More than 200 poets have gathered in Bangladesh's capital Dhaka for a two-day national poetry festival. Reports from Dhaka say since the event follows a series of opposition-led strikes in the past three weeks, the festival at Dhaka University drew fewer people than expected. The theme of the 19th poetry festival is "poetry, the weapon for resistance." One of Bangladesh's top poets, Shamsur Rahman told the gathering that "the longer authors remain united, the longer the freedom of thought will survive." Other poets observed that while these days romantic poems are more popular in Bangladesh, poetry up to the middle of the last century had a rebellious theme to inspire people on the Indian subcontinent to rise against the British colonists.