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Friday, 20 January 2012

Rajasthan gets bigger space at JLF 2012

Bhanu Pratap Singh, TNN | Jan 20, 2012, 03.54AM IST

JAIPUR: Rajasthan and its authors are gradually getting a respectable share at the internationally acclaimed Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF). The annual festival's seventh edition that begins from Friday, has eight sessions specially dedicated to the state's literature, culture, music and even its flora and fauna.

From its foundation days, there was a demand to include local literature and authors too in the festival. The host state got its due for the first time in 2011 when its own authors and poets were accommodated in a noticeable way.

The eight literary sessions in the day and three musical events in the evenings that will highlight Rajasthan over the next five days are besides the more than a dozen sessions on Hindi and regional languages that have been included at JLF 2012.

"The JLF has created a very nice space for us. An event of such a magnitude that is being hosted here for 6-7 years ought to reflect the regional aspects, as the maximum audience is local," said Nand Bhardwaj, a recognised Rajasthani writer, participating at the event.

Namita Gokhale, one of the festival directors, emphasised that care was taken to include regional literature and music on each day of the festival. "We will be beginning this year's literature festival with Sufi Bhakti and Gurbani," she said, while highlighting how JLF 2012 was programmed.

Day one of the literary event has a session on "Rajasthan Ek Khoj: The Spirit of Rajasthan". Historian Rima Hooja, an expert on the state's economy and member of Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council VS Vyas, noted Rajasthani poets and authors CP Deval and Hariram Meena would delve on various aspects of the desert state's culture, history and development. At a parallel session, another noted literary figure from the state Giriraj Kiradoo would be sharing the dais at the session, 'Little magazines: Voices from Below'.

The second day has two Rajasthan-centric sessions-"Two Lives: Meera Bai & Akka Mahadevi" and "Tigernama". The first session will recount the seer-poets of Rajasthan (Meera Bai, a devout of Krishna) and Karnataka (Akka Mahadevi, a devout of Shiva). As its name suggests, the session on Tigernama would have Valmik Thapar, who has spent most of his 36 years of study on the tigers in Rajasthan, sharing his knowledge and experiences about the big cats in India.

The festival's third day (January 22) has another session on the tigers of the state, as Thapar would be speaking on the 'Tiger Tales from Ranthambore'. This day also has a session on Kabir and Dadu Dayal, the Gujarat-born saint of 16th century who settled at Amber near Jaipur. "With sessions on Meera Bai and Dadu Dayal, the Bhakti movement of Rajasthan will have a presence at the literature festival," said Gokhale.

On the fourth day (January 23), noted singer and actor Ila Arun and director Govind Nihalani would have a session on "Rajasthan in Cinema, while Aman Nath, William Dalrymple, Nilanjana Roy and Annie Zaidi would have another session on readings from the book "Journeys Through Rajasthan". The concluding day will have a session on storytelling in Rajasthan. The musical evenings will see performances by Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, the state's folk artistes and a gypsy brass band from Jaipur.

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