After the first clamorous success of the world’s largest free literature festival, ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, returned back. This festival held at beautiful Diggi place, Jaipur for five days (21st – 25th Jan). The event brought together some of the greatest thinkers and writers from across South Asia and the world. From Nobel laureates to local language writers, Man Booker prize winner to debut novelist came together for five days of readings, debates and discussions.
The event featured many events like music shows, debates on various topics, poetry sessions and many more. It also organized annual writing competition presenting an opportunity for neophytes to submit creative pieces, reviews or reports on the festival authors and their works. It specified that writing could be in any format such as poetry, story, book review, author analysis etc. and the best of all entries would be published on the festival website and its related magazines.
The festival started with many interesting events like ‘Scenes from a writer life’, ‘Drawing Blood : The narrative art of Molly Crabapple’, and many other book launch and it end with a boisterous debate on ‘Is freedom of speech absolute and unconditional’ caught many people’s attention. This debate drawn many issues including AIB roast and debates put their points.
The rhythm of words mesmerized the festival with the poetry session by two renowned lyricists, Gulzar and Javed Akhtar. While reading out poems, Gulzar gave an insight into his poetic inspirations and his style of thinking. On the other hand, Javed Akhtar focused on his poetic family, specifically on his grandfather Muztar Khairabadi. But they received common resounding applause. Gulzar remarked, “Itna khoobsurat swagat toh kam hi milta hai Zindagi mein”.
Another intellectual session ‘On Empire’, which took place between Congress MP, Shashi Tharoor and English Historian and Labour Party politician Tristram Hunt. They discussed the pros and cons of British Imperialism while Swapan Dasgupta acted as a moderator by creating a friendly environment there.
Countering the view of Colonialism as a ‘civilising mission’, Shashi Tharoor said, “Thailand developed railways and roads without being colonized. You don’t need foreigners to come here and oppress you in order to get the basic benefits of development.”
ZEE Jaipur literary festival inspired many volunteers, aspiring writers and made a positive impact on everyone.