Programme 2021

Programme
Friday, 19 February 2021

An intense day of music, poetry, politics, science and Indias linguistic wealth...

19 Feb | 09:15 AM - 09:45 AM
Front Lawn

Morning Music: Shubhendra Rao

Shubhendra Rao is an internationally-acclaimed performer, composer, cultural entrepreneur and music educator. A protégé of Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Rao has performed at major music festivals and prestigious concert halls like Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Sydney Opera House, Salzburg International Music Festival, the BRICS Summit in China among several others. Together with his wife Saskia, he has created India’s first-ever music curriculum for children, ‘Sangeet4All’. As an empanelled ICCR Guru, Rao has trained many foreign students who, in turn, are teaching Indian music across the world. 

 

19 Feb | 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Durbar Hall

Keynote Address: The Art of Innovation: Ian Blatchford and Tilly Blyth

 

Throughout history, artists and scientists have been bound together by a complex thread born out of the desire to experiment, taking inspiration from each other's disciplines but working from very different perspectives. This session, featuring Sir Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group and Tilly Blyth, Head of Collections and Principal Curator at the Science Museum in London co-authors of the book, The Art of Innovation: From Enlightenment to Dark Matter, will discuss how the ingenuity of science and technology has fed the artistic imagination and thus affected innovation.


 

19 Feb | 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Front Lawn

An intense session on the interrelated schools of Indian music, which discusses the constant creative interplay between classical and folk music as well as that of hybrid and popular genres, in our online digital age. Prasoon Joshi and Vidya Shah speak of their understanding and appreciation of musical traditions, and their evolution, occasionally breaking into song to explain or expand on a point. The multifaceted Joshi is a poet, writer, lyricist, CBFC chairman, communication specialist and corporate hotshot. Yet his abiding passion, which he shares with spouse Aparna, as well as his parents, is perhaps music. Together with Shah, passionate scholar, singer, musician, writer and social activist, he throws light on the cultural diversity as well as the intrinsic unity of this vast heritage and its new offshoots.


 

19 Feb | 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Durbar Hall

“We are all made of the same stardust of which all things are made,” says the acclaimed Italian physicist and writer Carlo Rovelli. Drawing inspiration from the ancient Buddhist philosopher Nagarjuna, he takes us on an illuminating journey through the unknown, exploring the mysteries of the cosmos, the fabric of space, and the nature of time. Carlo Rovelli is a theoretical physicist working mainly in the field of quantum gravity, who has also worked on the history and philosophy of science. He is the author of several bestselling books, including Seven Brief Lessons on Physics, Reality Is  to What It Seems and Helgoland, to be published later this year. Priyamvada Natarajan is Professor of Astronomy and Physics at Yale University and the author of Mapping the Heavens: The Radical Scientific Ideas That Reveal The Cosmos.  In conversation with Natarajan, he takes us through the deeper meaning of the universe and our place in it.


 

19 Feb | 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
Front Lawn

Tripurdaman Singh's latest book Sixteen Stormy Days: The Story of the First Amendment of the Constitution of India is a fascinating look into the turbulent history and contentious legacy of the First Amendment of the Constitution. Rooted in parliamentary debates, press reports, judicial pronouncements and existing scholarship, the book takes a deep dive into the series of events that led Prime Minister Nehru to make this sweeping amendment in a constitution he had so passionately championed. Singh is a British Academy postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. In conversation with journalist and writer Karan Thapar, Singh explores the nascent years of India in the context of what he calls “the first great battle of ideas.”


 

19 Feb | 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Originally published in Malayalam as Meesha, S. Hareesh’s Moustache is a novel of epic dimensions and a contemporary classic mixing magic, myth and metaphor. The debut novel won the JCB Prize for Literature 2020 and is an extraordinary example of the importance of bringing India's hidden corners to light through literature. In this session he and his award-winning translator Jayasree Kalathil speak with author and translator Aruni Kashyap about the work's deep roots in the history, geography, politics and folklore of the Kuttanad region along with the process of translating this award winning novel.
 

19 Feb | 01:00 PM - 01:45 PM
Front Lawn

Parameswaran Iyer’s latest book Method in the Madness: Insights from My Career as an Insider-Outsider-Insider graphs out his career from the civil service to world technocrat to his return to India to implement the transformative Swachh Bharat Mission. His book, written with humour and wisdom, is an inspiring read with key management insights, practical career advice and valuable life lessons. He shares his views with other distinguished professionals, including banker and former President of FICCI, Naina Lal Kidwai and Director at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Errol D' Souza, CEO of the NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant, Journalist and Editor-in-Chief and Chairman of The Print, Shekhar Gupta and Rajiv Mehrishi the former Comptroller and Auditor General of India and Vice Chairman of the United Nations Panel of External Auditors. An enriching session full of anecdotal deep reflections and learning. 
 
The book will be launched at this session during the Jaipur Literature Festival 2021.  

19 Feb | 01:00 PM - 01:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Experiencing the Goddess is a book of essays that shares research, experiences, ideas and knowledge from studies and travels related to ancient sites where divine female energies dwell. In this session Seema Kohli who has contributed to the book, explores a vast range of themes surrounding rituals, scriptures, practices, and spiritual interpretations and an alternative perspective on the aesthetics and philosophies guiding the yoginis. In a conversation with art historian Habiba Insaf. Seema Kohli is a multi-disciplinary artist with a multi-dimensional approach to aesthetics, including poetry, dance, performance, painting, sculpture and writing. Her practice reveals a claiming of feminine subjectivities, an altered concept of feminine sexuality. Habiba Insaf is an art historian and museum educator.
The book will be launched at this session during the Jaipur Literature Festival 2021. 
 

19 Feb | 02:00 PM - 02:45 PM
Front Lawn

Namita Gokhale and Malashri Lal’s co-authored play Betrayed by Hope follows the chequered life of poet and writer extraordinaire Michael Madhusudan Dutt. The script captures the  anguish of  a fractured identity as well as Dutt’s remarkable innovations in literary genres such as the epic and the sonnet. His journey, of alienation and a return to selfhood, is one many writers have travelled before and after him. Namita Gokhale is an author and co-Director of the Jaipur Literature Festival. Dr. Lal is a writer and academic. They have co-authored two previous anthologies together. Oroon Das is an actor and multidisciplinary artist who has recently produced and acted in a digital adaptation of Betrayed By Hope, with Bangladeshi-American actor, Inji Zayba Zaheer now based in Vancouver, Canada. In a fascinating session of readings and discussion they explore the paradoxes of Dutt’s life and work.


 

19 Feb | 02:00 PM - 02:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Democracy has many faces, many lives, subject to change, investigation, reform. In The Retreat of Western Liberalism, Edward Luce makes a larger statement about the weakening of western hegemony and the crisis of liberal democracy, of which Donald Trump and his European counterparts are not the cause, but a terrifying symptom. He warns of the dangerous ignorance of the West regarding its own socio-political trajectory, and its arrogance towards society's economic losers, insisting that we cannot move forward without a clear diagnosis of what has gone wrong. In her bookTwilight of Democracy, staff writer for The Atlantic, Anne Applebaum stirs a deeper inquiry into the nature of democracy and the rising appeal of an age-old blend of nationalism and autocracy. Fuelled by the discourse of conspiracy theory, political polarization and the 21st century use of social media, she charts the rising era of illiberalism and antidemocratic trends within the West. The two talk to Suhasini Haidar who is the diplomatic and national editor at The Hindu.
 

19 Feb | 03:00 PM - 03:45 PM
Front Lawn

Straddling the worlds of the literary imagination and the visual arts, celebrated author, poet, translator and curator Ranjit Hoskote introduces us to the multiverse of word, image and text he inhabits. Hoskote’s collections of poetry include Vanishing Acts, Central Time, Jonahwhale, The Atlas of Lost Beliefs, and the forthcoming Hunchprose. He curated India’s first-ever national pavilion at the Venice Biennale under the title ‘Everyone Agrees: It’s About to Explode’. In conversation with Anupama Raju, he gives us a glimpse into his aesthetic vision and his understanding of the contemporary literary and cultural landscape.
 

19 Feb | 03:00 PM - 03:45 PM
Durbar Hall

In his clever, deliciously funny and insightful new novel, Dream Sequence, award-winning British novelist Adam Foulds takes on the nature of artistic ambition, loneliness, and obsession in contemporary society. The book follows the travails of Henry, an Oxbridge-educated television actor from a family of frustrated artists, as he navigates stardom and celebrity, eventually emerging as a sharp and eviscerating social-critique. In conversation with Executive Officer of Swansea University’s International Dylan Thomas Prize Elaine Canning, he talks of the process of penning his vision and the blurring of borders between reel and real life.  


 

19 Feb | 04:00 PM - 04:45 PM
Front Lawn

The future belongs to Asia. An eastward shift in the economic centre of gravity is steadily underway. But what is Asia? A diverse and politically fragmented continent with massive possibilities of production and utilization. What is the vision that will take this ancient, densely populated, and culturally diverse region forward? Who will be the political and economic powers steering global discourse? Can this be an Asia century? An expert panel of economists, policy strategists and researchers discuss the various implications of the present day political climate vis a vis Asia.
 
Vivan Sharan is Visiting Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation and author of Wonked: India in Search of an Economic Ideology. Parag Khanna is a global strategist, founder of the strategy firm Future Map and author of The Future is Asian: Commerce, Conflict & Culture in the 21st Century. Shruti Rajgopalan is a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center and a Fellow at the Classical Liberal Institute at New York University School of Law. Mihir S. Sharma is a Senior Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation and the author of Restart: The Last Chance for the Indian Economy  and the co-editor of What the Economy Needs Now. Sajjid Z. Chinoy is J.P. Morgan’s Chief India Economist and also serves on the Advisory Council to the 15th Finance Commission set up by the Government of India. 

19 Feb | 04:00 PM - 04:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Over the last several years, borders, territories, and maps have recurred as potent forms in Reena Kallat’s work. They point to broad historical narratives as well as the manner in which humankind has left the imprint of history on geography. Reena’s approach to her subject matter is both poetic and speculative.  Maria Balshaw is Director of Tate, a role she has held since June 2017. Maria has worked to reframe the context and perspective of this long-established institution to engage with sensitive times, furthering the mission of inclusiveness and equality to connect with a wider audience. In this dialogue, Reena Kallat and Maria Balshaw will explore how contemporary art can be a conduit for pertinent conversations around movement, migration, displacement and democracies. 

19 Feb | 05:00 PM - 05:45 PM
Front Lawn

Unfinished is one of the most exciting and inspirational books of the year, following Priyanka Chopra Jonas' journey through life and cinema. The memoir takes readers from her childhood in India, through her formative teenage years in the US, to her return to India where she unexpectedly won the national and global beauty pageants (Miss India and Miss World) that launched her acting career. The result is a book that is warm, funny, sassy, inspiring, bold and rebellious and will inspire a generation around the world to gather their courage, embrace their ambition and commit to the hard work of following their dreams. 

 

A National Film Award winner with more than 60 international and Hollywood films to her credit, Chopra Jonas made her American TV acting debut on the ABC-TV hit drama Quantico where she made history as the first Indian-born actor to star as the lead of a TV drama series. She is a global UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, recipient of the prestigious Danny Kaye Humanitarian award, and is also involved in a number of efforts to protect children's rights and to promote the education of girls around the world, including her namesake charity, The Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education. In conversation with  author and columnist Shobhaa De.


 

19 Feb | 05:00 PM - 05:45 PM
Durbar Hall

The irrepressible Gulabo Sapera has given new life and impetus to the age-old traditions of the Kalbeliya tribe. Born in Ajmer, Rajasthan, as the seventh child of her parents, she was buried alive after her birth due to community pressure but was rescued and survived the ordeal. She went on to evolve her own individual style and school of dancing, based on the Kalbaliya form and received global fame and recognition. She shares the incredible story of her life journey and her inspirations and learnings, with cultural icon and mentor Tripti Pandey. Pandey is a well-known name in the field of tourism and culture and travel writing. She has done pioneering work around multiple folk art and craft Festivals along with a special interest in helping traditional performers. Her books include Pushkar: Colours of the Indian Mystique and the critically acclaimed book Where Silence Sings: Sounds and Rhythms of Rajasthan. An unforgettable conversation between Gulabo and Tripti Pandey on the joyous wellsprings of dance and creativity, as well on the harsh lessons of survival in a patriarchal society.
 

19 Feb | 06:00 PM - 06:45 PM
Front Lawn

The creative force behind The Lost Words, a tender, unusually written homage to nature, returns with a journey into another realm: of magic and spells. Immersing the reader within  splendor and enchantment of nature’s many miracles, The Lost Spells is a pocket sized initiation into the inner workings of the external world. With heartfelt illustrations and poignant words, the book offers a chance to revisit the innocence of childhood, and take in the surreal, poetic imagination of the natural. In conversation with naturalist Yuvan Aves, Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris discuss their journey in creating a work of astonishing beauty and timeless reach. A session to make you wonder. 
 
