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Guest of Honour for ADIBF 2019

India is the Guest of Honour for the 29th edition of ADIBF. India’s participation at the Fair is expected to attract significant visitor numbers, with various events and activities held throughout the entire duration of ADIBF. These activities will embrace the fields of literature, culture, art, music, cinema and dance. India’s participation will also provide a chance for investors to explore and capitalise on the opportunities offered by the Indian groups and publishers that are present in the GCC. The Indian Pavilion will also host Indian writers, authors and literary scholars who will serve as ambassadors for the literature and art of their country.
ADIBF 2019 is expected to be a vibrant cultural event and an art and folklore festival with India’s presence showcasing its languages, creative products and publishing industry.

Indian Special Events at ADIBF 2019


Inked in Blood and Spirit of Freedom - Khooni Vaisakhi

Author: Navdeep Suri

Moderator: Bikram Vohra  

Date: Thursday 25 April

Time: 3pm

Venue: Main Stage



This session will be a discussion between HE Navdeep Suri and eminent UAE-based journalist Bikram Vohra on Mr. Suri’s latest book Inked in Blood and Spirit of Freedom. The book is based on the poem Khooni Vaisakhi, written in the Punjabi language by author’s grandfather, Mr. Nanak Singh. Singh was an eminent writer considered to be the father of Punjabi literature. The poem, translated into English for the first time by Suri, is probably the only survivor’s account of the worst atrocity under British Raj – the Jallianwala Bagh massacre, which took place in Amritsar in April 1919. Suri will discuss how this event changed the course of India’s struggle for freedom, providing context for the incident and detailing how people of various faiths came together to stand up to colonisation and oppression in one of India’s darkest moments


HE Navdeep Suri Biography

Navdeep Suri is a career diplomat and is currently posted as India’s Ambassador to the UAE. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1983 and has served in India’s diplomatic missions in Cairo, Damascus, Washington, Dar es Salaam and London and as India’s Consul General in Johannesburg. He was India’s Ambassador to Egypt and High Commissioner to Australia prior to his present assignment.  

Suri has also headed the West Africa and Public Diplomacy divisions at the Ministry of External Affairs, India. His innovative use of social media in public diplomacy has received extensive recognition and two prestigious awards.

Suri has learnt Arabic and French, has a Master’s degree in Economics and has written on India’s Africa policy, on Public Diplomacy and on the IT outsourcing industry. His English translations of his grandfather Nanak Singh’s classic Punjabi novels have been published by Penguin as The Watchmaker and by Harper Collins as A Life Incomplete.


 My Little India

Author: Manoj Das

Moderator: S. Gopalakrishnan

Date: Sunday 28 April

Time: 3pm

Venue: Main Stage

Manoj Das is one of the most respected names in contemporary Indian literature, having written short stories and novels for both children and adults in English as well as in Odia, his mother tongue. His writings on Indian philosophy, mysticism and spiritualism have been published widely in India and abroad during the last six decades of his writing career. The session will be a discussion between the author and Mr. S Gopalakrishnan, the UAE-based Malayalam writer and journalist, on Indian values in the changing milieu.


Manoj Das - Bio
Manoj Das was born in the remote coastal village of Odisha, India. Writing came naturally to him and his first book in the Odia language was published when he was 14. At 15 he launched Diganta, a publication which, over time, grew into a significant literary journal. 
His research in archives in London and Edinburgh in 1971 brought to light some significant new information on India’s freedom movement, led by Sri Aurobindo in the first decade of the 20th century. 
Das has received numerous accolades


Exploring the Life of the Mahatma

Speaker: Birad Rajaram Yajnik

Date: Wednesday 24 April

Time: 2pm

Venue: Main Stage

Author Birad Yajnik will discuss the ideals of Peace, Truth and Ahimsa (Non-Violence) espoused by Mahatma Gandhi, which are examined in his book Exploring the Life of the Mahatma. The session will explore Mahatma Gandhi and his values using milestones from his life as catalysts. Weaving a journey through the life and messages of the Mahatma, the talk will cover the major incidents which influenced his philosophy, his political awakening and his concept of Ahimsa, aiming to inspire and empower the audience to influence their future.


Birad Rajaram Yajnik is an author of fine print books on India and subjects of Indian origin. In 2010, a special edition of his book MKG: Imaging Peace, Truth and Ahimsa was released at the United Nations by the President of India to mark the International Day of Non-Violence. His title The Great Indian Yoga Masters has been translated into nine international languages and distributed across the world.

Yajnik is Curator of the Mahatma Gandhi Digital Museums at Hyderabad, Delhi, Johannesburg, and Pietermaritzburg. He is also a trustee of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, India’s foremost art institution. He is a member of the Prime Ministers of India Museum.

Yajnik also heads the digital interactive company Visual Quest India Pvt. Ltd., a boutique design and technology company based in India which provides services for Fortune 500 companies around the world.


Judith Dupré is an innovative visual storyteller whose gorgeously designed and illustrated books connect readers to ideas, structures and places, creating new understanding and joy. A New York Times-bestselling author, published in 14 languages, her architecture books engage and delight people who want to know more about the built environment. She lectures internationally and is a frequent TV/radio guest and expert commentator. Dupré is a 2015 National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar, one of 36 Americans so honoured.



Harpreet is a versatile artist, who sings original musical compositions in Hindi, as well as in regional Indian languages and dialects such as Punjabi, Bengali, Assamese, Rajasthani and Haryanvi. He is known for his rich sonorous voice and a vivid, light classical style of singing. His creative talent fuses both the modern and traditional when he composes tunes to his own lyrics and to the poetry that he loves. With a powerful stage presence, he is best known for creating musical scores for the works of humanist poets like Kabir and Bulleh Shah. Credited for taking celebrated poets to the masses, Harpreet has also composed popular tunes to words of poets such as Pash (Avtar Singh Sandhu), Faiz Ahmad Faiz and Nirala (Suryakant Tripathi). His rhythmic blend of soulful poetry to the pulsating sounds of guitar and percussion are at once unique and innovative, familiar and foreign. On his musical journey with poetry, he has delivered a TEDx talk in Jaipur in 2016. He has also composed lyrics for films.


The Kutle Khan Project is a unique collective of Rajasthani folk musicians highlighting Kutle Khan, a multi-talented folk musician who has performed on various stages across the world. His music is as seductive as it is rhythmically complex. He embodies the rich melodic and sophisticated rhythmic traditions of Rajasthani folk music and his performances are informed by his understanding of contemporary Indian and Western musical traditions.


Jasbir Jassi is a popular Punjabi folk singer who grew up in a small town in Punjab, a North Indian state with a distinctly vibrant culture. His music is rooted in the rich Punjabi culture that he calls his own; a culture which celebrates vivacity and unbridled expression. Traditional Punjabi folk music is centred on instruments like the ektara and the dhol, which though rustic, have an uncanny effect of getting people out of their seats and dancing. Jassi shot to fame with the hit song, ‘Dil laigi kudi Gujarat di’ and consequently went on to record songs for popular films and release several solo albums. He has collaborated with famed music producers Ehsaan and Loy, and performed at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012. He is one of the best-known Punjabi singers in the world and has created some of the most recognisable songs of the genre. He is, undoubtedly, a Punjabi folk institution.

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