The raging debate on Twitter a couple of days back- over the invitation of the RSS Speakers to the Jaipur Literature Festival 2017 left me perplexed! We, as a society have made sure ‘Hatred’ and ‘Arrogance’ supersedes our ‘Intelligence and Rationality’. This in turn has resulted in ‘Politics: based on religion, creed and caste’ gaining prominence, blending and spreading its tentacles slowly but willfully into every aspect of our lives. Sadly, it is damaging the social – secular fabric of a vibrant and diverse nation like India and wrecking the very hull of many friendships- all thanks to the social networking sites!
Quashing all this cacophony over the JLF2017 speakers, why not reflect and celebrate on the very purpose of a Literary Extravaganza of this scale! So let me start with the facts about #JLF
Five Known Facts about Jaipur Literature Festival – A Rewind!
- JLF is the World’s Largest Free Literary Festival and it has been a decade since it was first started in 2006.
- More than 250 literature festivals have been started on the lines of the JLF since its inaugural success.
- JLF believes in egalitarianism . Hence, all the seats at Diggi Palace, Jaipur- the venue for JLF 2017 from January 19 – 23 will be on First Come- First Serve basis
- The writers and speakers are not paid to attend the event. They all agree to attend for their simple love of ‘Literature’. JLF has played host to an eclectic mix of speakers from across the globe of over 1300 speakers in the last 10 years!
- Over 1.2 million book lovers , readers , budding writers , students have attended this mega event over the years and it will not be surprising if the number rises this time around. After all, who would want to miss an opportunity to listen and interact with Sahitya Akademi Winners , Nobel Prize Laureates , Pulitzer Prize and Man Booker winners and other proficient writers!
I have always been amazed and enthusiastic about JLF and remember being glued to the TV to catch a glimpse of the speakers and hear the snippets. ( Sadly, never had an opportunity to attend the Fest in person and hoping to undo this in 2017!) So, one can understand my enthusiasm when I received an Invitation to attend the ‘Preview/Curtain Raiser Event’ of JLF through the Writersmelon Team.The event was held at the TajMahal hotel, Mansingh Road, Delhi .
The best aspect of this event unlike other events was the ‘Unreserved’ seating arrangement –a rarity in most of the gatherings of such meteoric scale. Here is a glance of the wonderful evening I was a witness to, that was filled with Poetry recitation, celebration and musical entertainment themed ‘ Bhakti: Resilience, Resistance and Resonance ‘
The evening started with the Directors of JLF – Namita Gokhale ( Writer, Publisher) and William Dalrymple (Writer) welcoming and addressing the gathering, followed by an address by Sanjoy K. Roy, Director of Teamwork Arts, Producers of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival.This was followed by the cake cutting ceremony on the completion of 10 Years of Successful running of the JLF. The enthusiasm of the Directors and Producers was so very infectious 🙂
After the formal welcome speeches , the audience were enthralled by the poetry recitation and translated renditions of Arundathi Subramaniam and HS ShivPrakash. Musical entertainment by Harpreet Singh and folk singer Parvathy Baul left us mesmerized.
Of course, JLF and TAJ MAHAL Hotel are known for their hospitality and the evening saw the audience being treated to the choicest of hors d’oeuvres and Cocktails… And as the famous Bollywood dialogue goes – ‘Picture abhi baaki hain mere dost’! Indeed the curtain raiser was one big celebration to kick start the ‘Greatest Literary Show’ on the 19th of January 2017! Online Registration for the Festival is FREE and open to all. All visitors are required to pre-register on the Festival’s website at www.jaipurliteraturefestival.org.
Hope you are inspired as much as I am, to attend the greatest literary spectacle on Earth in the coming year!
Seasons Greetings and A Very Happy New Year to you all 🙂