In conversation with Chandra Pratap Singh, the activist who preserving Indian literature’s heritage for future generations
He is the founder and organizer of the Bundelkhand Literature Festival. Chandra Pratap Singh alias Pratap Raj is not a new name in Bundelkhand’s social circles. The researcher and activist is the face of the famous Bundelkhand Literature Festival, which has completed its second consecutive year. The festival is creating lots of buzz for strongly endorsing the importance of preserving Indian heritage and literature for future generations. We spoke to Chandra Pratap Singh aka Pratap Raj about various aspects of the festival and its rationality at present.
Q. Why did you feel the need to start something like the Bundelkhand Literature Festival?
Ans: Well, there are two very basic reasons behind coming up with the concept of this festival. First is my respect and love for the literary heritage we have. I have been doing research in this field for quite some time now. We have such a rich foundation of Indian literature. Our authors and poets have written exemplary content at a time when most civilizations were yet to find the real meaning of literature. Bundelkhand has given some of the timeless legends in the field of literature. I want that not only present but future generations should also get the chance to enhance their knowledge and wisdom with their work.
Q. How difficult was it to organize the festival for the first time? And how was the response?
Ans: I think if one wants to create a large impact the efforts have to match that level. But at the end of the day what matters is that the efforts are fruitful. I wanted that the future generation must know and admire our rich past. We are the link between the past and the future. We can be the source that preserved the valuable past for the future. We were able to garner lots of interest in the present generation. Literature lovers of all ages attended the festival.
Q. Tell us more about the Bundelkhand Literature Festival?
Ans: It’s a three-day event that not only throws light on the work of many renowned authors and poets but also provides a common platform where established and budding litterateurs can collectively discuss social, fundamental, and research-specific subjects. Its first edition was organized in the year 2021 and soon we are going to have the second edition. The second edition of BLF , which was to be organized in 2021, could not be conducted due to the safety protocols from covid threat, so the committee is trying to organize its second edition possibly in 2022. Talking about the working modus of Bundelkhand Literature Festival, there is unity in diversity under one roof. Where not only Bundelkhand but the writers and art lovers of all India are welcomed with an open heart and discussions are held on the original and research perspectives of the entire nation such as literature world, art world, cinema from the grassroots civilizations from anywhere. are not untouched.It also hosts a farmers’-meet to focus on different agricultural issues that are faced by the farmers of this area and introduce them to new advancements in the agro-industry, technology and policies. This is an attempt to solve the modern agricultural problems faced by the farmers. The way literature, culture and art-lovers have preserved this valuable heritage by doing extensive research. Similarly, Bundelkhand Literature Festival has been formed to preserve and broaden the invaluable literature of Bundelkhand province and its wonderful arts and culture.
Q. Do you think such a concept would be a success with the modern tech-savvy generation who is hardly interested in literature?
Ans: This is a misconception that this generation would not like our rich heritage. We shouldn’t jump to the conclusions. I have seen a very young crowd who have attended and enjoyed the festival. Many renowned personalities also attended the festivals. The name that lighten up the festival with their presence include Metraiyee Pushpa, Padmashree Kailash Madbaiya, Richa Aniruddh, Anikta Jain, Naveen Chaudhary, Akbar & Aazam Quadri, Prahlad Agrawal, Indrajeet Singh, Indiara Dangi, Geet Chaturvedi, Vivek Mishra, Raja Mahendra Bhishma, Sushmita Mukherjee, Dr, Sharad Singh, Naveen kumar, and Deepak Dua.
Q. What are your expectations with this year’s edition?
Ans: I am looking forward to see some of visionary literature work with more young authors and poets. We are expecting the scale would be larger than the previous one.