Robert Macfarlane is a British writer and Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, best known for his books on landscape, nature, place, people and language, which include The Old Ways, Landmarks, The Lost Words and Underland. Illustrator and writer Jackie Morris won the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2016 for Lost Words, among other accolades. Yuvan Aves is a writer, naturalist and ecological activist.
 

19 Feb | 06:00 PM - 06:45 PM
Durbar Hall

The recurrence of pandemics is an unfortunate reality in human history. Leaving a devastating trail of suffering and death, they disappear from public memory until such time that the demons surface again. Academic and author Chinmay Tumbe in his recent book, Age of Pandemics (1817-1920): How They Shaped India and the World, chronicles the many facets of the cholera, plague and influenza pandemics, which claimed over 70 million lives between 1817 and 1920 with India being the epicentre in all these episodes. In the first truly global treatment of one of the worst pandemics of all time, Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How It Changed the World, author and science journalist Laura Spinney delves into lesser known details of that forgotten disaster. In conversation with surgeon and author Ambarish Satwik, they touch upon the science and psychology of pandemics and lessons from the past that may make us better understand the potential onset of zoonotic diseases in the future.
 
 

19 Feb | 07:00 PM - 07:45 PM
Front Lawn

What does it mean to be Indian? Politician and celebrated author Shashi Tharoor's latest book, The Battle Of Belonging: On Nationalism, Patriotism, And What It Means To Be Indian, evaluates the historical and current political trends impacting the “idea of India.” Tharoor explores these changing interpretations of nationalism, patriotism, citizenship and belonging as well as the nature and future of nationhood. In an important conversation with journalist Faye D’Souza, he discusses these themes and ideas in the context of the past, the present and the emergent future. 
 

19 Feb | 07:00 PM - 07:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Exposing the deep fault lines within governments across the world in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, author and journalist John Micklethwait latest book, co-authored with Adrian Woolridge, The Wake-Up Call: Why the Pandemic Has Exposed the Weakness of the West and How to Fix It, offers both critical analysis and solutions. Micklethwait is the editor-in-chief of Bloomberg. In conversation with journalist Suhasini Haidar, Micklethwait takes a sharp look at global power shifts and the necessity for a structural paradigm shift within governments. 
 
 
 

19 Feb | 08:00 PM
Front Lawn

The Anirudh Varma Collective is a contemporary Indian Classical Ensemble led by Delhi-based pianist, composer and producer, Anirudh Varma. It aims to bring artists and musicians of diverse musical and cultural backgrounds together to form a unique contemporary identity of Indian Classical Music for audiences of all age groups. It is made up of over 100 musicians and artists from the contemporary Indian Music Scenario. Having launched its debut full length album Perspectives in March 2018, the Collective has performed in collaboration with HCL Concerts, Jaipur Literature Festival, Teamwork Arts, Serendipity Delhi, Global Music Institute, Delhi University and Ambedkar University since then.

Saturday, 20 February 2021

When fiction, film, food, feminism, biography, theology & more jostle for your attention!

20 Feb | 09:15 AM - 09:45 AM
Front Lawn

Morning Music: HIMALIMOU

HimaliMou perform 'Pahaadi' or mountain folk music from Haldwani in Uttarakhand, presented by the group Rehmat-e-Nusrat. Rarely heard outside the mountains, the band will showcase several different styles of music from the region, including Jhora, Chanchari, Chapeli, Nyoli and Chaiti (with the first three actually dance forms with accompanying music). Traditionally, the music is performed to dance and at important ceremonies, festivals and gatherings, with songs in Kumaouni, Garhwali, Nepali and Jaunfari. The sonorous melodies of the bansuri (bamboo flute), rhythmic pulses of the dholak, hand drums and claps, and joyous shouts of exuberance from the singers infuse the performances with verve and raw energy.

20 Feb | 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Front Lawn

TM Krishna, public intellectual and acclaimed classical vocalist in the Carnatic tradition, is dedicated to working across the spectrum of music, society and culture. The Edict Project, in association with Ashoka University, is a creative collaboration that seeks to musically rediscover Emperor Ashoka’s ancient edicts -- philosophies that speak of a more humane society built on empathy and compassion created during the period of the lockdown, they convey Krishna’s conviction that the world can be healed through a deep understanding of music. An inspirational multidisciplinary session that searches history and culture to frame words, music and meaning for our times. Krishna’s latest book is Sebastian and Sons.
 

20 Feb | 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Durbar Hall

A session featuring two disquieting novels that unblinkingly examine inequity and alienation across Indian society. Prelude To A Riot by Annie Zaidi is the disturbing narrative of two families and graphs the growth of religious intolerance. Deepa Anappara's debut novel Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line, a haunting tale of heartbreak and the loss of innocence has found resonance with readers around the world. They speak with writer and translator Shahnaz Habib about their writing process and the source of their inspirations. 
 

20 Feb | 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Front Lawn

Patrick Radden Keefe has always had a way with his words, powerfully laying out stories that illuminate a much larger picture. An award-winning staff writer for The New Yorker, Radden Keefe’s recent literary escapes include an eight-part podcast called Wind of Change, which investigates the strange confluence of espionage and pop music during the Cold War. His other recent work includes the book Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland, which follows the story of a missing mother in the years of the Irish Troubles, unraveling a history which is still very raw. In conversation with author and literary editor Finton O’Toole, Radden Keefe gives us a glimpse into his writing process and the source of his inspirations.
 

20 Feb | 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Durbar Hall

Academic and paleontologist Steve Brusatte’s book The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World is a stunning narrative covering more than 200 million years. Showcasing a new and complete history of these magnificent creatures it draws from cutting-edge science dramatically bringing to life their lost world and enigmatic origins. Academic and writer Lisa Randall's book Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe takes us on a journey across the universe and through the Milky Way giving us an exceptional understanding of how dark matter may have led to the cataclysmic extinction of Dinosaurs on earth. Writer and biochemist Pranay Lal is the author of Indica: A Deep Natural History of the Indian Subcontinent. In conversation with Lal, they dive into the diverse world of dinosaurs and their ongoing legacy.
 

20 Feb | 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
Front Lawn

Humankind's connection with land has always been contentious and yet in many ways elemental and necessary. Celebrated author Simon Winchester’s latest book, Land: The Ownership of Everywhere, explores this primal relationship, its benefits, foundations and the fundamental question: can land ever truly be ‘owned’? Winchester is the bestselling author of books such as The Surgeon of Crowthorne, The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World and The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary. Writer and journalist Raghu Karnad is the author of Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War. In conversation with Karnad, Winchester examines the human impact on land and its central role in our existence.
 

20 Feb | 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
Durbar Hall

A book charting an exceptional life and career, Unscripted by screenwriter, director and producer Vidhu Vinod Chopra and scriptwriter Abhijat Joshi takes us on an extravagant journey through the life, mind, method and madness of perhaps one of the greatest filmmakers Bollywood has seen today. Over the past three decades, Chopra has seen it all, from putting together low budget student films to establishing the largest production house within the Indian film industry, he has presented the biggest blockbusters of the era while also introducing the audience to a sparkling list of actors who he took under his wing and nurtured to stardom. In conversation with Vani Tripathi Tikoo,  they dive into a session on Chopra's life and work and a friendship spanning decades.
 

20 Feb | 01:00 PM - 01:45 PM
Front Lawn

The Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize is one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the world for young writers. Its 2021 jury, chaired by award-winning writer, publisher and JLF co-founder-director Namita Gokhale, comprises critically-acclaimed poet Stephen Sexton and novelists Joshua Ferris and Francesca Rhydderch, as well as Syima Aslam, founder and Director of the Bradford Literature Festival, celebrated as the most socio-economically and ethnically diverse literary festival in the UK.  In conversation with the Prize’s Executive Officer Elaine Canning, the Judges discuss their individual literary disciplines, the new literary landscape and the significance of words in transcending borders and cultures. Featuring a special reading from internationally-acclaimed Welsh actor Michael Sheen


 

20 Feb | 01:00 PM - 01:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Sonia Faleiro has a vivid journalistic eye for details and a storyteller’s gift for delivering a riveting tale. In her latest book, The Good Girls: An Ordinary Killing, attention turns to a macabre episode in Uttar Pradesh when the dead bodies of two young girls are discovered suspended from a tree. Based on a real life incident in 2014 that brought up questions about female friendship, honour killing and the rule of law, Faleiro’s novel enters the psychological ambit of personal choice and the community’s interpretation of sex, love and romance. Faleiro, an award-winning writer of three previous books including Beautiful Thing, will speak about the research and challenges of creating her new book. In conversation with distinguished writer and journalist Samanth Subramanian, whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and other publications.
 
The book will be launched at this session during the Jaipur Literature Festival 2021.  

20 Feb | 02:00 PM - 02:45 PM
Front Lawn

A session traversing the spiritual and archeological path of the expansion of Buddhism opening a fascinating window into its foundations, histories and traditions. It also gives a keen insight into the role of patronage and of Buddhist monks in spreading its ideas and philosophy. Academic and author Himanushu Prabha Ray, talks of the expansion of Buddhism within India while the Senior curator for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, John Guy, explores the spread of Buddhism through SE Asia, in conversation with Festival Co- Director and author William Dalrymple. 
 

20 Feb | 02:00 PM - 02:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Drawing heavily from Roman Catholic theology and philosophy, Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri is a long narrative poem divided into three parts: Hell, Purgatory and Paradise. The text and its imaginative vision of the afterlife is a masterpiece representing Dante’s journey from darkness to error to the final ascent to God in Paradise. Author and literary critic Piero Boitani is a Dante scholar and is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature at the Sapienza University in Rome. Academic and author Claudio Giunta teaches Italian Literature at the University of Trento in Italy. He is an expert in medieval literature, the poetry of Dante and his contemporaries and pedagogy of the humanities. Together they discuss the significance of the Divine Comedy and its verses and celebrate the life and writing of this master of words on the 700th anniversary of his death. In conversation with the Ambassador to Italy in India, H.E. Vincenzo de Luca.
 

20 Feb | 03:00 PM - 03:45 PM
Front Lawn

Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the very public figure who remains ultimately inscrutable, has been celebrated as often as he has been reviled. How did the urbane westernised gentleman who chose a Parsi wife transition into the Muslim communitarian and chief proponent of the two nation theory? Ishtiaq Ahmed's latest book explores this and other conundrums, which will be discussed with TCA Raghavan, formerly India's High Commissioner to Pakistan. 
 

20 Feb | 03:00 PM - 03:45 PM
Durbar Hall

The Bihari Satsai is a work of the early 17th century by the poet Biharilal in Braj Bhasha. The Satsai was written in the court of Raja Jai Singh of Amber near Jaipur. The poet was rewarded with a gold coin for each verse. 700 verses were compiled into the Bihari Satsai, which has been considered an outstanding representative of the Riti period weaving together worldly experience and divine immanence, and adapting the writing style of court poetry. Rupert Snell’s translation for the Murty Classical Library is scholarly yet accessible and brings alive the tradition for the modern readers. Snell has books forthcoming on the Ramcharitmanas and on autobiographical writing in Hindi. He is also drafting a novel ‘by’ a fictional pupil of Biharilal. In conversation with fellow scholar, academic and translator Harish Trivedi, he speaks of the enduring legacy of the Bihari Satsai with its evocative romantic imagery and visual vocabulary.
 

20 Feb | 04:00 PM - 04:45 PM
Front Lawn

At a time when optics is all, the proliferation of high-sounding and well-meaning schemes has little correlation with the actual impact on ground. "Maximum governance, minimum government,” seems to have been turned on its head both in the NDA and in the subsequent Modi governments. A session that examines the welfare architecture in terms of state capacity and abilities, within the larger narrative of empowerment. Yamini Aiyar is the President and Chief Executive of the Center for Policy Research. Historian and author Hindol Sengupta’s books include The Man Who Saved India, The Modern Monk and Being Hindu: Understanding a Peaceful Path in a Violent World. Journalist Sucheta Dalal is the Managing Editor of Moneylife. Rohit Kumar Singh is the Rohit Kumar Singh is the Additional Chief Secretary, Panchayati Raj & Rural Development, Government of Rajasthan.  They speak to entrepreneur and investor Mohit Satyanand on how to envision and implement reforms that improve efficiency and delivery in the social sector.
 

20 Feb | 04:00 PM - 04:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Tom Stoppard, one of the greatest living playwrights, is a towering and beloved literary figure. Known for his dizzying narrative inventiveness and intense attention to language, he deftly deploys art, science, history, politics, and philosophy in works that span a remarkable spectrum of literary genres: theater, radio, film, TV, journalism and fiction. His most acclaimed creations, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The Real Thing, Arcadia, The Coast of Utopia and Shakespeare in Love, remain as fresh and moving as when they entranced their first audiences. 
British biographer, literary critic and academic Hermione Lee’s latest work, Tom Stoppard: A Life, weaves Stoppard's life and work together into a vivid, insightful and always riveting portrait of a remarkable man. In conversation with author Chandrahas Choudhury, Lee talks about his life and draws on a wealth of new materials and on her many conversations with Stoppard.

