Jaipur Literary Festival 2011 opens with a bang

Aman Kanth

Jaipur: Diggi Palace, the official venue for the DSC Jaipur Literary Festival 2011 looked every bit splendid as a beautiful bride, decked with all with its regal charm and finery. The fest opened with bracing Rajasthani folk tunes as writers from India and various parts of the sub-continent and the world gathered in Jaipur to participate in the lit fete.

The day one of the festival opened with the inaugural speech of William Dalrymple talking to a jam packed audience about the future of the book in today’s e-book and kindle friendly culture.

Speaking about the Jaipur lit fest, Dalrymple said, “Jaipur Literary Festival shows the burgeoning cultural movement. Jaipur Literary Festival is the largest festival in the eastern half of the world. Its aim is to create an intellectual fusion, where greatest literary minds come together from twenty-three countries. This magnificent festival not only focuses on English, but also on various other languages.”

Post Dalrymple’s address, the day started with the inaugural speech of one of India’s leading intellectual, politician and thinker Dr. Karan Singh, who expressed his immense joy to be in the company of distinguished literati. Expressing his great love for literature, Dr. Singh addressed the august gathering: “If you visit my Amar Mahal library, it has twenty-five thousand books. I did no buy cars nor did I buy horses. The only thing I bought was books.”

Talking about books, Dr. Singh emphasised on the importance of regional languages. He stressed on the great need of restoring literary works in national and international languages. Dr. Singh also said that there is a difference between prose and verse. If prose is meant to be read, poetry is to be heard. He also read a few excerpts from the famous works of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Tulsidas and Kalidas.

Praising Indian culture and language, Dr. Singh lauded India’s position in global literary world, where one finds rich literature in twenty-five languages. He also emphasised on the pressing need of literary translators.

In the end, Dr. Singh said that India is “precariously poised in the fading past and indeterminate future.” Invoking the divine word, Dr. Singh invoked the incredible history of India and wished all the success to the Jaipur literary festival.