tata Steel Kolkata Literary Meet is an annual celebration, free for everyone, which brings the best minds from across the world to engage with leading writers and with the audience. I take pride in saying that TSKLM has established itself as one of the greatest literary gatherings in India and in this edition, we have one of the best line-ups of authors we have ever had.”
On the closing day, Dr. Hari Prasad Kanoria present at the Literary Meet, addressed the event saying, “The term ‘Sone ki Chidiya’ has always been associated with India, and this has attracted invaders from around the world. But most of them have become a part of India in due course. It was the East India Company and subsequently the British Empire which came to India - perhaps only with the intention of plunder. Whatever infrastructure they had put up, be it the railways or roads and ports, was essentially to pursue their own agenda. There have been conflicting narratives about Britain’s role as benefactor or exploiter, but I am more inclined to think that it was the latter. History has always been written by the winner, therefore whatever was documented by British historians call for a thorough scrutiny. British historians might have glossed over the oppression that was inflicted on our people, but those gory details must get documented and recorded. It should serve as a reminder.”
Dr. Kanoria later appreciated Dr. Tharoor, Debanjan Chakrabarti and Manu S. Pillai for their thought provoking points on how the Indian society and economy might have shaped up had the British Empire not set its eyes on India. Dr. Kanoria said, “I thank Dr. Tharoor, Chakravarti and Pillai for highlighting the various facets of the British rule in India. It was certainly a wonderful experience listening to your views, rich in content and anecdotes.”