20 Feb | 05:00 PM - 05:45 PM
Front Lawn

Democracy is an inherently participatory process that ensures the role of constituents in the direction and operation of political and social life. Electoral systems convert individual votes and choices into larger decisions that impact societies, cultures and nations. A vital session that looks at elections and constitutional procedures to understand the value and transformative power of the vote. A distinguished panel deciphers and evaluates the electoral process  in conversation with anthropologist and writer Mukulika Banerjee. Navin B. Chawla is a retired Indian civil servant, having previously served as the 16th Chief Election Commissioner of India and the author of Every Vote Counts: The Story of India's Elections. Neie Kantha Uprety is a former Chief Election Commissioner of Nepal. Dasho Kunzang Wangdi was the Chief Election Commissioner of Bhutan.
 

20 Feb | 05:00 PM - 05:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Poet and lyricist Sahir Ludhianvi’s work has inspired generations of readers, shaping popular culture as we know it. A fiercely humanistic poet, his evocative words have spanned across literary and thematic boundaries of romance, revolution and patriotism. Writer and filmmaker Nasreen Munni Kabir’s recent In the Year of Sahir is a grand tribute to this master of words by his contemporaries such as Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle and Gulzar in the form of a diary interspersed with blank pages for the readers to put down their thoughts. In conversation with poet, author and lawyer Saif Mahmood, she discusses the creation and idea behind the diary and the essence of this personal tribute.
 

20 Feb | 06:00 PM - 06:45 PM
Front Lawn

Turmeric Nation is an ambitious and insightful project that delves deep into the socio-cultural elements that have come to inform and influence Indian cuisine. In this charming collection of essays, Shylashri Shankar traces the myriad patterns that form the Indian food palette, its preferences and traditions, offering a sumptuous, layered and revealing portrait of India through its enduring relationship with food. Masala Lab by Krish Ashok is a science nerd's exploration of Indian cooking with the ultimate aim of making the reader a better cook and turning the kitchen into a joyful, creative playground for culinary experimentation. A session in conversation with celebrated chef and author Ravinder Bhogal to activate your palette and understanding with a focus on approaching India's culinary traditions through a scientific and historical approach. 
 
Shylashri Shankar, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, is the author of Turmeric Nation: A Passage Through India’s Tastes. Her academic books include Scaling Justice: India’s Supreme Court, Anti-Terror Laws and Social Rights, Battling Corruption: Has NREGA Reached India’s Rural Poor? and A Secular Age Beyond the West. Krish Ashok is the Global Head of Digital Workplace, which helps large organisations reimagine the future of work for their employees. In addition to being an author, he is a columnist, classical violinist, guitarist and cellist. Award-winning food writer and restaurateur Ravinder Bhogal’s new cookbook  Jikoni: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from an Immigrant Kitchenblends myriad cuisines and a heritage that crosses continents.
 

20 Feb | 06:00 PM - 06:45 PM
Durbar Hall

A timely session which brings together a cross section of voices and perspectives to understand feminism and its kaleidoscopic dimensions. Bee Rowlatt embarks on an extraordinary journey looking at the life and legacy of the first celebrity feminist, Mary Wollstonecraft, in her latest book In Search of Mary. Mariam Khan  in her anthology It’s Not About The Burqa, writes about why feminism needs to die. Both of these writers, alongside playwright, poet and editor of The Things I Would Tell You: British Muslim Women Write, Sabrina Mahfouz discuss the ways in which feminism has changed over the years. The three committed writers come together to inform us, critique and reframe feminism for contemporary women. In conversation with Afshan D'Souza-Lodhi.



 

20 Feb | 07:00 PM - 07:45 PM
Front Lawn

In a cleverly satirical narrative, author and columnist Moni Mohsin’s recent book The Impeccable Integrity of Ruby R takes on the use of social media as a part of political propaganda and provides an insightful take on the MeToo movement. Mohsin is well known for her long running satirical column The Diary of a Social Butterfly for The Friday Times and a book with the same name. Her other books include The End of Innocence and Duty Free. In conversation with writer Supriya Nair, Mohsin takes us through the fictitious life of the idealistic and industrious Ruby Rauf, her ambitions, insecurities and reality.
 

20 Feb | 07:00 PM - 07:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Night of the Restless Spirits is a fictional reconstruction of the horrors that followed the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on 31 October 1984. Sikhs were targeted in the capital New Delhi and many parts of India. Writer, podcaster and commentator Sarbpreet Singh reconstructs the brutalities of the riots and explores their far reaching impact and consequences through the lens of fiction. Singh has also authored the bestselling The Camel Merchant of Philadelphia and is the writer and narrator of the celebrated Story of The Sikhs podcast. Historian, author and translatorRakhshanda Jalil is a celebrated Indian writer, critic and literary historian. She is the author of several acclaimed books including But You Don’t Look Like A Muslim. Together, they discuss the psychology of the mob, the traumas of those times  and speak of tragedy, truth-telling and resilience.
 

20 Feb | 08:00 PM
Front Lawn

Rehmat-e-Nusrat are a group of young musicians from the hills of Uttarakhand in northern India who bring a fresh new perspective to the timeless tradition of qawwali music. The group presents qawwalis by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Sufiyana kalaams by the great poets Amir Khusrao, Meera Bai, Baba Bulleh Shah, ghazals, Kabir bhajans, and original compositions. The group was formed in 2014 by lead vocalist and harmonium virtuoso Sarvjeet Tamta, who counts amongst his teachers, Ustadji Wadali Brothers in Amritsar, Ustadji Fakira Khan Saheb from Barmer Rajasthan, and Ustadji Padma Shri Anwar Khan Manganiyar. The group has performed at various college festivals around north India, and introduced Sufi and qawwali music to new audiences in their state. Rehmat-e-Nusrat were signed to the label Amarrass Records in November 2019, and performed at the first Amarrass Nights@Sunder Nursery concert in January 2020. The pandemic has not dampened the band’s enthusiasm and they have performed pop-up concerts at Museo Camera Museum, Throttle Shrottle, and virtual concerts with Sacred Music Seattle, In2Wild Festival UK, Hothouse Chicago, FabIndia and others.

Sunday, 21 February 2021

A dance of history, memoir, pandemic, technology, the Booker 2020 winner & much more...

21 Feb | 09:15 AM - 09:45 AM
Front Lawn

Morning Music: UJWAL NAGAR

Ujwal Nagar is a promising Hindustani classical vocalist from Delhi. He received his initial training in classical music from his mother, Guru Urmila Nagar, a renowned Kathak and Hindustani music exponent. He has also received intensive training from Late Ustad Bashir Ahmad Khan of Sikar and is currently taking guidance from Pandit Sriram Umdekar and Pandit Somnath Mardur. He is an All India Graded Artist and a recipient of Ministry of Culture and Sahitya Kala Parishad Scholarships. He is also a recipient of Junior Research Fellowship under University Grants Commission and has also done his PhD in Hindustani classical music. His appealing voice texture, breathtaking fast taans and intricate Sargam patterns clearly indicate the depth of his growing musical maturity. Remarkable command over ‘layakari’ and emotional inner connection while rendering ragas can be profoundly felt by listeners when he performs. Even though a classical vocalist by profession, he is also a proficient tabla player having trained under his brother, young virtuoso Tabla player Vishal Nagar. He has performed in major cities in India, Thailand, Singapore, South Africa, UK and Europe. Although a purist at heart, Nagar is an example of the evolving picture of an Indian classical musician who has enriched his musical pursuit by exploring various other genres of music without compromising on his traditional roots. His work with pianist Terry McCaw of USA under the group name ‘Yogini’ made an impressive impact on the music enthusiasts in the United States and some of their work could also be heard as the background score for the critically acclaimed documentary ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance man’ narrated by Harrison Ford. Nagar’s ongoing collaborative work with the group ‘Advaita’ as a lead classical singer has been greatly appreciated by classical music connoisseurs as well as the world music listeners.

21 Feb | 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Front Lawn

Acclaimed author and historian Vincent Brown's groundbreaking geopolitical thriller Tacky′s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War takes on the Atlantic slave trade with a subversive and powerful reconstruction of the history of insurgency, rebellion, victory and defeat. With a keen emphasis on the seminal uprising that upended the dominant imperial rule of the British Atlantic world, eventually becoming known as the Tacky’s Revolt and ultimately leading the way for abolition, the book explores the contentious climate of oppression and slavery, offering an alternative perspective of the events that occurred, with an unflinching look at the brutal and inhumane methods of oppression and the resilience of those that resisted. In conversation with writer and academic Maya Jasanoff, he unpacks the complex narratives binding the conflicting histories of Europe, Africa and America, offering illuminating insights into the condition of terror and war, proving more relevant than ever in the era of BLM and socio-political sifting change and raising the ever pertinent question, who gets to write the story?
 

21 Feb | 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
WORDS ARE BRIDGES
Durbar Hall

The first Bhojpuri novel to be translated into English, Phoolsunghi is a period piece about the life of a tawaif in the late 19th century in colonial Bihar.  Dhelabai contends with the power of a zamindar who wishes to trap her into a cage but she yearns for the voice and company of a wandering minstrel. Though Bhojpuri songs and cinema have gained in popular appeal, the richness of Bhojpuri literature is not widely known. Gautam Choubey,  an academic and a columnist, has innovatively translated this modern classic and rendered it with cultural nuances and poetry. Academic and author Francesca Orsini is Professor of Hindi and South Asian Literature at SOAS, University of London. Her books include The Hindi Public Sphere 1920–1940: Language and Literature in the Age of Nationalism and Tellings and Texts: Music, Literature and Performance in North India. In conversation with Jatindra Kumar Nayak, academic and award-winning translator of Odiya literature, Orsini and Choubey discuss the novel, the times it was set in as well as the challenges of presenting it for contemporary readers. The session includes an evocative reading by celebrated actor Manoj Bajpayee.
 

21 Feb | 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Front Lawn

Will India win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic? When can we expect a safe and effective vaccine?  How should we respond to this 'new normal' as an individual and as a community? What is the way forward? Offering insights on how India continues to fight the pandemic, Till We Win is a must-read for everyone. A detailed, objective and hopeful account of our times, this is a book for the people, for political leaders, policymakers and physicians with the promise and potential to transform public health in India. Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, is an MD in Medicine and the first DM in Pulmonary Medicine in the country, and has been at the forefront of the Government of India’ sefforts on the COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and response. Dr. Chandrakant Lahariya is a leading public policy and health systems expert and a recipient of the Indian Council of Medical Research's Dr. BC Srivastava Foundation Award for his work on translating community-based health research in public policy interventions. Dr. Gagandeep Kang is a renowned infectious disease researcher and virologist who serves on many advisory committees in India and internationally, including for the World Health Organisation. The co-authors discuss their exciting new project in conversation with award-winning journalist Maya Mirchandani.
 

21 Feb | 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Durbar Hall

Mehr Farooqi's literary biography Ghalib: A Wilderness At My Doorstep invites the reader to revisit the life and times of the iconic Urdu poet, beginning with his childhood in Agra, and following the evolution of his intriguing practice; his penchant for obscurity and his strong socio-political commentary. In parallel with analysing the making of the artist, the book also explores the insidious impact of European colonialism, particularly with regards to censorship, distribution and consumption of the literature produced in this turbulent time. Ghalib’s deliberate choice to compose in Persian as well as Urdu, swinging between the both without obvious explanation, presents a linguistic paradox and his farsightedness with regards to the presence of language shattered linguistic and cultural boundaries, allowing for a more authentic perception of the country’s complex state of affairs. Farooqi is the author of The Postcolonial Mind: Urdu Culture, Islam and Modernity in Muhammad Hasan Askari and the editor of the two-volume work The Oxford India Anthology of Modern Urdu Literature. Historian and author Rana Safvi's recent works include Shahjahanabad: The Living City of Old Delhi and Tales from the Quran and Hadith. In conversation with Safvi, she discusses this fascinating personality whose work has enamored countless imaginations, bringing into light crucial interconnections within the subcontinent's cultural and literary tradition and shedding new light into a life rarely understood in its full complexity. 
 

21 Feb | 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
Front Lawn

Award-winning author and playwright Kishtwar Desai’s book The Longest Kiss: The Life and Times of Devika Rani charts the life and career of India’s first international superstar. Based on her personal letters and documents, the book narrates her journey through the creation of Bombay Talkies, the country’s first professional studio, her marriages to Himanshu Rai and Svetoslav Roerich,and the struggle of being a woman in the entirely male dominated world of Indian cinema. Desai’s work includes the books Darlingji: The True Love Story of Nargis and Sunil Dutt and Jallianwala Bagh: The Real Story. She also wrote the play Devika Rani: Goddess of the Silver Screen. In conversation with journalist Jyoti Malhotra, Desai examines the intensely private life and tragedy of Devika Rani.
 

