Jaipur: The offline Jaipur Literature Festival began in the Pink City on the morning of March 10. Scheduled until March 14, the Jaipur LitFest is bringing an impressive line-up of sessions on climate change and environment, language, culture, cinema, gender, sexuality and more.
With the popular event going partly offline after two Covid years, the famous tourist destination is seeing an influx of enthusiasts from different parts of the country.
The fest has so far featured speakers such as last year’s Nobel Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah and Nobel laureate economist Abhijeet Banerjee. From a friendly Mughal v/s British banter to a serious Western historians v/s regional and indigenous historians discussion, the event has seen many interesting sessions in the first couple of days.
On Saturday, the much-anticipated hybrid format of Jaipur Literature Festival conducted sessions such as the ‘Poetry Hour: Streaming the Multiverse’, and ‘Pure Evil: The Bad Men of Bollywood’, which had Manoj Bajpayee and Balaji Vittal talking about Bollywood villains.
ABP Live spoke to historians such as Rana Safvi and Rakhshanda Jalil, the two powerhouses acting as a bridge between medieval and contemporary India. While Rana Safvi said it hurts her when people vandalise historical paintings and monuments, Rakhshanda Jalil told ABP Live that she is not very happy about the “degradation of intellectual debates and discourses”.
Talmiz Ahmad, India’s former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, UAE and Oman, said how India has maintained a very safe space for itself in the Ukraine-Russia conflict. He said, “We did our course correction last year with the talks with China and now with Russia. And we might seem very close to the Americans, and that’s what they might want to believe but India has been a very, very old friend to Russia and it will, in no way, jeopardise that relationship.”
The festival venue also has stalls by organisations supporting sustainable or upcycled shopping — from organic cotton-made clothes to notebooks and stationary made by cotton and upcycled paper by women artisans.
JLF looks good to the sore eyes — colourful cloth strips hanging over your head, people in traditional Jaipuriya attire, students lurking around with their friends, waiting to get a signed copy by one of their favourite authors.