History Literature Festival
Origin Story of HLF
The soil of India is so rich that each grain incapsulates a century’s worth of stories. It is harnessed by the sweat of each civilization that set foot on the Indian land and got perished in its soil. It has the footprints of scholars who became the masters of uncontainable knowledge and directed society through their philosophies; it contains residue of kingdoms that ruled in full glory and then dissolved, traces of art and culture that were birthed and brought up by artists.
Itihaas is the Hindi word for history which literary means – that’s what happened – is not exactly what we are taught in school. Even outside academia, history is known in nearly disjointed threads. Interlinked explorations are missing: Ghalib survived Delhi’s siege (1857), its bloody retaking by the British, and a trial after that, but he hardly wrote anything on it, except a few lines on Delhi’s desolation. Did fear of the British stop poets and chroniclers from writing about it at that time, or was a good part of the population indifferent or unaffected by what is called the first battle of independence in 1857?
The crux of history has always been maintained through dialogue and discussions for centuries. Baithaks have been an everyday phenomenon in Indian culture. However, against the backdrop of the evolving socio-economic-cultural world order, it is time for us to narrate Indian history in an accessible manner. The History Literature Festival is an ambitious leap in that direction.
History Literature Festival (HLF) is a platform for diverse fields and voices to converge to tell civilizational stories that build our view of our journey to the present and possibilities of the future. The inaugural edition of the festival themed “Narrating the India Story” will be held from March 18 to 19, 2023, in World Heritage City, Ahmedabad.
HLF will host luminaries from different walks of life. Our eminent speakers will convene insightful sessions on various topics ranging from food & cinema to much more complex matters of socio-political history for different eras. The two-day Festival will celebrate the rich Indian History through unique installations, art galleries, intimate Baithaks, quizzes, and concerts.
Co-founder & Festival Director;Former Journalist - Times of India
Prof. Rakesh Basant
Co-founder; Retd. Professor & Dean