Successful 16th edition concludes | Sunday Observer
Jaipur Literature Festival 2023:

Successful 16th edition concludes

29 January, 2023
Onyeka Nwelue in conversation with Prajwal Parajuly
Onyeka Nwelue in conversation with Prajwal Parajuly

The world’s most charismatic lit fest - the 16th edition of Jaipur literary festival 2023 was conducted from 19th to 23rd January, following a five-day exhilarating program with multi-faceted and exuberant poets, writers, and literature buffs, the festival came to majestic close.

This vibrant and promising annual literary festival brought a magnificent line up and a sumptuous feast of ideas to the pink city this year too as usual.

The first day of this year’s festival kicked off with an inaugural ceremony conducted by Namita Gokhale, William Dalrymple and a keynote address by Abdulrazak Gurnah.

The sessions on day one included a revitalizing conversation with Beranardine Evaristo, a discussion on Democracy: The Warp and the Weft, conducted by Ronojoy Sen, Yamini Aiyar and Mukulika Banerjee in conversation with Seema Sirohi, a session on the Legacy of Violence conducted by Caroline Elkins in conversation with Shashi Tharoor and many more.

Day two settled in with a variety of thought-provoking sessions covering topics including democracy, poetry, music, and culture. Numerous experts in their fields, including Shashi Tharoor, Sudha Murthy, Namita Gokhale, and Javed Akhtar, took the stage to discuss a variety of themes relating to modern lifestyles.

In a thrilling session on poetry, Gazals, and films, distinguished individuals such as Javed Akhtar, Shabana Azmi, and Gulzar discussed concepts in the fields of music and Bollywood.

Ravish Kumar who authored ‘More I Write, I Fear Less:’ spoke about the ‘The Nature of Fear”. When asked what gave him the conviction to question individuals in positions of power, he responded that there are days when he lacks the confidence to do so, but that writing has helped him evolve.

Day two

Highlights of day two included a discussion on sustaining democracy, “nurturing democracy,” conducted by Shashi Tharoor in conversation with Tripurdaman Singh. He asserted that one of the numerous ways the current administration has “managed to diverge from the democratic spirit of the Constitution” is by tightening the already strict Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in a way that puts people such as Siddique Kappan in jail for two years without bail.

Day three of this year’s festival brought forth a series of brilliant sessions on history, language, and the importance of translation. Sri Lanka’s very own Shehan Karunatilaka conducted a session on day three of the festival. Karunatilaka is the winner of the Booker Prize for his book, ‘The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida’. He is also the author of the Commonwealth Book Prize winning, ‘Chinaman: The legend of Pradeep Mathew’, and a short story collection titled ‘The Birth Lottery’.

In conversation with Nandini Nair, Karunatilaka discussed his book and the inspirations from demons and reincarnation. He discussed his idea to write a novel from the point of view of Sri Lanka’s dead.

In an early session on day three, authors discussed their encounters with fiction. They said that fiction has a transforming experience and is not merely an accumulation of facts. Poets Amit Chaudhuri and Ruth Ozek explained that it is a method of interacting with someone else through which one can describe their limited subjectivity of mind and how one is susceptible to other personae.

Deepti Kapoor, novelist, discussed how characters frequently acquire emotional experiences and occupy minds and consciousness in fictional settings.

Day three paid a lot of attention to languages and translations in addition to fiction. How the world is changing as a result of dialects and their translations, and how this has influenced the development of literary thought.

A workshop on “Developing a Market for Translations” was presented by the British Council, the nation of the United Kingdom’s worldwide agency for cultural exchange and educational opportunities.”Publishing and translation play an essential role in cultural exchange by making literature, ideas, and information from one culture available to individuals from different cultures,” wrote Jonathan Kennedy, Director of Arts India at the British Council, in his welcoming statement.

Day four

Day four of the literary festival presented another great number of sessions. Every session was packed with information and led to lively debates about the dynamics of literature, art, culture, and film in the modern world. Numerous sessions on the fourth day of the literary festival discussed language experimentation. Renowned author Sudha Murty spoke about the value of reading to youngsters.

A session aimed to motivate children to read, revealed that children in this generation have many distractions resulting in poor attention spans. Author Sudha Murty, explained that parents should discourage the use of electronics and encourage reading until the children are at least 14 years old.

The festival continued to remain committed to its core values, such as, to serve as a domestic, non-aligned platform ensuring inclusivity and freedom of speech.

Jaipur Literature Festival 2023 had something for everyone, with a series of renowned lineup of lecturers and artists, visual exhibitions, art installations, decadent snacks, books, and businesses.

This year’s festival demonstrated its ability to be a nexus of ideas and a place for community participation with over 300 speakers discussing art, literature, politics, technology, and foreign policies concepts.