21 Feb | 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
Durbar Hall

The concept of Dharma is unique to Indian philosophy and difficult to translate as it implies different things in different contexts. Hindu narratives are ambiguous and avoid prescriptive moralities. The Dharma and duties of different individuals face conflicts of ethical and human dimensions. Distinguished economist, writer, scholar and translator Bibek Debroy speaks of these dilemmas and the ethical and karmic choices inherent in them. Debroy heads the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council. He has translated a monumental ten-volume unabridged version of the Mahabharata and made a large body of the epics and ancient texts available to contemporary readers. In a deep and engrossing session, he speaks with Keerthik Sasidharan author of the recently published novel The Dharma Forest ( book one of a trilogy based on the Mahabharata), of understanding and interpreting Dharma.


 

21 Feb | 01:00 PM - 01:45 PM
Front Lawn

Celebrated classical dancer Bharati Shivaji's recent book Mohiniyattam: Its Art and Aesthetics is an exquisite journey following the female art form of Mohiniyattam and its style and transformations through the ages. Rooted in research based on sculptures, literary sources, historical references and the Dasi tradition, Shivaji's book explores the intricacies and regional variations of the dance form and the music and rhythm which has come together to mould its legendary tradition. Shivaji is the founder of the Centre for Mohiniyattam. In conversation with Vani Bhalla Pahwa and Sanjoy K. Roy, Shivaji gives us a glimpse into this evocative art form and how it is understood and appreciated. 
 
The book will be launched at this session during the Jaipur Literature Festival 2021.  

 
 

21 Feb | 01:00 PM - 01:45 PM
Durbar Hall

In his powerful new book, Locking Down the Poor, Harsh Mander examines India’s response to the pandemic, with particular emphasis on the ramifications of imposing the world’s longest and strictest lockdown, and its harsh consequences for the less fortunate in the country. From the highways and overcrowded quarantine centres, he brings us stories of migrant workers who walked hundreds of kilometres to their villages or were prevented from doing so and detained. Collating ground information and grass-roots reportage, he lays bare the reality of the humanitarian crisis, tracing  responsibility to state institutions and policy choices. Mander is the Director of the Centre for Equity Studies, a research organisation based in New Delhi. In conversation with former member of the Planning Commission Arun Maira, the author, researcher and social activist discusses the challenges ahead, and the need to build unwavering, compassionate solidarity. The book will be launched in this session during the Jaipur Literature Festival 2021.


 

21 Feb | 02:00 PM - 02:45 PM
Front Lawn

The first Chief Information Commissioner of India Wajahat Habibullah’s recent book, My Years With Rajiv: Triumph and Tragedy, offers an acute insight into his professional and personal relationship with the former Prime Minister. The book also gives a ringside view of the last three decades of the 20th century from the perspective of a respected officer of the Indian Administrative Services. Habibullah is the former chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities. He has also written the book My Kashmir: The Dying of the Light. In conversation with writer and diplomat Pavan K. Varma, he attempts to demystify the workings of the Indian government and bureaucracy and gives us a candid account of some of the formative years of Indian history.
 

21 Feb | 02:00 PM - 02:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Celebrated satirist, critic and writer Craig Brown’s Baillie Gifford Prize winning recent biography One Two Three Four: The Beatles in Time is a serendipitous retelling of the chance merger of four elemental figures. An enchanting mix of history, autobiography, interviews and fan letters, it brings forth a fitting tribute to a band whose words echo through homes even today. Through a kaleidoscopic mix of narratives, the book also presents a look into the lives of those around them who were engulfed and impacted by their astounding success and tragedy. Brown is the only person to have won three different Press Awards, for best humorist, columnist and critic, in the same year.  Known for his riveting parodies in Private Eye, he is also the author of Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret, The Tony Years and One on One among many others. In conversation with writer and broadcaster Bee Rowlatt, Brown takes us through the story of four men who represented not just a cultural milieu but also timeless music and fervent fame.
 

21 Feb | 03:00 PM - 03:45 PM
Front Lawn

Two leading political commentators discuss the past impact of liberalism and its place in an age of resurging autocracy and rampant bigotry. Distinguished writer and essayist Adam Gopnik's most recent book A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism follows the current attack on the liberal ideology and thought. Presenting a nuanced look into the changes the ideology has witnessed through the ages, Gopnik stresses on the idea of liberalism being rooted in the search for radical change based on humane measures rather than the despondency around it today. John Micklethwait is editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News - and a former editor of The Economist, created by 19th century liberalism. In his co-authored book, the Wake Up Call, he looks at the way that the liberal West has failed to deal with Covid. His work critically examines the changing socio-political-economic nature of the west and its impact on ideologies. Mihir S. Sharma, Senior Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, speaks to both of them on the future of liberalism.


 

21 Feb | 03:00 PM - 03:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Writer and historian Yashaswini Chandra’s debut book The Tale of the Horse: A History of India on Horseback maps both the history of horses in India and their role in shaping Indian history. Informed by an impressive range of historical sources and spanning a vast swathe of the subcontinent and greater Asia, this flawless monograph presents a captivating account of how horses played a key role in influencing migration, economies, wars, literature, art and culture in these parts. Chandra has previously co-edited the book Right of the Line: The President’s Bodyguard. In conversation with author and historian Manu S. Pillai, she dives into the exhilarating rise of the age of the horse in India which went into an agonised decline with the onset of colonial rule and mechanisation.
 

21 Feb | 04:00 PM - 04:45 PM
Front Lawn

Colum McCann’s latest novel, Apeirogon, is a story of a friendship which blossoms in the face of extreme conflict and grief. McCann’s narrative follows a Palestinian and an Israeli man, who despite the divisions between them, are brought together by their unifying call for peace and harmony. McCann’s stunningly emphatic novel is built upon the foundation of the lives and personal recollections of these two men and is blended into a lyrical web across time, history, nature, and politics. In conversation with writer and activist Ru Freeman, he discusses the inspirations behind this tale and the undying quality of hope.
 

21 Feb | 04:00 PM - 04:45 PM
Durbar Hall

From recognising raw potential in a manuscript to working with the authors to retain and refine their unique voice, editors accompany a book through its entire journey. While very different,  all the shortlisted books share a strong sense of narrative, well defined characters, evocative settings as well as playful  sense of experimentation. Ramu Ramanathan is in conversation with the editors of the five books shortlisted for the JCB Prize for Literature 2020.


 

21 Feb | 05:00 PM - 05:45 PM
Front Lawn

With the growing friction between China and the world, exacerbated in the wake of the pandemic, the need to understand the political legacy of Mao is urgent and growing. In Maoism: A Global History, eminent British scholar, author and translator Julia Lovell takes on the ambitious and challenging task of covering the sweeping and turbulent history of Maoism in one accessible text, bringing attention to Mao and his ideas in a new light. Through a series of interviews, archival references and ethnographic study, Lovell synthesises concurrent narratives and conceptions, providing a re-evaluation of the ideology in the present context. She discusses her exciting work in conversation with historian and writer Michael Puett in an essential session on the enduring appeal of Maoism.

21 Feb | 05:00 PM - 05:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Glasgow-born Douglas Stuart’s 2020 Booker prize-winning debut novel Shuggie Bain evokes the  essence of addiction, parenthood, courage and love. Following the bond between a son and his mother, fractured by alcoholism, poverty, aspiration and human misery. The novel graphs an intimate, devastating  yet ultimately hopeful journey through their lives.  Stuart began his career in fashion design before moving onto writing. His other work includes the short stories Found Wanting and The Englishman. In conversation with writer and playwright Paul McVeigh, Stuart unravels the thought and process behind bringing this heartbreaking story out into the world.
 

21 Feb | 06:00 PM - 06:45 PM
Front Lawn

Celebrated American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic and political activist Noam Chomsky’s book Who Rules the World? questions the United States and its exercise of power throughout conflict areas in a post 9/11 world. Critically analysing claims of freedom and human rights, Chomsky in his celebrated style investigates the era of modern day imperial powers and their role in climate change, nuclear proliferation and the overall threat to human civilisation. In conversation with journalist Sreenivasan Jain, Chomsky delves into the critical need for active public participation in changing policies and introduces us to the unsettling truths of our times. 
 

21 Feb | 06:00 PM - 06:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and Priya Atwal have both evoked the spirit of the beautiful Maharani Jindan Kaur through fiction and fact. Kaur was regent of the Sikh Empire from 1843 until 1846.  She was renowned for her energy and strength of purpose with the Governor General Dalhousie writing of her, “She has the only manly understanding in the Punjab”.
Divakaruni has previously authored the celebrated books The Palace of Illusions, Mistress of Spices and The Forest of Enchantment. Her latest book is The Last Queen. Atwal's recent book, Royals and Rebels: The Rise and Fall of the Sikh Empire, showcases the centrality of female agency within the expansion of Sikh sovereignty. In conversation with Navtej Sarna, author of several works of fiction and non-fiction including The Exile, a novel based on the life of Maharaja Duleep Singh, the last Sikh King and son of Maharani Jindan, the three authors bring alive a fascinating tale of the splendour and downfall of a mighty kingdom, court intrigue, colonial deception and greed,  as well as  motherhood and feminine strength. 
 

21 Feb | 7:00 PM IST - 7:45 PM IST
Front Lawn

“All power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” So goes the axiom but is it an absolute truth? Is power inherently susceptible to being misused? Or can power be yielded dispassionately for the public good? Eminent speakers and public intellectuals examine the proposition in its different dimensions.
 

21 Feb | 08:00 PM
Front Lawn

Belonging: A Belfast-Kolkata online musical collaboration featuring Jason O’Rourke and Deepmoy Day. The idea behind this project was to carry out an online musical collaboration that could be delivered in socially-distanced settings taking into account current and possible future public health restrictions due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. The ‘Belonging’ project was funded by the UK National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. We wanted to bring together the traditional music of India and Ireland by finding common ground between the two ancient musical cultures, and also by composing new material, to establish a deep collaboration. Day is firmly rooted in the Bengali tradition and O’Rourke in the music of the North of Ireland. To try and be as inclusive as possible, the pair have worked on songs in Hindi as well as Bengali. Their backgrounds are important to the theme of the project with both of their family histories involving migration across lines drawn on maps at the end of the British Empire. Thus, they have a song from East Bengal paired up with an Irish tune that O’Rourke picked up as a child in England. By bringing their musical traditions together, the pair hope the project is a positive demonstration of that process of cultural mixing, communication and inter-connectedness.

Monday, 22 February 2021

A day of analysing the past and defining narratives for the present...

22 Feb | 11:10 AM
Front Lawn

Morning Music: I BELIEVE ART MATTERS - Advaita

22 Feb | 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Durbar Hall

Rahim is known even to schoolchildren for his delightfully witty and wise couplets but he also wrote Bhakti poetry and classical poetry of the sringar or erotic kind. As one of the nine gems at the court of Emperor Akbar, he witnessed and reflected poignantly on reversals of fortune while he also described with feeling the common life of the soldiers he commanded. Harish Trivedi’s edited volume Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khanan: Kavya-Saundarya aur Sarthakta opens a new window to the iconic poet and the milieu in which he functioned. Gulzar, Namwar Singh, Anamika and Sudhish Pachauri are among the contributors to this volume. In conversation with Yatindra Mishra, poet and cultural historian and Rekha Sethi, academic and writer, Harish Trivedi will discuss Rahim as a major poet of his times who continues to be relevant in our times. 

22 Feb | 12:30 PM - 01:15 PM
Front Lawn

Cambridge academic Sujit Sivasundaram traces forgotten histories along the coasts and islands of the Indian and Pacific oceans in Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire, offering a new understanding of the making of our world, and insisting particularly on the significance of the environment. Astutely observed and creatively written, the British-Sri Lankan writer looks at the perspective of indigenous populations and their efforts to assert identity, as the British empire drove unexpected change. In Unruly Waters, Yale historian and MacArthur Fellow Sunil S. Amrith reimagines Asia's history through the stories of its rains, rivers, coasts and seas-- succinctly tying these narratives with efforts to reshape nature through dams and pumps, that have unleashed ramifications within and between nations. Together they shine a light on an often ignored integral part of global history.
 

22 Feb | 01:30 PM - 02:15 PM
Durbar Hall

Did colonial historians deliberately skew the truth about Indian history? Were they guilty of a concerted attempt to create an Indian past of such horrific cruelty and oppression that it seemed to justify their rule and make it appear benign in comparison? Two leading post-colonial thinkers discuss the colonisation and fabrication of Indian history with Sunil S. Amrith and attempt to correct the misrepresentations of the past.
 

22 Feb | 02:30 PM - 03:15 PM
Front Lawn

In his bold and pertinent text Why Leaders Lie? The Truth About Lying in International Politics, political scientist John Mearsheimer breaks down the insidious and elaborate deceptions of world leaders, with reasoned and constructive analysis of the logic, motivation, and justification behind their lying behaviour. Writing with verve, originality and precision, Mearsheimer offers a deep and path-breaking study of international politics, with references to examples from the recent past. In conversation with prominent news anchor and journalist Vishnu Som, he discusses the need and effectiveness of falsehood within the political sphere.
 

