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The Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu (Hind) or Urdu Ghar, in collaboration with the Ghalib Institute and the National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language, is holding a four-day Urdu Ghar Literary Festival, starting Friday.

The Delhi-based Anjuman Taraqqi Urdu (Hind) works for the promotion and dissemination of the Urdu language.

Zammarud Mughal, festival organizer, says the objective is to organize “a festival with emphasis on social, secular and cultural integration through the Urdu language that goes beyond linguistic boundaries". He is also associated with the Jashn-e-Rekhta, a festival that also celebrates Urdu.

There will be a series of discussions, publisher and calligraphy stalls, as well as cultural programmes.

The festival will have 15 sessions, including “Urdu Hai Jiska Naam" and “Hindustani Awami Qissey", where figures such as Sana Aziz, assistant professor in the department of history at Aligarh Muslim University, will talk about the facets of the language. Writer Anjum Hasan, of Lunatic In My Head fame, will participate in the session “Urdu Novel Ki Phailti Kaenaat".

Delhi-based writer and film director Anusha Rizvi (Peepli Live, 2010), Urvashi Butalia of Zubaan Books and Penguin Books’ Vaishali Mathur will be in conversation with other panellists on the last day, on topics like the origin of “daastan" (story), and “Kitaabein Bolti Hain".

There will also be cultural programmes like Sham-e-Ghazal, with singer Radhika Chopra, and a mushaira in which poets like Gulzar Dehlavi, Azhar Inayati and Shariq Kaifi will participate.

Ather Farouqui, general secretary, Urdu Ghar, says, “We have also put together an Urdu Bazaar where publishers like Rajkamal Publications, Zubaan Books, will showcase and sell books in Hindi, English and Urdu. Urdu calligraphy stalls will be set up and independent visual artist Shiraz Husain, of the art initiative Khwaab Tanha Collective (KTC), will display his work."

“Even though people don’t know how to read or write in Urdu, they find it fantastic to see their names written in Urdu calligraphy, which they can get done for as little as Rs100," says Mughal.

Shiraz Husain says, “Literature festivals used to be dry earlier, with only paper presentations, talks, etc. Now they are organized in a way that the uninitiated can also connect and enjoy. Students turn out in large groups not just to collect information but also for entertainment, from events like mushairas (poetry symposiums) and ghazal performances."

The festival will culminate with a discussion on “Dilli Jo Ek Shahr Tha" by author and historian Rana Safvi, and historian Sohail Hashmi. Adding texture to the evening will be a qawwali session by the Sabri Brothers from Pakistan.

The Urdu Ghar Literary Festival will be held from 15-18 March, 10am-7pm (inauguration at 5pm on 15 March), at Ghalib Institute, Mata Sundri Road. For details, call 8826537919. Seating on first-come, first-served basis.

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