Seemanchal International Literary Festival (SILF) is the inaugural international literary event organised by Kitaab International, Singapore, in collaboration with Insan School, Kishanganj, Bihar.
The birthplace of famous Hindi writer Phaneshwar Nath Renu, Seemanchal has remained a much neglected region of northeastern Bihar. Representing the multicultural ethos of India, the 10 million people who live in this part of the country profess many faiths and speak many languages and dialects.
This annual literary festival celebates the spirit of humanity through literature and is dedicated to the gentle people of Seemanchal.
More than 20 writers from India and abroad will participate in this festival.
Why this festival?
Most literary festivals take place in metro cities. Through this festival, we are attempting to bring literature to the grassroots. A large part of India still lives in the villages and small towns and with an effort like SILF, we are hoping to shape the hearts and minds of people in small town India.
The region of Seemanchal, which is one of the most backward areas of the country in terms of education and economic growth, is mostly in news for the wrong reasons: floods, natural disasters, crime and a host of other bad news. But all that is going to change with the launch of the Seemanchal International Literary Festival (SILF).
This region is strategically located at the intersection of Bihar and Bengal, and is surrounded by the borders of Bangladesh and Nepal. This is the region that connects Northeast India to the rest of the country.
This is a free to public event, held in the honour of the ten million people in the region and its surrounding areas such as Darjeeling and Dinajpur.
This is probably the only truly ‘international’ literary festival in the northeast of India. Only Patna in Bihar and Kolkata in West Bengal have literary festivals of this stature.
About the Founder-Director of SILF
SILF is the brainchild of Singapore-based journalist, writer, publisher and filmmaker, Zafar Anjum, who hails from Kishanganj. Born in a small village on the fringes of Kishanganj town, Zafar studied at Insan School. After studying at AMU, Aligarh, JNU and IIMC, New Delhi, he moved to Singapore which has now become his second home.
Zafar writes in multiple genres and is the author of 7 books, including many bestsellers such as The Resurgence of Satyam, Startup Capitals: Discovering Global Hotspots of Innovation and Iqbal: The Life of a Poet, Philosopher and Politician—all three published by Random House India. His collections of short stories include The Singapore Decalogue, and Kafka in Ayodhya, which were published in Singapore.
Zafar is a well-known name in Indian and Southeast Asian literary circles. He sits on the advisory board of Kumaon Literary Festival and has been invited to speak at Singapore Literary Festival and Hyderabad Literary Festival. Zafar is the founder of a media and publishing company, Kitaab International Pte Ltd, Singapore, which is supporting SILF.