Jaipur lit fest from today; Padmaavat likely to dominate event

Jaipur lit fest from today; Padmaavat likely to dominate event

Jaipur lit fest from today; Padmaavat likely to dominate event

Famous as the 'Kumbh Mela of literature,' Jaipur Literature Festival in its 11th edition beginning on Thursday, is set to host the biggest names in the literary world.

This year, controversial film Padmaavat is likely to dominate the proceedings with Karni Sena sending out threats to CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi against   participating in JLF.

On Wednesday Karni Sena said Joshi will be treated in the same way as Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who was roughed up during the film's shooting. Prasoon Joshi is scheduled to take part in the session 'Main aur Woh: Conversations with Myself' on January 28. However, the festival organisers said there has been no change in Joshi's plans. 

Interestingly, the festival will also witness the launch of a book, Padmini: The Spirited Queen of Chittor by Mridula Behari. It becomes a must attend session after the Rajput queen famed for her beauty has captured public imagination and popular discourse owing to Sanjay Leela Bhansali's controversial flick Padmaavat.

The festival is no stranger to controversies. In 2012, Salman Rushdie had pulled out of the festival at the last minute, saying he felt unsafe after protests from Muslim fundamentalists over his participation.

Also, four writers - Amitava Kumar, Jeet Thayil, Ruchir Joshi and Hari Kunzru - read out chapters from Rushdie's The Satanic Verses. The writers had to leave Jaipur immediately after the event to avoid arrest.

In 2016, protests erupted over Asish Nandy's controversial remarks on corruption. In 2017, the festival again saw protests over the participation of Taslima Nasreen, the controversial Bangladeshi author.  

Key note by Pico Iyer 

The festival will run from January 25 to 29 at the Diggi Palace Hotel here. The key note address will be delivered by noted author Pico Iyer and the festival will be inaugurated by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. Over the next five days, more than 280 speakers representing 15 Indian and 20 international languages and thousands of literary enthusiasts will converge on Diggi Palace.

The attraction of the festival will be Michael Ondaatje (The English Patient), Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Shakespeare in Love), Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones series), Amy Tan (The Joy Luck Club, The Bonesetter's Daughter), Kathy Reichs (Temperance Brennan series) and Julia Donaldson (The Gruffalo, Room on the Broom). The former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai will also attend. The session featuring Angela Saini's new book, Inferior, will highlight feminine voices. Noted actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui and film maker Anurag Kashyap will also enthral the audience.

Similarly, music and art stage will see some enthralling performances by Zakir Hussain, Kailash Kher, Shilpa Rao, and the Skavengers will be present, along with Afro Celt Sound System, Trippy Sama & Barmer Boys and others.

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