The Madhubani Literature Festival (MLF) is a flagship program organized by the Center for Studies of Tradition and Systems (CSTS), Delhi. It has successfully organized three successive editions of literature festivals in the lands of Mithila (North Bihar) in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Continuing its previous efforts, the CSTS will inaugurate the fourth edition of the Madhubani Literature Festival (MLF ) with revised concepts of past events and additional new concerns with a global vision. This year, it is expected to take place in Darbhanga, a deep historical and cultural seat for transmitting the core values of the body politic known as Mithila, from December 12 to 15 on the campus of Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University (KSDSU) .
The Madhubani Literature Festival strives to aim for the inclusion of several areas representing the socio-economic orientation, culture and tradition of Mithila. In other words, this festival is a “party of the locals” in every way. By keeping the past efforts in the continuum, this year MLF will deploy the rural sensibility that is hidden under the sheets of the socio-economic orientation of the urban space. In addition, MLF-21 will provide a platform to raise a discourse on the multiple dimensions of traditions of knowledge, archiving of manuscripts, publication of scholarly works, rural improvement, promotion of language and culture. Maithili literature, women’s empowerment, heritage conservation, promotion of arts and crafts,
Indo-Nepalese cultural link and environmental concerns.
Each year, MLF provides space for events that represent Mithila’s cultural, spiritual and philosophical tradition. The special attention of MLF-21 will be on the celebration of “Sita”, the daughter of Mithila, in various forms through different artistic mediums. An international exhibition – “Vaidehi” – will present paintings of around one hundred and fifty avatars of Sita.
Internationally renowned Bharatnatyam performer Veena C Seshadri will perform on “Jaya Jannki”, and famous actress, Kanupriya Pandit will star in the play titled “Jayein Se Pahine: Siya Piya Katha”, written by Padma Shree Usha Kiran Khan and put staged by fame actor and director Padma Shree Ram Gopal Bajaj.
Another major event is the exhibition of the couturier’s work – “Ekvastra”, which is based on the collective contribution of local weavers and women in the local weaving industry. MLF-21 will be a huge opportunity for the younger generation, as it will provide a space for “Yuva sahitya” as well as young entrepreneurs to demonstrate their ideas on start-ups. In addition, the fourth edition also includes intriguing events such as a filmmaking workshop, an “Aripan” drawing competition for children and women, a photography workshop, a painting workshop, a language workshop, a local / female theater, Stree Dalan, Rasanchowki, academic sessions on Literature, Language, Education, Industries, Philosophy and Environment, workshop and sessions on Gandhi in Maithili literature, the Heritage Bagghi Ride which would cover the heritage as well as the cultural landscape from Darbhanga, Hindustani classical music -Dhrupad performance by Amtaa Gharana from Darbhanga, Folk music, Nepalese cultural performances, Bal Rang Manch Shiwir (theater workshop for children) etc. So the MLF 21 has a lot to offer.
To celebrate Amresh Pathak’s valuable contribution to promoting Mithila language and culture, CSTS created Amresh Pathak Smriti Samman in 2020.
This prize includes a cash prize of Rs 25,000 with a certificate of appreciation. The first Amresh Pathak Smriti Samman 2020 has been awarded to Shree Ramji Podar for his exceptional seven decades of social service. This year again, MLF-21 will give this award.
In 2018, the festival began its journey with the support of Sahitya Akademi, Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts (IGNCA) and Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti (GSDS), New Delhi. Along the continuum, many other prominent institutions have joined CSTS in this endeavor. This year, India Foundation, Madhubani Art Center, Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University (KSDSU), National Book Trust (NBT), Center for Cultural Excellence: Sanskruti, London, Ministry of Culture (GoI), Lalit Narayan Mithila University, Central Institute of Indian Language (CIIL), Maithili Academy, Bihar, Delhi College of Arts and Commerce (DCAC, University of Delhi), Maithili and Bhojpuri Academy (Government of Delhi), Radio Madhubani and Pratham Story Weaver (Pratham Books) collaborate with institutions of MLF21.
Many prominent figures from distinct fields such as literature, the arts, politics, spirituality, academics and film will attend and lead the events of the MLF-21. Shri Ram Madhav, Indian politician, writer and thinker will be the special guest of honor. Sahitya Akademi award recipients Anamika and Chitra Mudgal, Yatindra Mishra- a prominent poet and founder of the Vimla Devi Foundation, Kanupriya Pandit, a well-known actress, Padam Shree Ram Gopal Bajaj, Veena C Seshadri, Satya Vyas, honorable governor of Kerala – Arif Mohammad Khan, delegates and academics from Nepal and Sri Lanka are expected to honor the occasion.