22 Feb | 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM
Durbar Hall

Keynote Address: Burning the Books: Richard Ovenden

Keynote Remarks: We Believe in Books: Claudia Kaiser and Juergen Boos in conversation

22 Feb | 04:30 PM - 04:45 PM
Durbar Hall

04:30 PM TO 04:45 PM  

22 Feb | 04:45 PM - 05:45 PM
Durbar Hall

22 Feb | 05:45 PM - 06:00 PM
Durbar Hall

22 Feb | 06:00 PM - 07:00 PM
Durbar Hall

22 Feb | 8:00 PM
Front Lawn

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Your date with the art of the novel and the richness of Urdu!

23 Feb | 11:10 AM
Front Lawn

Morning Music: I BELIEVE ART MATTERS - Dr. L. Subramaniam & Kavita Krishnamurthi

23 Feb | 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Front Lawn

Two prominent Hindi writers look back at maps of personal and national memory. The prolific and inspirational Chitra Mudgal has written over 50 books and novels. In her latest work, Til Bhar Jagah Nahi, she writes of her husband, the poet, writer and editor Awadh Narain Mudgal. Alka Saraogi is one of the most beloved of Hindi writers and the author of numerous acclaimed works of fiction. Her most recent novel is the memorable Kulbhushan ka Naam Darj Kijiye, a bestseller which has gone into second imprint within 40 days of publication. Editor, publisher and academician Aditi Maheshwari-Goyal speaks to them of history, memory and archiving, and the interface of novels and narratives.


 

23 Feb | 12:30 PM - 01:15 PM
Durbar Hall

Shamsur Rahman Faruqi (1935-2020), a recipient of the Saraswati Samman, the Padam Shri and numerous honorary Doctorates, was a literary genius who influenced almost every genre of modern Urdu literature. His nephew, the writer, historian and dastangoi reviver Mahmood Farooqui, speaks of Faruqi Saheb’s extraordinary legacy, and presents readings and contextual commentary from his critical writings and posthumously published work in Hindi Qabze Zaman Trendsetting critic, poet, novelist, literary historiographer, translator, publisher, academic –Shamsur Rahman Faruqi was a colossus of modern Indian letters, and an establishment unto himself. His literary contributions included presiding over the Urdu Modernist movement through his periodical Shabkhoon which redefined aesthetics and standards of fiction and poetry, reviving interest in classical poetics through his mammoth study of the great Mir Taqi Mir, rehabilitating the genre of Dastans and Dastangoi, rewriting Urdu literary history, depcting the deep connections between Sanskrit poetics and Indo-Persian literary cultures, and finally in the fag end of his literary culture producing Kai Chand The Sar-E-Asman, his magnum opus, which received enormous appreciation in its English translation The Mirror Of Beauty, as did  his collection of stories set in the classical period The Sun That Rose from the Earth. We pay tribute the genius of S.R Faruqi as we present his previously untranslated critical writings, a sample of the full range of his creative oeuvre,his literary journey, and the posthumously published novel, Qabze Zaman, reflecting on poetry, identity, love, death, and, to quote him, “what it means to be a poet, or a lover, or an Indian” in our times and in the past.
 

23 Feb | 01:30 PM - 2:15 PM
Front Lawn

Where does fiction come from? What is the process of its creation? How do you make up characters and situations that are believable? And why should the reader care? Four of the world’s leading novelists, Annie Zaidi, Colum McCann, Colm Tóibín and Jeet Thayil share their insights on the art of the novel with Moin Mir.


 

23 Feb | 02:30 PM - 03:15 PM
Durbar Hall

AS Barwich has spent a decade researching the way in which the brain works in response to external stimuli. Her work is now focused on how and what the sense of smell communicates.  In her book Smellosophy: What the Nose Tells the Mind, she examines the reception in the brain to information carried by the nose and has found that the sense of smell does not function in the same way as the other senses would lead us to expect. She looks beyond the paradigm of vision to examine the mysteries of olfaction. In conversation is the multi dimensional Ambarish Satwik, a vascular surgeon and professor who has also written the critically acclaimed Perineum: Nether Parts of the Empire. Together, they discuss the interface of body and mind and the puzzles of smellosophy.

 




 

23 Feb | 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM
Durbar Hall

Joan Concannon, Maria Sheila Cremaschi, Natasha Lomouri, Rashmi Ranjan Parida and Ravi Deecee in conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy

23 Feb | 04:30 PM - 04:45 PM
Durbar Hall

04:30 PM TO 04:45 PM  DURBAR HALL


23 Feb | 04:45 PM - 05:45 PM
Durbar Hall

23 Feb | 05:45 PM - 06:00 PM
Durbar Hall

05:45 PM TO 06:00 PM  DURBAR HALL

23 Feb | 06:00 PM - 07:00 PM
Durbar Hall

23 Feb | 07:00 PM - 07:15 PM
Durbar Hall

 07:00 PM TO 07:15 PM  DURBAR HALL

23 Feb | 07:15 PM - 07:45 PM
Durbar Hall

23 Feb | 8:00 PM
Front Lawn

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Sessions that get to the heart of the modern cultural consciousness!

24 Feb | 11:10 AM
Front Lawn

Morning Music: I BELIEVE ART MATTERS - 3G: 3 Generations of Percussion with Pt. Vikku Vinayakram and V. Selvaganesh

24 Feb | 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Durbar Hall

Writer, diplomat, and politician Pavan K Varma looks at the inclusive diversity and essential unity of the Indian way of life. In a deep conversation with Saurabh Dwivedi, he speaks of Being Indian, and how it resonates with his thinking and writing across his books and beliefs. Diplomat and author Pavan K. Varma books include The Book of Krishna, Being Indian,  Becoming Indian and Chanakya’s New Manifesto. His most recent book is The Greatest Ode to Lord Ram: Tulsidas’s Ramcharitmanas.
 

24 Feb | 12:30 PM - 01:15 PM
Front Lawn

Sex and Vanity is Kevin Kwan’s latest book, following on the sensational success of Crazy Rich Asians, and opening up a world of extravagant travel, love, and deceit, with subtle undertones of the complexities of race and identity. A love affair traversing Capri and the Hamptons, the narrative – a homage to A Room With a View – introduces us to the lives of the ultra-rich seeking happiness in excess, Asian classism and snobbery. The bestselling author of China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems dives into his literary journey and the universe of privilege, couture and cultures his books represent, in conversation with author Shunali Khullar Shroff.
 

24 Feb | 01:30 PM - 02:15 PM
Durbar Hall

How do we understand culture? Does it stem from civilisational history or is it an evolving way of life? How do we reinterpret and regenerate its roots? In a pandemic ridden, constantly transforming world, how does innovation and creativity manifest in society, and how can they be promoted despite the difficulties of our times?
Rajya Sabha member Vinay Sahasrabuddhe is the President at the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the Director of the Public Policy Research Centre. Mugdha Sinha is Secretary Art, Literature, Culture and Archaeology and Secretary Science and Technology as well as the Director General Jawahar Kala Kendra and the Literary Secretary of IAS Association Rajasthan. Shubhendra Rao is a celebrated composer and Sitar player.  Roger Highfield is the Science Director of the Science Museum Group. In conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy, they discuss the fascinating interplay between culture, innovation, economies and societal beliefs and delve on the roots of creative sustenance. 
 

24 Feb | 02:30 PM - 03:15 PM
Front Lawn

Vikas Swarup’s thrilling second novel Six Suspects is a witty, gripping and masterfully written tale that looks deep within the heart of contemporary India. The internationally bestselling author Slumdog Millionaire deftly explores themse of murder, corruption and oppurtunity, through an imaginative and intensive plot, unravelling the lives and motives of the six suspects involved in the killing of a politician’s son, offering both a riveting page-turner and a sobering look into the social dynamics at play.  The author discusses his influences, writing process, and the upcoming web adaptation of his riveting novel, in conversation with Shubhra Gupta.

Vikas Swarup is an Indian diplomat and writer, and current Secretary (West) at the Ministry of External Affairs. He is best known as the author of the novel Q & A, adapted in film as Slumdog Millionaire, the winner of Best Film for the year 2009 at the Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards and BAFTA Awards.
 

24 Feb | 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM
Durbar Hall

Celebrated actor Anupam Kher's latest book, Your Best Day is Today, is an enduring narrative that encourages us to take a pause and consider and appreciate the smaller things in life. An amalgamation of experiences, lessons and positive takeaways, the book attempts to present a guide to connect with your inner self in order to cope with these difficult times. In this session Kher delves on the importance of adapting to change and the necessity of knowing that you are not alone.


 

24 Feb | 04:30 PM - 04:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Written originally in Hindi by Dr. Gulab Kothari, this book is the English rendering of the sixth volume of the classic Maanas. The word ‘maanas’ can broadly be understood as the mind or the heart. Scientists say that the human brain consists of  the right and left hemisphere, each side anchored in its own reasoning. The left, rooted in feelings that trigger violence, yet also known to be the side of scientific reasoning while the right, steeped in peace and compassion. Dr. Kothari’s work seeks to unearth this infinite knowledge within the human mind and its many complexities. The book explores the importance of ‘maanas’ in uniting with our ultimate reality or Brahm.

 

This book will be launched at this session of the Jaipur Literature Festival 2021.

 


 

24 Feb | 04:45 PM - 05:45 PM
Durbar Hall

24 Feb | 05:45 PM - 06:00 PM
Durbar Hall

 05:45 PM TO 06:00 PM  DURBAR HALL

24 Feb | 06:00 PM - 07:00 PM
Durbar Hall

24 Feb | 07:00 PM - 07:15 PM
Durbar Hall

 07:00 PM TO 07:15 PM  DURBAR HALL

24 Feb | 07:15 PM - 07:45 PM
Durbar Hall

24 Feb | 8:00 PM
Front Lawn

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Digital protest & an unsettling debut novel await you today...

25 Feb | 11:10 AM
Front Lawn

Morning Music: I BELIEVE ART MATTERS - Trayam (B.C. Manjunath, Praveen D. Rao, Varijashree Venugopal) Ft. Pramath Kiran

25 Feb | 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Durbar Hall

Our disruptive and dysfunctional times have also led to an acceleration in technologies. A new vision is emerging which takes in several leaps in human learning and opens new frontiers across disciplines. These developments are reshaping our habits, environment and our overall way of life while simultaneously opening us up to new risks within the paradox of a constantly contracting and expanding world. Academic and author Shannon Vallor is the Baillie Gifford Chair in the Ethics of Data and Artificial Intelligence at the University of Edinburgh's Edinburgh Futures Institute. Her work explores the philosophy and ethics of emerging science and technologies. Vallor is the author of the book Technology and the Virtues: A Philosophical Guide to a Future Worth Wanting. K. Vijay Raghavan is the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India. His work focuses on bringing the benefits of science, technology and innovation solutions to the grassroot levels, while ensuring a steady sustainable development growth for the country. Academic and author Arun Mohan Sukumar’s recent book is the Midnight’s Machines: A Political History of Technology in India. He previously headed the Technology Initiative at the Observer Research Foundation. In conversation with Sukumar, they delve on these rapid changes and discuss the way forward for a more balanced and sustainable future in these unpredictable times.
 

25 Feb | 12:30 PM - 01:15 PM
Front Lawn

The power of the ‘tweet’, the ‘like’ and the ‘share’, and other digital interventions has never been more evident as online avenues become increasingly viable sites of protest. They offer invaluable potential for raising awareness, engaging in structural critique, mobilising support and driving action while also allowing for a range of negative mirror activities. An urgent session on the positive power of digital activism as founders of virtual social justice platforms discuss the rise of new movements, the effectiveness of online petitions, and the internet as an emerging space for resistance, in the wake of the pandemic and mounting political crises across the globe. In conversation with Abhinandan Sekhri.
Avijit Michael is the founder and executive director of Jhatkaa, a campaigning organisation committed to building grassroots citizen power across India.  Nida Hasan is the Country Director of Change.Org. Abhinandan Sekhri is the Co-Founder and CEO of Newslaundry.


 

25 Feb | 01:30 PM - 02:15 PM
Durbar Hall

Avni Doshi’s Booker shortlisted novel Burnt Sugar, published as Girl in White Cotton in India, is a vivid and unsettling account following the complex relationship between a mother and daughter. Tracing the  fragile line between familial devotion and deception the tale evocatively brings up the subjective nature of truth and the reality of toxic relationships. In conversation with author and poet Janice Pariat, they examine the roots of this compelling and raw narrative and unravel its questions of identity, love and trauma.
 

25 Feb | 02:30 PM - 03:15 PM
Front Lawn

The world’s biggest inoculation drive against the novel coronavirus has begun with India’s effort to immunise more than 1.3 billion people -- including health workers, safai karamcharis, the Army and disaster management volunteers as priority groups. The country currently stands sixth in the world in providing vaccination coverage and is set to balance domestic requirements vis-à-vis requests from other countries for indigenously developed vaccines. An important panel on the path ahead, as CEO of Niti Aayog Amitabh Kant, Member (Health) Dr. Vinod Paul and Secretary for Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, CK Mishra review the past year, discussing strategies for public health mitigation measures, concerns about newly discovered strains, effectiveness of the vaccine, potential for economic recovery, and preparing for a long battle against a moving target. In conversation with journalist and anchor Sarah Jacob.


