The seventh edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival concluded on Tuesday even as cold weather and intermittent showers limited the number of visitors expected on the final day.
Two venues — Char Bagh and the Front Lawns — had to be moved indoors after strong winds knocked down the shamiana on Monday night.
Although the start of the day saw thin crowds, the number of visitors gradually increased in the second half, leading festival co-director and author William Dalrymple to tweet “the heavens may have opened but nothing will keep the crowds away,” with a photograph of crowds waiting for the festival’s closing debate, featuring Aam Aadmi Party member Shazia Ilmi, among others.
Since it was established in 2006, the festival has become one of the flagship events in Jaipur, attended by thousands of people from across the world every year.
“We have always advocated this festival to be a platform supporting freedom of expression for authors and even visitors. We will keep this spirit going in the next editions as well,” festival producer Sanjoy Roy said on Tuesday.
This year’s edition — which saw the primary sponsorship change hands from DSC to Zee — witnessed several prominent speakers, originally on the itinerary, skip the event for different reasons.
Those who could not make it included Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, film writer-lyricist-poet Javed Akhtar and champion boxer M.C. Mary Kom. The keynote address was delivered by Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen.
South Asian Literature
The DSC prize for South Asian Literature went to Indian author Cyrus Mistry for his Chronicles of a Corpse Bearer.
A separate forum, Bookmark, dedicated to the publishing industry, ran parallel to the JLF between January 17 and 30.
The next edition is scheduled for January 21-25, 2015, co-director Namita Gokhale said.
While the festival steered clear of any major controversy this time, a session featuring producer Ekta Kapoor was briefly interrupted by protesters from the Rajput community under the banner of the Shree Rajput Karni, over an alleged distortion of historical facts in the TV serial Jodha Akbar.
On the final day, cold weather and intermittent showers overnight limited the number of visitors