The Hindu Lit for Life: Engaging readers beyond the written word

On Day 2 of the 10th edition of the festival, CEO of The Hindu Group, L.V. Navaneeth, said what we read significantly shapes who we are, while Editor Suresh Nambath spoke of the newspaper’s support for the principle of freedom

November 13, 2021 01:51 pm | Updated 06:31 pm IST - CHENNAI

CEO of The Hindu Group L.V. Navaneeth and Editor, Suresh Nambath speaking on Day 2 of the Lit for Life festival on Saturday

CEO of The Hindu Group L.V. Navaneeth and Editor, Suresh Nambath speaking on Day 2 of the Lit for Life festival on Saturday

The Hindu Lit for Life is a very important part of the group’s portfolio brand events that are designed to engage with the readers beyond the printed word, L.V. Navaneeth, CEO, The Hindu Group said in his opening address on Day 2 of the 10th edition of the The Hindu Lit for Life 2021.

“Some of the areas are integral to our ethos. I do hope the conversations around ideas and with authors at this year’s edition engage our readers, offer them plenty of thoughts worth thinking about and inspire them to expand both the depth and width of what they read,” he said. “But, I do believe what we read significantly shapes who we are.”

In his special address, Suresh Nambath, Editor, said The Hindu ’s support for the principle of freedom of speech has remained the festival’s cornerstone.

“The newspaper began the Literary Review in 1990. This was the only supplement devoted to books and literature brought out by a daily. From this was born the idea of a literature festival to commemorate the 20th anniversary of The Hindu ’s Literary Review in 2010,” he recalled.

From a single session over an evening, the festival grew to a three-day event that reflects the spirit of creativity and strength of the written word and to investigate the issues of the time, Mr. Nambath said. The effort is to build bridges across political and social divides and create conversations to further debate, provoke thought that make knowledge and understanding possible, he noted.

The event is organised in association with Rajasthan Tourism; Realty partner: Casagrand; Banking partner: State Bank of India; Insurance partner: Life Insurance Corporation of India. Hindustan Institute of Technology & Science is the knowledge partner and Higginbothams is the bookstore partner.

Pandemic lessons

At a discussion on Lessons of Pandemic, participants felt the delay in recognising the threat of SARS-CoV-2 virus spread, not strengthening primary care, low availability of testing kits, poor understanding of the unorganised sector workers, led to preventable deaths. Gagandeep Kang, Professor of Microbiology, and Laboratory Director, The Wellcome Trust Research Laboratory, Division of Gastrointestinal Sciences, Christian Medical College, Vellore, said India hadn’t prepared for the goal of isolating the infected despite cases with no history of travel or contact.

Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India, felt the focus should have been on containing the virus spread when it was still an urban phenomenon.

While reports from China were alarming India was relaxed, instead of recognising the war-like situation, said Arun Kumar, Malcolm Adiseshaiah Chair professor at the Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi. Kamini Mahadevan, former consultant editor of Penguin group, moderated the discussion.

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