An evening of dramatic readings and music in the national capital on Tuesday evening marked the countdown to the world’s largest free literary gathering, the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) 2017.
The evening featured a programme of music and words titled Bhakti: Resilience, Resistance and Resonance. This evening of joyous musical performances with powerful dramatic readings and translated renditions was performed by Arundhati Subramanian, Harpreet Singh, HS Shivprakash and Parvathy Baul.
Co-directors Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple shared their insights into the themes and authors participating at the annual carnival of the mind to be held from January 19th -23rd, 2017 in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The programme for the Festival 2017 will touch upon a multitude of ideas and themes including a look at the nation, Freedom to Dream – India at 70.
With around 30 languages represented from India and across the world, the Festival will feature authors writing in Indian regional languages including the popular Volga in Telugu, SL Bhyrappa and Vivek Shanbhag in Kannada, Kaajal Oza Vaidya in Gujarati, CP Deval and Hari Ram Meena in Rajasthani, Kanak Dixit and Binod Chaudhary in Nepali, Dhrubajyoti Bora in Assamese, Gulzar and Javed Akhtar in Urdu, Jatindra K. Nayak in Oriya, Naseem Shafaie and Neerja Mattoo in Kashmiri, Arunava Sinha and Radha Chakravarty in Bengali and Arshia Sattar, AND Haksar, and Roberto Calasso in Sanskrit. Writers in Hindi include Ajay Navaria, Anu Singh Choudhary, Manav Kaul, Mrinal Pande, Narendra Kohli and Yatindra Mishra.
International writers include winners of the Man Booker Prize Alan Hollinghurst and Richard Flanagan; NoViolet Bulawayo who was the first black African woman to be shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2013; Laurence Olivier award winner and two-time Academy Award nominee Sir David Hare, who makes his first visit to the Festival; internationally acclaimed poet Anne Waldman; bestselling author, poet, activist and teacher Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni; 2016 Emerging Voices Award winner Eka Kurniawan; Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who predicted the 2008 global financial crisis; writer, journalist and broadcaster Simon Winchester, OBE; the ‘literary institution of one’, Italian writer and published Roberto Calasso among other.
Namita Gokhale, writer, publisher and Co-director of the Festival, said, “We live in times where the cycles of change are puzzling, often disruptive. Books are the answers to these puzzles, literature is the force that links and binds human stories, and contemplates the human situation. In an increasingly parochial and polarised world, literature helps us scale the walls. And translation is the tool that helps us access cultures and knowledge systems.”
William Dalrymple, writer and Co-director of the Festival, said, "It’s been an extraordinary journey from 16 attendees ten years ago to a third a million today. On the way we have brought many of the world’s greatest writers to India and showcased Indian writing to the world. We have ignited a million minds to the wonders of literature.”
Sanjoy K. Roy, Director of Teamwork Arts, Producers of the Festival said “It’s been an incredible 10 years fueled with discussion, debates and controversies. Through this we have been able to stick to our key principles of ensuring a platform for diverse thought and opinion, a place of democratic access that allows for the free flow of knowledge and information and uphold the traditions of freedom of thought and expression”
Sunil Buch, Chief Business Officer, ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Limited said, “At ZEE, we are of the strong belief that our nation is blessed with immense talent, especially in the realm of art and literature. Our support and involvement in esteemed properties like Jaipur Literature Festival stems from this belief.”
The Australian High Commissioner to India, Harinder Sidhu used the platform of the Delhi Curtain Raiser to announce JLF Melbourne, a pop up edition of the Festival in February. The Melbourne Writers Festival joins forces with Jaipur Literature Festival to present JLF@Melbourne, an exciting pop-up festival with a difference which will be a celebration of the written and spoken word, featuring internationally acclaimed writers and thinkers from India and Australia.