Farewell, Shashi Baliga
It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing away of our beloved friend and Executive Director Shashi Baliga, on 2nd May 2021. She fought the ruthless scourge of Covid complications to the end.
She was the powerhouse within our team, from the very first edition of the Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai Litfest. In addition to her invaluable contribution towards curating content, Shashi was the coordinator of the prestigious annual Tata Literature Live! Literary Awards. Her literary judgement and knowledge were crucial to the success of the Festival. She dealt with authors, juries, invitees, partners and the Litfest team with grace, humour and calm.
Shashi stood steadfast for her values of justice, equality, tolerance and free speech. On these matters she was staunch and fought for what she knew to be right.
She was an ace firefighter, unflappable and imperturbable. Various complex issues that inevitably crop up during festivals of such magnitude, would be resolved with her warm and disarming smile, drawing on her years of experience as a journalist, editor, and convenor of several Filmfare award events; the strong reciprocal affection and respect that she forged with all whom she worked with, and her amazing interpersonal skills. We deeply mourn Shashi and will miss her forever.
Shashi’s untimely demise comes barely a month after we lost our Festival Director Anil Dharker. We, the purveyors of words, are today at a loss for words to describe our collective pain and grief.
The Literature Live! Committee
“We are deeply saddened to hear about the untimely passing away of Shashi Baliga. She touched the lives of a vast number of people during her versatile career as a well-known journalist, a lecturer and Executive Festival Director of Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest, of which she was an integral part since its inception.
On behalf of Tata Group and all our colleagues, we convey our sincere condolences to her family, and pay our heartfelt tributes to her, on this sad occasion. We will always remember her for her talents as a writer and her sharp insights into the world of art and literature. She also leaves behind her a huge gap amongst the journalism student fraternity where she played an active role. We will miss her dearly.”
– Mr. Harish Bhat, Brand Custodian, Tata Sons
Farewell, Anil Dharker
It is with profound grief that Literature Live! conveys the sudden passing away of our Founder, Anil Dharker, this morning, Friday, 26 March 2021. He was also the Founder-Director of Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai Litfest which acquired international acclaim under his visionary leadership, a role which combined rare inspiration and tremendous hard work in equal measure.
Born on 15 August 1946, Anil Dharker was the quintessential Renaissance Man, myriad-minded and deeply knowledgeable across genres; an engineer by training who shone in the Arts. He married his scientific temper to a keen love for literature, cinema, music and art, straddling both Indian and Western traditions. To this he added a lifelong love of sports: he excelled at tennis and table-tennis, and was a passionate cricket aficionado. He wrote on all these subjects as well as politics and current affairs, with insight, conviction and his trademark humour. As an editor, cultural leader, festival director and committed human rights activist, he applied both rigorous examination and humanity to all he undertook.
His work ethic was impeccable, his energy unbounded, and his support for his team steadfast and gracious at all times. He always drove himself and us to fly higher and stronger. Tata Literature Live! is testament to that spirit.
It has been an honour, pleasure and privilege to be associated with Anil Dharker as a leader and a friend. We will miss him more than we can ever say.
-The Literature Live! Committee
“We are deeply saddened to hear about the sudden passing away of Anil Dharker. Over his illustrious multi-decade career, Anil has donned many caps; from being a journalist, columnist, film critic, writer and above all, he was a wonderful human being. It was his passion and dedication towards Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest that nurtured this event, and took it to a global level. ” -– Mr. Harish Bhat, Brand Custodian, Tata Sons
Anil would never have wanted a sombre condolence meeting, he would prefer a gathering of friends, and so on Saturday, 17th April, 2021 at 6pm, an online event was held entitled Celebrating Anil.
It was an evening of tributes by some of the people whom he loved and admired, and a few readings of his works. The speakers included Gerson da Cunha, Jai Hiremath, Teesta Setalvad, Shobhaa De, Khushroo Suntook, & Shashi Tharoor. There was a special note and poem written by Harish Bhat, and readings of excerpts of Anil Dharker’s works by Nandita Das, Dolly Thakore and Naseeruddin Shah.
The whole evening was hosted by Hrishi K.