Agenda-setting Jaipur litfest opens today

Agenda-setting Jaipur litfest opens today

The rich heritage of Rajasthan is set to come alive with the opening of the biggest literature and cultural extravaganza - ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, January 21.

The eighth edition of the five-day festival will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje at the Diggi Palace.

The jamboree will be marked by the presence of over 250 prominent and award-winning authors, Nobel laureates, Bollywood bigwigs, prominent musicians and artistes.

China-born British author Jung Chang, former President A P J Abdul Kalam, actor Naseeruddin Shah, actor Shabana Azmi, lyricist Prasoon Joshi, vice chairman of Niti Aayog Arvind Panagariya, British biographer Lucy-Hughes Hallett, playwright Girish Karnad, Nobel laureate V S Naipaul, Man Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton, renowned travel writer Paul Theroux, Pulitzer Prize winning poet Vijay Seshadri, Oscar-nominated screenwriter and novelist Hanif Kureishi will be the star attraction during the event.

Musicologist John Napier with Shanti Raman will speak of the tradition and challenges of modernity in archiving the oral history of the Nath Jogis. Jaipur born economist Arvind Panagariya and noted economist Bibek Debroy will discuss Rajasthan’s road ahead for growth in the session titled, “Rajasthan: Out of Bimaru”. The event is seen as an agenda-setter on key issues from the global economic crisis to the rise of e-books. The festival will also look at gender equity in India in a session titled `Women Uninterrupted', to mark the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Conference on Gender.

Actor Naseeruddin Shah and Shabana Azmi will recite poetry followed by a performance by Sonam Kalra and The Sufi Gospel Project supported by Rajasthan Tourism. Announcement of three prizes - DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, The Ojas Art Award and Khushwant Singh Memorial Prize for Poetry will be one of the prominent features of the festival. Indian writer-critic Shamsur Rahman Faruqi and Indian-American author Jhumpa Lahiri are among the few short listed writers in various categories.

Eminent writers and scholars Aidan Singh Bhati, Arjun Deo Charan, Ambika Dutt, Molly Emma Aitken, B N Goswamy, Kavita Singh and Rima Hooja will also speak at various sessions.

Since its inception, Jaipur fest has turned out a major event across the world and a major boost to local tourism. Over two lakh visitors are expected to throng the city in these five days. 

“Jaipur literature festival is one of the prominent events of the world. Each year we introduce new elements and this time we will introduce several school kids who will release their maiden book,” said organiser Sonjay Roy.