Pune: Gokhale Institute Hosts Grand Inauguration of History Literature Festival 2024

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Mubarak Ansari

Pune, 9th February 2024: The Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (GIPE) co-hosted the 2nd edition of the History Literature Festival (HLF), a platform that brings together history enthusiasts, scholars, and creative minds.

The festival was inaugurated by Dr. Ajit Ranade, Vice Chancellor of the Gokhale Institute, who shed light on the institute’s rich history and the influential figures associated with it, particularly Gopal Krishna Gokhale.

Dr. Ranade highlighted the groundbreaking work of VM Dandekar and N Rath, pioneers in the systematic estimation of poverty in India. The opening ceremony paid homage to Shri Gokhale’s wisdom, recalling his advice to Mahatma Gandhi to observe with open eyes and ears while keeping his mouth shut to truly comprehend the nation.

Additionally, the 84th Kale Memorial Lecture, scheduled for February 16, 2024, at the institute, was mentioned. This memorial lecture has seen distinguished personalities like Dr. BR Ambedkar in the past, and this year, Nobel Laureate in Economics 2001, Michael Spence, will be the speaker.

The organizers of HLF felicitated Dr. Nanaji Shiwali for his commendable efforts in digitizing over 30,000 documents at the D. R. Gadgil Library, also known as the Library of the Revolutionary.

The inaugural panel featured prominent speakers, including Mohan Agashe, psychiatrist and actor; Nandita Das, actress and filmmaker; Anjum Rajabali, screenwriter and teacher, with Vaibhavi Kulkarni, associate professor of communication at IIM Ahmedabad, moderating.

The discussion, centered on the theme “Cinema and History,” explored the evolution of cinema and the changing perspectives of the panelists throughout their careers. Rajabali delved into the neglect of the craft of writing in the 1980s and its resurgence in the 1990s with the influx of corporates into the industry.

Nandita Das emphasized the significance of the screenplay as the backbone of a film and highlighted the hierarchical nature of the film industry in Bombay. She advocated for independent cinema, acknowledging the struggles it faces in the presence of established industries like Hollywood and Bollywood.

Dr. Agashe expressed his views on the role of art and education, citing examples from his experiences, particularly after the release of the film “Taare Zameen Par.” He underscored the impact of formal education on artistic expression and urged a shift from passive seeing and reading to active engagement.

The inaugural session concluded with a thought-provoking Q&A session, addressing topics such as the importance of emotions in education and the holistic meaning of being liberal in various aspects of life. The History Literature Festival promises to be a platform for diverse discussions, celebrating the confluence of history and literature.