 

25 Feb | 03:30 PM - 04:30 PM
Durbar Hall

25 Feb | 04:30 PM - 04:45 PM
Durbar Hall

25 Feb | 04:45 PM - 05:45 PM
Durbar Hall

25 Feb | 05:45 PM - 06:00 PM
Durbar Hall

25 Feb | 06:00 PM - 07:00 PM
Durbar Hall

25 Feb | 07:00 PM - 07:15 PM
Durbar Hall

25 Feb | 07:15 PM - 07:45 PM
Durbar Hall

25 Feb | 08:00 PM
Front Lawn

Jack Warnock is a multi-instrumentalist/singer from Maghera, County Derry. In January 2021, Warnock was announced as the recipient of a prestigious, BBC Northern Ireland and Arts Council of Northern Ireland Young Musician Platform Award in the folk and traditional music category. As guitar/piano/cocalist in the traditional groups Cóiriú and Meargánta, he has performed in the final of Siansa Gael Linn at the National Concert Hall, Dublin on multiple occasions, and at the Royal Albert Hall, London. He was part of The Doc Flock who appeared at the Celtic Colours International Festival in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in October 2016. As a solo artist, Warnock won the An Ré Nua competition in the lead-up to Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, 2013 in Derry and after honing his craft for a few years, was nominated for the prestigious BBC Young Folk Award in 2018. Later that year he won the Senior Accompaniment Competition at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. He was Artist in Residence for Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, An tAcadamh Ceoil and IMBOLC International Music Festival from 2018-19. He was also named one of Moving On Music’s ‘Emerging Artists’ for 2020, and he is the guitarist and singer with the hot new trad group, ‘TRODA’.

Warnock recently received a SIAP grant from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, through National Lottery, to record his highly anticipated debut solo album, due for release in 2021. Throughout his career, he has shared the stage with many fantastic musicians, playing support for We Banjo 3, Ulaid, Lúnasa and more. He has also accompanied musicians such as Liz Doherty, The Vallely Brothers and Troy MacGillivray. He is a graduate of Ulster University, Magee, with a 1st Class Honours in Irish with Music

Friday, 26 February 2021

Political philosophy, climate change, fantasy, historical fiction, book launches & more...

26 Feb | 09:00 AM - 09:40 AM
Front Lawn

Morning Music: HARPREET

Harpreet is a versatile artiste who sings original musical compositions in Hindi, as well as in Punjabi, Bengali, Assamese, Rajasthani and Haryanvi. Trained in Hindustani classical music, he plays both the guitar and flute. His talent fuses both the modern and traditional when composing tunes to his own lyrics and for classical poetry that he loves. He is best known for creating musical scores to the works of poets such as Kabir and Bulleh Shah. His original composition Kutte (dog), a song about a canine’s view of human life, was selected by Bollywood film director Dibakar Banerjee and Kanu Behl for the film Titli. Some of his yet-to be-released compositions, Geet Aur Shabd, Kho Gaye He Wo and Sonapani, have received wide appreciation.

26 Feb | 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Front Lawn

These are dangerous times for democracy. In his new book, The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good?, renowned philosopher Michael Sandel shows how the polarised politics of our time reflects the deep divide between winners and losers. He argues that we must rethink the attitudes toward success and failure that have accompanied globalisation and rising inequality. In conversation with celebrated author and Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor, Sandel offers an ethic of dignity and solidarity that points the way to a new politics of the common good.
 

26 Feb | 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Front Lawn

“It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of a problem as big as climate change. But you’re not powerless. And you don’t have to be a politician or a philanthropist to make a difference.” – Bill Gates

In conversation with Alok Sharma, President of the COP26 Climate Conference and former Secretary of State for Business, Bill Gates will set out a wide-ranging, practical—and accessible—plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe. Gates has spent a decade investigating the causes and effects of climate change. With the help of experts in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, political science, and finance, he has focused on what must be done in order to stop the planet’s slide toward certain environmental disasters. He will explain not only why we need to work toward net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases, but also details what we need to do to achieve this profoundly important goal. 

26 Feb | 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Durbar Hall

The House of Jaipur has all the ingredients necessary to define a legend: exquisite maharanis, handsome maharajahs on horseback, conspicuous wealth and what they call homes the rest of us call palaces. John Zubrzycki's latest book on this royal household goes behind sealed doors to unearth more untold stories, and also to set the vanishing phenomena of centuries old feudal life styles against the reality of post Independence modern democratic India. Zubrzycki is the author of books such as The Last Nizam: The Rise and Fall of India's Greatest Princely State,  The Mysterious Mr Jacob: Diamond Merchant, Magician and Spy and Jadoowallahs, Jugglers and Jinns: A Magical History of India. Archaeologist, historian and author Rima Hooja’s latest book is Maharana Pratap : The Invincible Warrior. In conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy, he introduces us to the fascinating inner world of the Royals.
 

26 Feb | 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
Front Lawn

Our knowledge and information of the Aztec empire, their history and their conquest, for generations has been informed by the western pen. Author and historian Camilla Townsend’s Cundill History Prize winning Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs brings to light a complex and riveting history of the Aztecs based entirely on direct translations of the annals written in the neglected Nahuatl language. Townsend is the Distinguished Professor of History at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Her other books include Annals of Native America: How the Nahuas of Colonial Mexico Kept Their History Alive. Peter Frankopan, Professor of Global History at Oxford University, is the author of The Silk Roads: A New History of the World and The News Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World. In conversation with Frankopan, she explores the precarious survival and brutal conquest of the people of the sun and their journey of endurance.
 

26 Feb | 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
Durbar Hall

“The Taj Mahal rises above the banks of the river like a solitary tear suspended on the cheek of time.” -Rabindranath Tagore
 
The Taj Mahal is integral to Agra’s identity, history and economy. It is a focal point of the city’s profound Mughal legacy , which reflects in every aspect of its folk arts and heritage. It has become emblematic of romantic love and aesthetic beauty. Yet, this dream-like marble mausoleum faces potential damage from environmental pollution as well as cultural hostility by a segment of ultra nationalists. An absorbing session with Amita Baig, Santhi Kavuri-Bauer, Tripurdaman Singh and Sarthak Malhotra on the multi-faceted narratives of the Taj Mahal, its vital importance for India's tourism and its abiding place in the human imagination as a symbol of eternal love.
 
Amita Baig is the Executive Director of World Monuments Fund India. Her books include Taj Mahal: Multiple Narratives. Tripurdaman Singh is a British Academy postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. Singh's latest book is Sixteen Stormy Days: The Story of the First Amendment of the Constitution of India. Sarthak Malhotra is an anthropologist and research scholar at the University of Cambridge. 
 

26 Feb | 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
Front Lawn

Keshav Desiraju’s book, Of Gifted Voice: The Life and Art of MS Subbulakshmi, brings a new perspective to the most famous vocalist of Carnatic music. With access to less known information about her personal life, and seeing this in conjunction with the finesse  of her performances, the author hopes to correct some assumptions  about ‘MS’ the person and her command over a vast repertoire of compositions. Known to be a philanthropist and a woman of exquisite style, MS’s devotional music has enthralled generations of listeners. Jawaharlal Nehru called her the ‘Queen of  Music’ and adoring audiences thronged to her concerts. Writer and broadcast journalist Mrinal Pande is the former chairperson of Prasar Bharati. Writer and journalist Samanth Subramanian most recent book is A Dominant Character: The Radical Science and Restless Politics of J.B.S. Haldane. In conversation with Pande and Subramanian, Desiraju places MS Subbulakshmi’s achievements in the larger context of the advent of film, radio and gramophone which dramatically altered the music industry. 
The book will be launched at this session during the Jaipur Literature Festival 2021.  

26 Feb | 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
Durbar Hall

Senior journalist and columnist Anant Vijay delves into the roots of a historic victory and defeat at Amethi where Smriti Irani wrested this key parliamentary seat from the incumbent Rahul Gandhi, in 2019. He examines the behind-the-scenes struggles and battles, the excitement and high tension, the interplay of local and national interests in this real life political thriller.

The author will be in conversation with Kanchan Gupta

26 Feb | 02:00 PM - 02:45 PM
Front Lawn

 

A master of expression and text, award-winning Irish writer Colm Tóibín possesses a unique ability to inhabit and blend through his words an expansive universe of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. He is the bestselling author of The Master, The Blackwater Lightship,  The Testament of Mary and Nora Webster. His upcoming book is The Magician. In conversation with Nandini Nair, Tóibín takes us through the rhythm and roots of his writing process and celebrated career.


 

26 Feb | 2:00 PM - 02:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Scholar and author Daniel Simpson’s recent book The Truth of Yoga takes us on a journey through the origins, development and concept of Yoga. Cutting through myth and misinformation, the text provides a comprehensive overview of this age-old discipline which is celebrated worldwide for its mental, physical and spiritual benefits. Simpson teaches courses on yoga philosophy at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and at Triyoga in London. He draws on his experience as a journalist to make the subject accessible. Yoga practitioner and teacher Ranju Roy is the co-author ofEmbodying the Yoga Sūtra: Support, Direction, Space and teaches courses on the practice and philosophy of yoga. In conversation with Roy, Simpson delves into the past, present and future of this ancient tradition.
 

26 Feb | 03:00 PM - 03:45 PM
Front Lawn

Anish Kapoor has succeeded in transforming the cool, conceptual, and minimal approach to sculpture by adding lyricism, metaphor, and the heat of the primordial. Objects spill out from their own parameters, yet they also stand serenely as in meditative focus as if for ritual. Typically, the sculptures appear abstract, with Kapoor's intention to promote self-reflection made most obvious when using mirrored surfaces. He does not wish to present a prescriptive idea, but instead to create an environment within which people themselves can consider meaning. As the viewer becomes part of the sculpture, each work speaks of the confined individuality of a single body, but also of the expansive inclusiveness of a shared place. His sculptures paradoxically entwine esoteric philosophy with sensual everyday experience. In this session, one of India’s greatest artists talks about his life and work with his friend Homi K. Bhabha.
 

26 Feb | 03:00 PM - 03:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Journalist and writer George Packer’s Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century is an enduring account of the force behind the Dayton Accords which famously ended the Balkan wars. Packer’s sweeping diplomatic history is based on Holbrooke's diaries and papers and gives a peek into the life of man both equally admired and detested. Packer’s other works include The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America, The Assassins’ Gate: America in Iraq and Blood of the Liberals. In conversation with journalist and writer Basharat Peer, Packer dives into the life and career of an extraordinary and deeply flawed man and the political and social circles he inhabited.
 

26 Feb | 04:00 PM - 04:45 PM
Front Lawn

Meelis Friedenthal’s historical novel Mesilased: The Bees is based in Estonia of the 17th century. Using a fabulist technique the author explores philosophy and science as twin factors influencing the hero, Laurentius, who,accompanied  by  his parrot  Clodia, travels to Tartu.  The Estonian city, famed as the abode of the Muses, turns out to be a place of destitution and disease. While Laurentius submits to various treatments for his bodily and mental illnesses, he faints and begins to see an enchanting bee-like maiden in his hallucinatory condition.  The novel melts the boundaries between history and speculation, creating a fascinating discussion on the perception of reality. In conversation with Meelis Friedenthal is academic and writer Malashri Lal. Lal’s recent book is Betrayed By Hope: A Play On The Life Of Michael Madhusudan Dutt.
 

26 Feb | 04:00 PM - 04:45 PM
Durbar Hall

A world still reeling from the impact of the COVID19 pandemic has also seen a silver lining in the situation - a paradigm shift to an evolving digital space for artisans and craftsmen that is replete with creative possibilities. A panel that discusses and analyses the efforts on becoming an Atmanirbhar Bharat with the revitalised focus on local crafts, heirloom products, sustainable consumption with an emphasis on ecological and social impact while driving revenues.

 


 

26 Feb | 05:00 PM - 05:45 PM
Front Lawn

The pandemic has provided many parts of the planet a reprieve from the worst effects of pollution, demonstrating that the problem has solutions and is at least partially reversible. It has also served as a potent reminder that burning of fossil fuels is no longer feasible because the severe consequences and alternative measures are imperative for the survival of our planet. An important session that looks at the human cost of air pollution, be it natural or man made, and the possibility of change. Jyoti Pande Lavakare is a journalist, columnist and author of Breathing Here Is Injurious to Your Health: The Human Cost of Air Pollution and How You Can Be the Change. Academic and author Alastair Lewis is a Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of York and a Science Director at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science. Siddharth Singh is an energy, mobility and climate policy expert. He was selected to be a German Chancellor Fellow in 2016-17 and is the author of The Great Smog of India. In conversation with Anumita Roychowdhury, the Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Centre For Science and Environment, they look at solutions for clean air, and discuss the potential for innovative political, economic and social reform that need to be addressed to make a credible impact on emissions and the quality and value of human life.
 

