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Prestigious Jaipur Literary Festival Begins With Literary Stars

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The seventh edition of Jaipur Literary festival - the mega gathering event of literary enthusiasts began on Friday in Jaipur with a keynote address by the nobel laureate Amartya Sen. The ongoing festival is expecting participation of more than two hundred thousand people, organizers say. The festival, which was opened by Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva, will represent 14 different languages and will feature 248 authors in five days.

The festival is being organized despite the controversies it faced the past few years. In 2012, writer Salman Rushdie had to cancel his visit following protests by some religious organizations, and he withdrew, saying he feared for his life.

A Festival producer who spoke at the opening said that the organizers are trying to ensure freedom of views at the prestigious festival.

"We haven't done anything to avoid controversies, we just want to ensure that freedom of being able to present different views exists," Festival producer Sanjay Roy said.

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, who delivered the key note speech, "A wish a day for a week," in his address said that social media can help people, but they have to read more books.

Amartya Sen's seven wishes revolved around strengthening India, including promoting a classical education, improvements to government by a secular right-side party with no religious bias, left-side parties that take care of marginalized people, a better court system, improved use of resources, improved schools, and an improved and more responsible media.

On day one, the Festival hosted Gloria Steinem, Irrfan Khan, Jonathan Franzen, Raj Kundra, Ved Mehta, Urvashi Butalia and Antony Beevor amongst many other writers from Rajasthan and across India.

Irrfan Khan Neerav Patel Jaipur Literature Festival
Indian Bollywood star Irrfan Khan (Second right), in converstation with Neerav Patel, Hariram Meena on the first day of Jaipur Literature Festival.
Photo: Sumit Tharan/NewsBlaze

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