Jaipur Literature Festival 2013: A Modest Start
With the Jaipur weather warming up to the swarming literary enthusiasts, Diggi Palace has once again became a mish-mash of colours, dialogues and books. Thursday morning saw one of the most prominent regional authors of the country, Devi, also a social activist, who riveted the audience with her bold readings and statements, taking a cue from the recent news on the brutalisation of a woman in Delhi.
While the morning saw a meandering crowd pulling in and out of the six venues, people seemed to have come together for the much-anticipated session with JLF’s “surprise” speaker, the Dalai Lama.
Men and women in maroon robes were conspicuous by their presence. Despite protest threats by a number of organisations, the Dalai Lama swooped in gracefully and was effortlessly the star of the day. In a session titled “Kinships of Faith: Finding the Middle Way” with British-born author Pico Iyer, he talked everything — from applying the reality of science into his teachings, to corruption. “India has a long tradition of secularism, of multiple cultures and religions. While we should respect all religions, we should respect non-believers too,” he said.
The latter part of the day saw other engrossing sessions with speakers such as Elif Batuman, Javed Akhtar, Sharmila Tagore, Ameena Saiyid, Nadeem
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