Over the past few years, Jaipur has added one more feather to its cap. The culturally inclined tourist’s haven Jaipur has also become a literary enthusiast’s dream come true. The reason is the Jaipur Literature Festival 2021 (JLF) event. It has changed the way outsiders and even Jaipurites view the city.
Every year around January, this ‘greatest literary show on earth’ brings together the brightest minds for intellectual sessions on literature, society, politics, and current issues. JLF’s venue is the beautiful Diggi Palace Hotel, on whose vast grounds till date more than 1000 distinguished authors and thinkers have discussed ideas. The festival has put Jaipur on the world map as a city that offers both culture and literature. Thus, it is no wonder that every year this event attracts hordes of people. But this year because of COVID things will be different. Jaipur Literature Festival 2021 is going fully virtual. The event will take place on 19-21 and 26-28 February.
In an interview with Scroll.in, the managing director of the Jaipur Literature Festival, Sanjoy K. Roy, spoke that the “free flow of information and knowledge” has to be continued. Thus, a digital series called ‘JLF Brave New World’ was started in 2020. According to Roy, the online event had an even better audience response than the physical event. Roy opined that the online version allowed for more “in-depth and reflective” conversations. Therefore, looking at the past success of their Brave New World series, this year JLF’s virtual festival mode should similarly draw in a lot of response.
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In an article by The Indian Express, JLF’s co-director and author William Dalrymple states that “this year…(the festival) will be a quieter affair than usual… but we present one of our most extraordinary lists to date.” Indeed, as every year, the litfest brings together a wide array of authors, speakers, and politicians. Some of the distinguished speakers this time are – Albie Sachs, Faye D’Souza, Homi K. Bhabha, Ishtiaq Ahmed, Mehr Farooqi, Namita Gokhale, William Dalrymple, Rakshanda Jalil, Ramachandra Guha, Shashi Tharoor, and Noam Chomsky.
The detailed schedule of the literature festival is posted on their website. Apart from the stimulating discussions, there are also exciting book launches in tow. There is one on Mohiniyattam by Bharati Shivaji. This year there will also be a special session on COVID.
The registration is now open for JLF on their website. There are three types of registrations available. The first is the general pass for all individuals. It is a free registration! Then there is one for schools and finally one for the media. The link to the literature festival’s registration page is down below –
The decision of going online will bring in more people and spread the word of JLF wider. The extended open-ness of the online mode of the Jaipur Literature Festival 2021 offers a unique opportunity for every lover of ideas out there. As the show’s presenters themselves mention, this year though somber, there will still be intense discussions that are beloved by all. In the comfort of your home, you can now get enthralled by exciting talks. What a great way to start the year!
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