Madhubani Literature Festival (MLF) is an effort to explore the poorvavriti of the community by engaging with it through its literary expressions. The idea is to widely open the thought process so that a dialogue could be initiated between modernity and tradition. Its specificity lies in the site of dialogue which is deliberately kept in a rural setting. The idea is to make the community a part of this churning and reclaim the creativity which used to be a marker of this linguistic community located in the region known as Mithila. The MLF is not limited to literature, instead, it aims at creating a platform for dialogue on science, technology, philosophy, lifeworld, and almost everything that concerns human beings. The idea is to bring people from different walks of life to engage with the available intellectual resources and trigger off a fresh reflexive articulation. We assert that language is a tool of expression and every individual should have the freedom to use the language of his/her choice. The knowledge of language should be treated as an enabling and not a disabling factor. MLF has been producing multilingual texts for the last few years. Ahibat and Madba are the significant fest books of MLF. This would open up the possibility of participation of common people having mastery over traditional knowledge systems but not having command over the formal academic language. This multilingual engagement is also a path to the process of knowledge generation, a part of our everyday life. In this sense, it is not merely mapping the knowledge system but a creative intervention to reclaim the production of knowledge as a social process. One of the unique things about the MLF is that unlike other literature festivals which are usually organized in the city, MLF is primarily organized in the villages. The purpose of organizing the festival in villages is to enable more local people to participate, and to create awareness among the masses about their rich cultural past and heritage. And finally, the most important thing about the MLF is that the organizers of the fest have pledged that no amount of damage be caused to the environment at any stage of the event. No ecologically harmful materials are used in erection of the stage or decoration of the festival site. The stage or Machaanhas been made of bamboo and plastered with mud.
CSTS aims to create a platform for dialogue on social science, science, technology, philosophy, economy, lifeworld, and almost everything that concerns human beings. The idea is to look into the multiple dimensions of knowledge traditions, archiving the manuscripts, publishing the scholarly works, conducting seminars/workshops and action research on contemporary issues, rural uplifting, mother tongue promotion with special focus on Maithili language and literature, women’s empowerment, heritage conservation, promotion of local art and craft, Indo-Nepal relationship, promoting the discourse between modern and traditional, organizing philosophical debates as soft power knowledge, reading culture, agricultural experiments, water conservation etc.
After the successful completion of three editions of Madhubani Literature Festival since 2018, a flagship program of Centre for Studies of Tradition and Systems. Madhubani Literature Festival (12-15 Dec, 2021) will be held at Darbhanga in Bihar, a profound historical and cultural seat to convey the core value of the body politic known as Mithila. The fundamental idea of the festival is to entwine the cultural, architectural, philosophical and literary aspects along with the idea to ‘celebrate the local.’ So far, the heritage, philosophy, art and literature have been mapped in distinct categories to understand the literature which makes it partial and fragmented. In that case, it’s important to see the above stated categories as a whole. To explore literature holistically, political, social, economic and cultural exploration of the milieu becomes a prerequisite. While previous three MLF editions have been an endeavor to map knowledge traditions through deliberations by profound scholars from various central universities and abroad, StreeDalaan*, a celebration of beautiful, organic art and craft from the region of Mithila, invigorates ancient in-house musical traditions like classic Dhrupad, Rasanchowki, the assimilation of Nepal as an integral cultural partner, congregation of litterateurs from various corners of India and abroad, tantra sessions, street theatre and local folk traditions from everyday Maithil world such as art, cuisine and cultural practices. In the interim, the idea was to dive into the unmapped ruined riches of Mithila, to refresh the memories and relevance of prolific institutions such as SaurathSabha, Panji system, tantra, philosophy, literature, heritage, classical and folk forms, Ugratara Shakti peeth, Kosi cultural realm, Nepal-India common cultural bonds, street theatre, Maithil films, new forms of music such as rap and classical form of dances etc. We have been able to cover and connect with the above mentioned categories and more, this edition of MLF will explore an international exhibition on Mithila painting called VAIDEHI”, a weaver centric textile fashion show known as “Ekvastra”, a workshop by prominent filmmakers on literature adapted into films, Bharatnatyam dance presentation named ‘JAYAJANAKI’, international tie-ups and exploring fresh literary and linguistic arena apart from awards which are regular with MLF editions.