JLF kicks off amidst tense situation in Rajasthan

JLF kicks off amidst tense situation in Rajasthan

Amidst a tense situation in Rajasthan due to ongoing protests by the Karni Sena against the release of film Padmaavat, the 11th edition of Jaipur Literature Festival was inaugurated on Thursday.

However, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, a regular to the festival, who was scheduled to inaugurate JLF 2018, gave it a miss.

The festival that will witness over 280 authors speaking on themes ranging from fiction and non-fiction to journalism, was inaugurated by former Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva and British-born American essayist and novelist Pico Iyer.
 
Delivering the keynote address, Pico Iyer, a noted author, expressed his happiness over the fact that even at a time when bookstores and publishers are closing down in many parts of the world, there are new bookshops and publishers, readers and festivals in India.
 
Festival co-director William Dalrymple recalled its 11-year-long journey and said that although there are hundreds of literary events around the globe, there are only four or five, which boast of a stellar line-up of award-winning writers. "And we are the only one that is absolutely free for everybody and we are the largest literature festival in the world," he said.
 
Padmaavat dominates
 
Owing to the threats by Shree Rajput Karni Sena, against the presence of Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) chief Prasoon Joshi, the festival took place under tight security. However 'Padmaavat' dominated day one of the festival.  
 
After the inauguration, Margaret Alva, criticising the BJP government in Rajasthan, said Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, often portrayed as "strong," should have managed the law and order situation better for Padmaavat screening. "It will hardly make a difference if the movie is not released in Rajasthan. Those who want to see the film would go to other states to watch it," Alva said in Jaipur.  
 
Interestingly, a session based on Rajput queen Padmini, famed for her beauty and who has captured public imagination and popular discourse owing to Sanjay Leela Bhansali's controversial flick Padmaavat, was jampacked at JLF.   The session titled "Padmini: The Spirited Queen of Chittor," had Mridula Behari in conversation with Rima Hooja.
 
 

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