The third Mathrubhumi International Awards Festival was launched. The four-day 'Akshara Mahotsavam' began with a concert of Punjabi folk singers at eight o'clock in Kanakkunnu in Thiruvananthapuram. The banquet was hosted by Imran, Gurvinder Singh, Gaurav Seth, Jassi, Imran, Hardeep Singh, Jatinder Singh and Leader Prince. Then Kalamandalam Babu Namboodiri and Kalamandalam Krishna Kumar introduced the Kathakali words.
The venues woke up around 10 p.m. Various sessions began with Shashi Tharoor's lecture on 'Who is an Indian'. Alexander McCall Smith, Margaret Busby, Sheehan Karunatilleke, Sagarika Ghosh, M.S. N. KARASSERY, K. Sachidanandan, K.G. S, Kancha Ilaiah, Hameed Chendangalur, Philippe Martins, Gavin Evans and Tony Peake will be debating on various issues.
The official opening ceremony was at 6 pm. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the literary festival. Mathrubhumi Managing Editor PV Pillai addresses the inaugural function at Nishagandhi. Chandran will preside over the function. Susheela Nasta is the chief guest.