26 Feb | 05:00 PM - 05:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Marina Wheeler opens the portals of memory as the daughter of a woman traumatised by the Partition of 1947 that divided British India into Pakistan and India. The Lost Homestead: My Mother, Partition and the Punjab tracks a parallel story of the dreams of nation building in India and also a displaced woman’s struggle to find economic and social space in her new habitat. Wheeler follows her mother's buried past, her marriage and move to England where she refuses to look over her shoulder at a lost world. Wheeler is a Queen’s Counsel in England.  Author and diplomat Navtej Sarna’s books include The Book of Nanak,  Savage Harvest (a translation of partition stories of MS Sarna) and The Exile: A Novel Based on the Life of Maharaja Duleep Singh. He is the former High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom. In conversation with Sarna, she explores the meaning of Punjab Sikh identity as it survives through cultural transitions.
 

26 Feb | 06:00 PM - 06:45 PM
Front Lawn

Academic and author Richard M. Eaton’s book India in the Persianate Age is a diverse and rich account of the Indian subcontinent’s interaction with cultures and people across the world through the centuries. Focusing on the introduction of Persianate culture into the region, the book explores the assimilation and integration of the traditions with India’s Sanskritic cultures and into the fabric of our language, art, architecture, literature, cuisine, and more. Eaton is the Professor of History at the University of Arizona. His other books include A Social History Of The Deccan, 1300-1761: Eight Indian Lives and Essays on Islam and Indian History. In conversation with author and Festival Co Director William Dalrymple, Eaton takes us on a journey through the influences and traditions that made India establish its diverse cultural roots.
 

26 Feb | 06:00 PM - 06:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Enter Stage Right: The Alkazi-Padamsee Family Memoir is a heartfelt homage to one of the greatest alliances in the world of theatre and art in post-Independence India: the Alkazi-Padamsees. Penned by noted director Feisal Alkazi, son of the late theatre veteran and Director of the National School of Drama Ebrahim Alkazi, and Roshen Alkazi, pioneering costumier and founder-director of Art Heritage, the memoir charmingly recounts the stories and anecdotes that constitute the history of Indian theatre, bringing them to life with insightful observations and more than 50 archival photographs. In this memorable session, he speaks to Quasar Thakore Padamsee to discuss the institutional legacy of their family and how they shaped the future of arts in India. In conversation with festival producer Sanjoy K Roy.
 

26 Feb | 07:00 PM - 07:45 PM
Front Lawn

“India lives in her villages,” said Gandhi. Although agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, accounting for close to 16 %of the GDP and providing employment to much of the nation's workforce, rural-urban distances and divides continue to grow. The incomprehension between those who contribute to growing our food and those who consume it widens by the day. All political parties claim to represent the farmer but the tiller of the soil is mute and invisible in the process of decision making. Climate change further impacts the uncertainties that farmers face. An engaged panel speaks of the paradoxes of policy and the complex issues involved in bringing about much-needed reforms and discusses the signposts ahead. Kota Neelima is an Indian author, researcher, artist and political commentator, specialising in rural distress, gender and her work focuses on the condition of women farmers, farmer suicides and peripheries of democratic societies. Economist, author and columnist Surjit Bhalla is currently the Executive Director for India at the International Monetary Fund. Dushyant Dave is a senior advocate and former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association. Sanket Upadhyay is an anchor and Executive editor at NDTV.
 

26 Feb | 07:00 PM - 07:45 PM
Durbar Hall

“If we want to put people first, we have to know what matters to them, what improves their well-being, and how we can supply more of whatever that is.” —Joseph E. Stiglitz

 

A thought-provoking and critical look into society's measure of prosperity, Measuring What Counts: The Global Movement for Well-Being, co-authored by Nobel laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz, charts the global movement of the past decade and questions the idea of the Gross Domestic Product or GDP. Calling for a new criteria of judgment, the book examines factors such as inequality, economic vulnerability and environmental sustainability and its impact on the population and its overall idea of success. In this session, Stiglitz delves on the fundamental question of how we measure our lives and presents a new path ahead.  In conversation with entrepreneur and investor Mohit Satyanand.


 

26 Feb | 08:00 PM
Front Lawn

After Junun where Shye Ben Tzur collaborated with numerous musicians from Rajasthan, India and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, Ben Tzur initiates a live experimental voyage where all the beats and compositions are recreated live. Ben Tzur’s previous work Junun with Jonny Greenwood was recorded and mixed by Nigel Goodrich in a 15th century Fort in Jodhpur, India.Junun was also documented by Paul Thomas Anderson into a film by the same title. Besides playing independent concerts and performing in Festivals, Junun has supported Radiohead’s tours  in Europe, Israel, South and North America. His new project is aLive music solo performance with devotional poetries filmed and recorded in the Augusta Victoria Church and on the outskirts of Jerusalem’s sacred landscape. Halel is a 43 min artistic journey moving from meditation to  ecstasy.

Saturday, 27 February 2021

When diplomats, activists, economists, art historians, sports & travel writers & others converge...

27 Feb | 09:00 AM - 09:40 AM
Front Lawn

Morning Music: SUPRIYA NAGARAJAN

Supriya Nagarajan is a UK based vocalist/composer who creates cross-cultural cross-genre concept driven immersive music work. She has toured the globe and created work for festivals like the hcmf//, Ultima Oslo and Iceland Symphony Orchestra. She is a Performing Rights Society/Jerwood composer and an alumni of New voices 2018 Sound and Music. She is the Artistic Director of Manasamitra, a UK based arts charity and a passionate advocate for fair access in the music sector. 
Duncan Chapman, a composer and musician based in Lincolnshire UK. Much of his work involves collaboration creating performances, installations and recordings. Recent projects include online live events and spatial audio research. Solo work is on Silent, Takuroku and Linear Obsessional labels and Dusk Notes, (collaboration with Nagarajan), which released in 2020.
Lucy, an award-winning harpist who graduated with Distinctions in her postgraduate studies from Oxford University and the Royal Northern College of Music where she was a Gold Medal finalist. She regularly plays with professional orchestras and has toured throughout Europe. Passionate about developing new music that defies genre classification, she has performed at the Hong Kong World Harp Congress and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and is a founding member of the exciting new music ensemble, SHOAL, who develop works experimenting with sound, electronics, light and movement.

27 Feb | 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Front Lawn

A new dynamism pervades the crucial relationship between India and Australia with China as an important element in the larger equilibrium of the region. India's strategic political and economic relationships with the countries in the South Asia-Australasia region have far reaching consequences. The panelists take a long hard look at crucial factors such as global health, climate change and military balance. Former diplomat Yogendra Kumar’s latest book is Geopolitics in the Era of Globalisation: Mapping an Alternative Global Future. His Excellency Barry O’Farrell is the current Australian High Commissioner to India. Foreign affairs analyst and writer Historian and foreign affairs analyst Zorawar Daulet Singh’s latest book is Powershift: India-China Relations in a Multipolar World. Shyam Saran is a former Foreign Secretary of India. His latest book is How India Sees the World. In conversation with editor and journalist Jyoti Malhotra, they evaluate the steps that nations, international institutions and people to people relationships can take.
 

27 Feb | 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Durbar Hall

As fault lines within democracies continue to disrupt and widen across the world, we examine the crisis at its root through the prism of Constitutions that have set up the framework of these social institutions. With an emphasis on the foundational ideals and grounding philosophies guiding the making of this pivotal document, an eminent panel of legal representatives discuss its unique trajectory and continued relevance across the world, in terms of both interpretation and implementation, within the context of our present times.  Albie Sachs is an activist and a former judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa. American legal scholar Akhil Reed Amar holds the position of Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University. Justice Madan B. Lokur is an Indian jurist. He is a Judge of the Supreme Court of Fiji and is a former Judge of the Supreme Court of India. Meghnad Desai is Emeritus Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics and a member of the British House of Lords. In conversation with writer and columnist Pragya Tiwari.
 

27 Feb | 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Words are Bridges
Front Lawn

The Himalayan forests determine the well-being of India’s Northern Plains. Scholar, traveller, and activist Shekhar Pathak’s important book The Chipko Movement: A People’s  History has been rendered in English by translator and publisher Manisha Chaudhry. It tells the story of how local communities in Kumaon and Garhwal, especially the women, resisted forest felling by loggers. Relying on extensive research and primary sources, it documents the antecedents, the inspiration and the impact of this transformative movement in its grassroots context. Edited and with an introduction by historian and public intellectual Ramachandra Guha, the narrative also bears witness to the deep friendship and understanding between Pathak and Guha, two men who share so little and so much. In a deep and insightful discussion, they speak with writer and academic Mukul Sharma about the book and its backstories.
 

27 Feb | 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Durbar Hall

Spiritual teacher, social reformer, educationist and author Sri M’s transformational journey, from a young boy to yogi, is a story of single-minded discipline and dedication. Born into a Muslim family as Mumtaz Ali Khan Thiruvanthapuram, Kerala, he established the Satsang Foundation 20 years ago as a meeting point for spiritual seekers of all persuasions. Conversant with the principles and beliefs of most major religions, Sri M’s teachings seek to transcend the outer shell of all religions by exploring the core of their teachings and nurturing the innate goodness in every human being. His immensely popular books include Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master: A Yogi’s Autobiography, Journey Continues: A Sequel to Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master, Yoga Also for the Godless and The Homecoming and Other Stories. Sri M was also conferred with the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in India, in January 2020 for distinguished service of high order in spirituality. In conversation with  the Founder Trustee of the Yuva Ekta Foundation, Puneeta Roy. 


 

27 Feb | 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
Front Lawn

At a time when climate battles and energy revolutions map the future of our planet, the quest for clean energy sources that can transform the global landscape is the Holy Grail of the 21st century. Depleting fossil fuels can be counterbalanced by the conscious use of sustainable alternatives on an international scale, signifying a collective investment in the future. Sumant Sinha, Chairman and Managing Director of ReNew Power, India's leading clean energy company, is the author of Fossil Free: Reimagining Clean Energy in a Carbon-Constrained World, which reimagines the move into a world rooted in sustainable and secure renewable energy. Ajay Mathur is Director General of The Energy and Resources Institute and a member of the Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change. In conversation with writer and founder of the Sundaram Climate Institute, Mridula Ramesh, they discuss energy security, climate change mitigation, and the economic benefits of transitioning to clean, green and affordable energy.
 
 

27 Feb | 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
Durbar Hall

We live in an age of accelerated anxiety and the prospect of loss stares us in the face in the times of the pandemic. A conversation across generations where two young women writers, Kairavi Bharat Ram, age 22, and Arshya Gaur, age 16, share their hurts and the process of healing with clinical psychologist and author Sonali Gupta and psychologist and family therapist Shelja Sen. 
Dr. Sen is co-founder of Children First, a child and adolescent mental health institute, and author of Imagine: No Child Left Invisible, All You Need is Love: The Art of Mindful Parenting and Reclaim Your Life: Going Beyond Silence, Shame and Stigma in Mental Health. Clinical psychologist Sonali Gupta is the author of Anxiety: Overcome It and Live Without Fear. Kairavi Bharat Ram is a third-year student at London College of Fashion and has written C is for Cat, D is for Depression. Arshya Gaur is a student, writer and consultant at the Daily O. She recently published a collection of poems titled How to Open a Parachute, dealing with depression and anorexia.
 

27 Feb | 01:00 PM - 01:45 PM
Front Lawn

Journalist and writer Meenakshi Ahamed’s latest book, A Matter Of Trust, charts the complex relationship between India and the United States from the years following Indian Independence to today’s evolving politics. Based on her research of presidential papers, newly declassified documents, memoirs and interviews, the book evaluates the dynamics between the people in power in both countries against the backdrop of constantly developing socio-political-economic changes. In conversation with former diplomat Navdeep Suri, former Foreign Secretary to the Government of India Shyam Saran and Former Diplomat Frank G. Wisner; Ahamed discusses the far-reaching implications of this relationship and the current global political climate.
 
The book will be launched at this session during the Jaipur Literature Festival 2021. 
 

27 Feb | 01:00 PM - 01:45 PM
Durbar Hall

"There were no longer any signs of the house we stayed in, no doorway with its low entrance, no weeping willow or cryptomeria tree from which the caterpillars fell. The ramshackle cottage that housed my earliest friends and shaped my memories lay bare and forgotten. Only the flying termites remained, fluttering below the street lights outside the property."
 
Daribha Lyndem’s debut novel Name Place Animal Thing follows the life of a young Khasi woman in the politically charged city of Shillong. Traversing her journey to adulthood, the tale evocatively presents her changing perceptions of identity, selfhood and differences. Writer and civil servant Lyndem currently works with the Indian Revenue Service and is a Deputy Commissioner of Customs. In conversation with poet and writer Janice Pariat, Lyndem delves into the boundaries between the warmth of childhood and with time, the loss of a certain kind of innocence. 
 
The book will be launched at this session during the Jaipur Literature Festival 2021. 
 

27 Feb | 02:00 PM - 02:45 PM
Front Lawn

Sport and a billion dreams: 2021 is a huge sporting year with the postponed Olympics and Paralympics and the men’s World Cup scheduled back to back. The women’s World Cup is also less than a year away in February 2022. From the recent evidence of the Australia series it is clear that through sport a new India is speaking out: an India that isn’t divided, that isn’t toxic and one that is secular and vibrant. This panel which includes some of India’s best athletes and para athletes, men and women who are all great stories themselves, will celebrate the spirit of a new India and look ahead at the huge year in prospect. They will be in conversation with Boria Majumdar who has documented their stories in his books on cricket and olympic sport. 
 

