Aamir Khan to pay tribute to Maulana Azad

Aamir khanAamir Khan would pay tribute to his great grand uncle and freedom fighter Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. (IE Photo)

Superstar Aamir Khan would pay tribute to his great grand uncle and freedom fighter Maulana Abul Kalam Azad here next month at the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival (AKLF), commemorating his 125th birth anniversary.

Khan, who plays the bad guy in the much-awaited film 'Dhoom 3' releasing this Friday, would deliver a lecture titled: 'Maulana Azad: His belief in secularism and his foresight', AKLF officials said today.

At the festival's inauguration, to be held on January 8 at the Victoria Memorial, the actor would highlight the ideals and values of the national leader and scholar.

In attendance as chief guest would be West Bengal Governor M K Narayanan.

Khan's grandmother was the niece of Azad, India's first education minister. Inspired by his ideals, the actor has named his two-year-old son Azad.

The six-day AKLF would focus on values and literary concerns dear to Azad's heart.

"This year we aim to make AKLF a significant platform to revive the importance of education which is crucial for the growth of new literature and creating a future generation of authors, with the birth centenary as the core theme," AKLF director Maina Bhagat said.

About 60 authors from India and Europe would attend the festival to participate in discussions on subjects like new-age writing across genres, women's empowerment and literary identity.

Among them would be sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, British author and playwright Farrukh Dhondy, former BBC journalist and author Mark Tully, writers Vikram Sampath, Amit Chauduri, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, Mani Shankar Mukherjee, Nabaneeta Dev Sen and Bina Ramani.

There would also be a special session with a block of Commonwealth writers.

The festival would blend literature, culture, art and heritage. It will be held at the Victoria Memorial, Town Hall, St John's Anglican Church and Tollygunge Club.

Convener of Indian National Trust For Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH)'s Kolkata chapter, G M Kapur, said since the events would be held in heritage buildings it would help to showcase the rich heritage and increase awareness about their importance and the need for conservation.

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