Farewell, Mr. 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.  


On behalf of Tata Group and all our colleagues, we pay our heartfelt tributes to him, on this sad occasion. We will always remember him for his positive outlook towards life and for his boundless energy, enthusiasm and great love for books, art and culture. Words fail me to express our great sense of loss. We will miss him dearly.” 


 – Mr. Harish Bhat, Brand Custodian, Tata Sons