After inaugurating the three-day Mathrubhumi International Festival of Letters here, organised by the leading media house Mathrubhumi, the Marxist leader said: "Fascism is tightening in several areas like never before in our country.
"The need of the hour is to see that the freedom to write and express is strengthened. What we have seen of late in our country is that independent writers and journalists are being attacked and killed.
"Slowly darkness has started to fall on our cultural fabric. That has to be prevented. It's festivals like these which should take up these issues for discussion," he said.
"It has now come to a stage where even one's freedom to eat has come under threat. Festivals like these are not just to discuss these evils but it should be used to fight these evils," he said.
"After two editions, the curse of commerce caught up with the festival as it was found that Thiruvananthapuram was an expensive destination. Now that you have gone forward by holding this, I wish it becomes a regular feature. It's festivals like this we can showcase our state and also bring people from outside for a literary interaction," said Tharoor.
More than 100 literary figures from 10 countries are taking part in the festival.
Earlier, Scottish historian and writer William Dalrymple led an enlightening session. Among others taking part include Ukrainian novelists Oksana Zabuzho and Andrei Kurkov, Ayesha Harruna Attah from Ghana and Malaysian novelist, poet and educator Bernice Chauly.
The three-day event is being held at five places. The various sessions include trends, ideas and genres ranging from fiction, poetry, non-fiction, politics, environment, travel and cinema.
The festival will include musical and visual performances, narrations, literary exercises, plays for children, augmented reality sessions and exploration of traditional Kerala cuisine along with interactive sessions for youth.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)