Writers Festival | pbdsingapore2018
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India, with 22 officially recognized languages and a history of over 3,000 years in written literature, possesses accordingtoDr Sheldon Pollock, a Sanskrit scholar and editor of the Murty Classical Library of India (MCLI), “the single most complex and continuous multilingual tradition of literature in the world.”

Through the millennia, India has been a source of inspiration for culture, art, architecture& literature in countries belonging to the present day ASEAN. Thanks to contact with Indian civilisation, Southeast Asia also created many literary works based on the Ramayana but with something distinctively their own.

Sanskrit scripts are the first form of writing known to have reached Southeast Asia. Similar alphabets were adopted for local languages as well. The alphabets used today for Burmese, Thai, Laos and Cambodia derive originally from Indian prototype. A large number of ancient inscriptions which have been discovered are in Sanskrit in these regions.

It is only culture that can nurture and build a sense of being part of something bigger. Literature and books in general are cultural products that have been known to have a significant influence on people ultimately creating asense of belonging and an ASEAN identity.

PBD 2018 celebrates the literary ties between India and the ASEAN. It showcases the literary talent of ASEAN - writers and poets who have contributed to building a common literary heritage across the nations.

Come and interact with some of the most celebrated talents of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and India at this specially curatedWriters festival.

Day 1


Writers Festival

Hall - Orchid Junior

2:15pm - 2:25pm

Welcome by Programme Director, Zafar Anjum, Kitaab

2:25pm - 2:50pm

Opening keynote: A sense of India in ASEAN by Edwin Thumboo

3:00pm - 3:40pm

India in the imagination of ASEAN (panel discussion)

Moderator: Dr. Nilanjana Sengupta

Suchen Christine Lim

Isa Kamari 

3:40pm - 4:00pm


4:00pm - 4:25pm

The Indian Renaissance and the rise of Asia: P N Balji in conversation with P K Basu

4:30pm - 4:55pm

Our Stories, Their stories – Panel discussion and the launch of The Best Asian Short

Stories (book launch and panel discussion)

Moderator: Dr. Pallavi Narayan

Farouk Gulsara ( Malaysia)

Yu-Mei Balasingham Chow (SIN)

Clara Chow ( SIN)

5:00pm - 5:45pm

Taking the leap of imagination: Writing across cultures

 (Book launch: The Sacred Sorrow of Sparrows by Siddharth Dasgupta)

Moderator: Ms. Ananya Mukherjee

Siddharth Dasgupta,

Madhav Mathur

Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh

Sunita Lad Bhamray



Writers Festival

Hall - Orchid Junior

2:00pm - 2:35pm

Legends of the East: Untangling the sea of stories in ASEAN (Ramayan and Mahabharta through the Ages)

Moderator: Dr. Pallavi Narayan

Krishna Udayasankar


Trisha Das 

2:35pm - 3:00pm

Writing for children in ASEAN: Applying the Indian touch in a multi-cultural set up

Moderator: Mitali Chakravarty

SheelaWarrier (India/SG- author of Lockie& Lakshmi)

Srinanda Gupta & Rishav Gupta (authors of Dreamagination) Anita Thomas

3:10pm - 3:40pm 

Imagining ASEAN through poetry (panel discussion)

Moderator: Desmond Kon

Dr. Chris Mooney-Singh

Marc Nair

3:40pm - 4:00pm

Performance reading by Dato’ Dr. M SHANmugalingam

4:00pm - 4:15pm


4:15pm - 4:45pm

India Here, India There: Indian-Singaporean Writers on the Indian Diaspora

Moderator: Dr. Darryl Whetter

Saleem Hadi

Jayshree Panicker

Samuel Chacko

4:45pm - 5:15pm

Local, Global: Exploring literature in the languages of ASEAN 

(launch of Tawassul, first Singaporean novel to be translated into Urdu) Moderator: Mitali Chakravarty

Jayanthi Sankar

Isa Kamari (Malay/SG)

5:00pm - 5:10pm

Vote of Thanks / Meeting the writers 

Headquartered in Singapore, Kitaab International Pte Ltd provides a rich publishing platform to emerging and seasoned writers, and offers a slew of services, ranging from copyediting to publishing, designing and printing, and media and consultancy services.