With writers and litterateurs expressing their concern about the growing use of technology taking youth away from the habit of reading books, the 88th Marathi Literary Fest concluded in Punjab's historic village of Ghuman in Gurdaspur district Sunday.Hundreds of writers and other literary figures from Maharashtra, Punjab and other parts of the country converged here for the three-day festival held to commemorate the legacy of Bhagat Namdev, a legendary 14th-century literary figure from Maharashtra who lived in the village for nearly two decades. He was associated with the Bhakti Movement of that time.
Noted writer Keshar Deshmukh, while addressing the festival on the concluding day, expressed concern at the decreasing trend among youth to read books."In the times of modern competition, the youngsters are no longer deeply interested in reading. Rather, computers, mobile phones and Whatsapp have replaced books. Youngsters should use modern technology as well as continue reading the best of literature available," he advocated.Different speakers at the event deliberated the pros and cons of using modern technology. They said that nothing can replace books and literature in gaining knowledge, while over-use of gadgets would ultimately lead to the books getting lost in oblivion.
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that the literary festival showed the age old ties of people of different regions."Marathi language is celebrating itself in Punjab's village Ghuman. This shows the warmth of relations between Marathi and Punjabi (languages)," he said.As many as 61 shabads (hymns) of Bhagat Namdev are part of the Sikh holy book, Guru Granth Sahib.