6 Things To Like About The Jaipur Literature Festival 2012

by Ritwik on January 24, 2012

1. Accessibility – in spite of heavy police presence outside the festival venue due to the Salman Rushdie affair, the atmosphere at the festival was relaxed and convivial [maybe not so for the beleaguered organizers!]. JLF is a great platform to interact with writers, publishers and other book lovers. I wonder if those who are casually panning the organizers know of other literary events in India which are designed in such a manner that even celebrated writers are easily accessible to every visitor.

2. (Relative) Lack of Hierarchy – To the best of my knowledge, no event apart from the opening had any reservation of seats.  If you are not on time for an event, no matter who you are, you better stand at the back. Similarly the writers’ lounge had no separate enclosure for ‘star’ writers.

3. Variety – Every time slot had a carefully curated set of events,  with at least one serious literary event and one somewhat less than serious one taking place at the same time. Visitors of all hues and literary tastes could find themselves constantly engaged.

4. Organization – There were a few glitches, but on the whole the event was superbly organized with good use of technology to speed things up. Remarkably, only one session began late during the 3 days I was at the festival, and that was because Anthony Grayling’s flight had got delayed. To ensure that each session begins and ends on time, with 4 concurrent sessions over 5 full days, is no mean achievement. Large crowds were managed very efficiently, and there were always plenty of volunteers around to help people.

5. Not in Delhi – Delhi hosts a ridiculously disproportionate number of cultural events as compared to other North Indian cities. This festival is a boon for the people of Jaipur and Rajasthan, especially for students. Of course, it is a boon for the state government as well, when it is not busy applying fascism 101.

6. Price – you can’t beat free!

One comment

You are ABSOLUTELY correct.

by Dr Durgaprasad Agrawal on January 24, 2012 at 10:10 pm. #

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