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World of literature

Kunal Roy |

Marking its 10th anniversary, this year's Jaipur Literature Festival will touch upon a multitude of ideas and themes, including a look at the nation, Freedom to Dream ~ India at 70, which explores India today in the context of its history as well as its future. Translations and World Literature, Women and Marginalised Voices, Sanskrit and Colonialism, and the Legacy of the Raj are the other themes this year.

Equity and democracy run through the Festival's veins, placing some of the world's greatest minds, humanitarians, historians, politicians, business leaders, sports people and entertainers from all walks of life together on stage.

Set to commence on 19 January against the backdrop of beautiful Diggi palace in Jaipur, the five-day festival will see 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, S L Bhyrappa and Vivek Shanbhagin (Kannada), KaajalOza Vaidya (Gujarati), C P Deval and Hari Ram Meenain (Rajasthani), Kanak Dixit and Binod Chaudhary (Nepali), Dhrubajyoti Bora (Assamese), Gulzar and Javed Akhtar (Urdu), Jatindra K Nayak (Oriya), Naseem Shafaie and Neerja Mattoo (Kashmiri), Arunava Sinha and Radha Chakravarty (Bengali) and Arshia Sattar, A N D Haksar, and Roberto Calasso (Sanskrit). Writers in Hindi include Ajay Navaria, Anu Singh Choudhary, Manav Kaul, Mrinal Pande, Narendra Kohli and Yatindra Mishra.

Fueled by discussion and debates, the JLF 2017 also aims to ensure a platform for diverse thoughts 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.

Expanding its horizon, this year's Festival includes international writers like winners of the Man Booker Prize Alan Hollinghurst and Richard Flanagan; No Violet 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, internationally acclaimed poet Anne Waldman; bestselling author, poet, activist and teacher Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni; 2016 Emerging Voices Award winner EkaKurniawan; Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who predicted the 2008 global financial crisis; writer, journalist and broadcaster Simon Winchester OBE; and many other renowned poets, scholars and literatis.

With a whirlwind of literary figures preparing to descend on the Jaipur Literature Festival, an eclectic mix of music artists are also set to perform at the event. Opening the Festival on 19 January, the Shillong Chamber Choir group will kick start the literary celebration. The choir shot to prominence when they won reality TV show India's Got Talent in 2010. The same year they picked up three gold medals at the 6th World Choir Games.

Arya, the voice of Kabir in the contemporary scene, who has been relentlessly researching and performing Kabir poetry across the country for the last six years, will also be marking his presence at the event. Influenced by folk Kabir artistes, like Prahlad Tipanya and Mir Mukhtiyar Ali, Neeraj applied his own musical sensibilities and pioneered a genre called Kabir Rock. Swanand Kirkire, who has written songs for more than 50 films and is a two-time winner of the National Film Award for Best Lyrics, will also be seen performing at the biggest literary function.

The JLF 2017 will provide a potentially life-changing opportunity for audiences from Rajasthan, across India and the world to learn from and exchange ideas with contemporary literary stalwarts. All events are completely free and there are no reserved spaces. Having hosted more than 1,300 speakers and welcoming nearly 1.2 million book lovers, this year's JLF is expecting more support and appreciation from the book lovers across the globe.