February 2015 \ Arts & Entertainment \ Jaipur Literary Festival
Going from strength to strength

By Shilpa Raina

Why does society have a biased view about writers dealing with sex or about sexual dualities, what would end if we stop believing in our past and why freedom of expression comes at a cost were among the questions that were thrown open for debate and introspection at the Jaipur Literature Festival 2015.

The annual literary fest, which has attained the stature of a “literary pilgrimage” for the bibliophile, was held as usual at the 17th century Diggi Palace. It hosted 234 speakers from all around the globe who initiated stimulating discussions on varied themes ranging from history, politics, cinema, art, travel and poetry across 170 sessions on its five days ending Sunday.

As the festival, now in its eighth edition, has grown from strength to strength since its inception 2006, when it began on a small scale as part of the Jaipur Heritage International Festival, the organisers tried to include dynamic topics in several sessions that could lead to engaging and illuminating conversations. This year was no different with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Vijay Seshadri at the very onset raising strong concerns about the freedom of literary imagination. “The issue of the poetic imagination, of its scope and freedom, has become doubly fearsome, and has become problematic because of the way Indian society is developing,” he said in his keynote address on the opening day.

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