27 Feb | 02:00 PM - 02:45 PM
Durbar Hall

To mark Pandit Ravi Shankar’s birth centenary, Oliver Craske has penned a comprehensive biography of the sitar maestro. Ravi Shankar excelled in Indian classical music and played a leading role in its post-independence revival within India, before becoming its pioneering global ambassador. A childhood immersed in dance and music with his older brother Uday Shankar, and the rigorous discipline of learning the sitar under the tutelage of the legendary Allauddin Khan, prepared him for transforming the international understanding of Indian culture from 1954 onwards. Ravi Shankar’s creative associations with George Harrison, Yehudi Menuhin and Satyajit Ray, among others, led to worldwide acclaim and extraordinary musical experiments and collaborations. Using rare family archives and fresh interviews, Craske tracks his professional success and often tangled personal life. In a moving and evocative session, Craske alongside writer and cultural critic Guillermo Rodríguez speak of Shankar’s genius and his profound impact on the world.
 

27 Feb | 03:00 PM - 03:45 PM
Front Lawn

Renowned author and music critic Alex Ross’ latest book Wagnerism: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music unravels the cultural history and significance of Richard Wagner and the kaleidoscopic work and life he inhabited. Ross weaves together not just Wagner’s story but also the political, artistic and cultural history of the last 150 years. Ross’ other books include The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century and Listen to This.with In conversation with academic and author Katherine Butler Schofield, Ross delves into the artistic genius of Wagner and the impact of art in world history. 
 

27 Feb | 03:00 PM - 03:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Celebrated for its vibrant and innovative art and architecture, the reign of Emperor Jahangir was also marked by cultural, political and economic interactions between the Indian subcontinent and the West. His artistic and cultural patronage, along with the assimilation of European and Christian imagery in Mughal art, created the path for his court to become a visual representation of power steeped in culture. Mehreen Chida-Razvi is an Art Historian specialising in the art and architecture of Mughal South Asia. She is the Deputy Curator and In-House Editor of the Nasser D Khalili Collection of Islamic Art and is the Assistant Editor for the International Journal of Islamic Architecture. B.N. Goswamy is India’s leading art historian and is the author of classics like Pahari Masters, Nainsukh of Guler, The Spirit of Indian Painting and The Great Mysore Bhagavata. In conversation with Goswamy, Chida-Razvi delves on the impact of this integration and its role in establishing Jahangir’s supremacy as a patron of the arts.
 

27 Feb | 04:00 PM - 04:45 PM
Front Lawn

Indo-Irish writer Cauvery Madhavan’s skilfully crafted novel The Tainted is set against the backdrop of a little known episode in colonial history: the mutiny of the Connaught Rangers in 1920. The narrative depicts the complex hierarchies and uncertain loyalties of the times with a poignant love story at the heart of it. Ayo Gorkhali: A History of the Gurkhasby Tim I. Gurung, brings alive the story of the Gurkhas and evokes the fierce courage of their endurance and exploits in the British, Indian and Nepalese armies. In conversation with author and performance storyteller Vayu Naidu, they speak of the theatre of war and the human emotions that relate to it. 
 

27 Feb | 04:00 PM - 04:45 PM
Durbar Hall

A stunning narrative which moulds together essay and autofiction, Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s debut book, A Ghost in the Throat, explores the intense connections between two women separated by centuries. A poem written by an Irish woman in the 1700s after her husband’s murder is evoked by a young housewife in the present day. Exploring landscapes and inner spaces the tale follows the obsessive parallels between their lives and journeys. Poet and essayist Ní Ghríofa’s other books include Lies and Clasp. She has received the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in the year 2016. In conversation with Jayanti Naju Seth, they dive into this timeless tale of a woman finding her voice by reaching into the past and finding another's.
 

27 Feb | 05:00 PM - 05:45 PM
Front Lawn

The interactions between India and China have been long and complicated. Tansen Sen sets on a singular mission: to fill the gaps in the narratives tying the regions, breaking through traditional conceptions of understanding India-China connections and proposing new ways to explore the historical and contemporary relations. Sen peoples his tapestry with material exchanges, archival evidence, intelligence reports and information networks, sweeping across historical contexts both within and outside the Asian continent. Sen is Director of the Center for Global Asia, Professor of History, NYU Shanghai. He specialises in Asian history and religions and has special scholarly interests in India-China interactions, Indian Ocean connections and Buddhism. In conversation with author and Festival Co Director William Dalrymple.
 

27 Feb | 05:00 PM - 05:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Two Blankets, Three Sheets is Rodaan Al Galidi's autobiographical account of spending nine years as an asylum resident in the Netherlands. He tells of how he reached Amsterdam Airport in 1998, flushed away his documentary links with Iraq and hoped to build a new life as an honourable refugee. What he encountered instead was a brutal institutionalisation and minimal facilities that he shared with 500 others while waiting for the precious documents of acceptance by the host country. Bizarre though the situation was, Al Galidi managed to find dark humour in the excessive scrutiny of his case.The author is accompanied by Jonathan Reeder, translator of Two Blankets, Three Sheets from Dutch to English. Reeder enjoys a dual career in translation and music. His translation of Rivers by Martin Michael Driessen won the 2016 ECI Literature Prize. In conversation with Rodaan Al Galidi and Jonathan Reeder is Neeta Gupta, the publisher of Yatra Books who has been working with translation as a bridge between cultures.  
 

27 Feb | 06:00 PM - 06:45 PM
Front Lawn

 

Travel writing is one of the most ancient forms of literature but does it have any relevance in the age of the internet, globalisation and Google Maps? Travel writer and broadcaster Jeremy Seal’s books include Meander: East to West Along a Turkish River, A Fez of the Heart: Travels Around Turkey In Search of a Hat. Journalist and writer Samira Shackle’s latest book is Karachi Vice: Life and Death in a Contested City. Taran N. Khan is the author of Shadow City: A Woman Walks Kabul. Together, they read from their work, discuss the genre and the impact of the COVID19 pandemic on travel writing with writer Monisha Rajesh.


 

27 Feb | 06:00 PM - 06:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Best-selling author and historian Ben MacIntyre’s latest work Agent Sonya is an exhilarating narrative whfich unravels the life of Ursula Kuczynski Burton, code name- Agent Sonya, the spy behind some of the most dangerous espionage operations of the twentieth century. Her escapades included a failed assasination on Hitler, spying on the Japanese and other covert missions for Moscow. MacIntyre’s other books include Agent Zigzag, Operation Mincemeat and A Spy Among Friends. In conversation with Swapan Dasgupta, he discusses the life and times of a lover, mother, soldier and spy.
 

27 Feb | 07:00 PM - 07:45 PM
Front Lawn

The digital landscape is perhaps the most exciting space for creative potential today, having transformed long-established modes of consuming, interpreting and interacting with text-based narratives. This is a golden age of entertainment as streaming services constantly evolve, challenging viewer expectations and bringing in new ways in which stories are created, absorbed and shared. In a fascinating session, the panelists exchange ideas on the process of adapting dynamic scripts to the screen, reimagining the text for the visual medium and broadening the possibilities of immersive, authentic storytelling.


 

27 Feb | 07:00 PM - 07:45 PM
Durbar Hall

The seeds of the storming of the Capital were sown, and shown to the world, early in President Trump’s Presidency with his chest-thumping belief in what commentators have called “dangerous” nationalism. Scholar and critical theorist Homi K. Bhabha, a believer in a more benign and inclusive world view, evaluates how you address these actions rooted within the fabric of chaos, discontent and “uncivil unrest”. A session that analyses the growing instances of neo nationalism around the world also discusses how this narrative is trying to redefine democracy, political power, public ethics and success in troubling terms, fueled by conspiracy theories. Bhabha is the Anne F. Rothenberg Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. His work explores postcolonial theory, cultural change, and power. His books include Nation and Narration and The Location of Culture. In conversation with Sanjoy K. Roy, Bhabha delves on this new era of politics and what it entails for our future.
 

27 Feb | 8:00 PM IST
Durbar Hall

The North India Office of the U.S. Embassy New Delhi is pleased to participate in the virtual Jaipur Literature Festival 2021 by sponsoring a special screening of An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. The screening emphasises the U.S. government’s support for addressing the ‘existential threat’ of climate change, which is a key element of the U.S.-India bilateral relationship. Mission India has supported the Jaipur Literature Festival since 2009 as part of the many linkages between the United States and the Indian people. The 2017 sequel to the Oscar-winning film, An Inconvenient Truth, is written by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and showcases his tireless fight, training climate champions and influencing international climate policy. Directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, the film highlights the daunting challenge we face and the role each one of us can play to save our shared planet. It serves as an inspiration that the perils of climate change can be overcome with human ingenuity and passion.

Join us on 27 February at 8:00 PM IST for the special screening! Below is the link and password to view the Film
https://digitalcampus.swankmp.net/vs-usend380109/passphrase-watchlink/
Password: D8006855F0D94A53B4AA68B834E5AD06

27 Feb | 08:00 PM
Front Lawn

Dhruv Visvanath is a singer-songwriter, producer and accomplished acoustic guitarist from New Delhi, India. Having spent a large part of his childhood in various parts of the world like London, Zambia, Hong Kong and Mumbai to name a few, he uses the collective experiences from his past to craft his songs and stories. In 2018, Visvanath was India’s only entrant to South By South West, Austin, Texas USA, and the Canadian Music Week in Toronto. His unique style of playing the guitar led him to be mentioned as one of Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s 30 Great Guitarists Under 30, alongside the likes of Ed Sheeran, Newton Faulkner, Laura Marling and many others. Under VLT records, he released his debut album Orion in 2015. His sophomore release, The Lost Cause, released in 2018, was crowdfunded and released independently, debuting at #2 on iTunes Apple Music’s top 50 albums at the time of release. His unique style of playing the guitar allowed him to develop a relationship and an endorsement with the Dehradun Guitar Company in 2018, resulting in his own custom guitar he so lovingly calls, Willow. He continues to evolve as a songwriter and producer, which is especially showcased in the work he’s done for numerous independent and mainstream films in the Indian cinematic landscape. In 2019 alone, he has written and produced for two independent films, as well as worked with the likes of Vishal Bharadwaj for his film Sonchiriya and A.R. Rahman for the exclusive Netflix release Blinded By the Light. He has also been involved in the production an upcoming video game by independent game developer Prashast Thapan, which is to be released in the coming year. In 2020, he released 7 brand new singles bringing much light and energy to a pandemic filled year. Later in the year, a Bollywood debut for his music made its way to Bejoy Nambiar’s Taish, with his song ‘The Mountain King’. And to top it off, thanks to the folks at Apple, one can now use his music to assemble ‘Memories’ through the iOS photo app, on every portable iOS device, in the world.

Sunday, 28 February 2021

Tales of the police, political parties, coups, ghosts and more rounded off with Mark Haddon!

28 Feb | 09:00 AM - 09:40 AM
Front Lawn

Morning Music: ALI SAFFUDDIN

Ali Saffuddin is a singer-songwriter from Srinagar, Kashmir. Known throughout the valley for his magnetic and captivating voice that serves to amplify the plight of his people and the cultural heritage of the Kashmiri community, Saffudin is one of South Asia’s critically important voices. Set to release his debut record in the summer of 2021, Saffudin’s ability to deftly maneuver between tender, heart wrenching ballads and power-packed, folk-punk anthems has seen him be recognised as one of the most exciting artists to emerge in the region today.

28 Feb | 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Front Lawn

Nobel Peace Prize winner and bestselling author Malala Yousafzai's journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. From being an education activist in the Swat Valley in Pakistan to her path breaking work with the Malala Fund, she has emerged as an international voice in the fight for education for all and ending gender discrimination. Her latest book is We are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World. In a conversation with Pragya Tiwari, she gives us an inside look into her inspirations, journey and roots.

 


 

28 Feb | 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Durbar Hall

Nature provides in abundance. We too are part of nature, and designed to draw sustenance from it. In this session, award-winning author Mohana Gill, whose cookbooks encourage healthy eating practices, author, art curator and mental health advocate Tanya Abraham, and Michelin star chef and writer Suvir Saran talk about natural foods and produce, healthy living and the benefits of fresh cooking while also looking at how food is a reflection of communities, histories and identities and holds up a mirror to our souls.

28 Feb | 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Front Lawn

A powerful narrative on the stark realities of climate change, We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast by Jonathan Safran Foer takes a hard-hitting look at the day-to-day human contribution to the unfolding environmental catastrophe. Weaving personal stories, facts and metaphors, he also analyses what motivates some people to sacrifice short-term comfort for the sake of the long term preservation of our climate by eliminating animal-based products from their diet. In conversation with journalist Jeffrey Gettleman, he delves on the changes that each one of us can make to mitigate this crisis. 
 

28 Feb | 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Durbar Hall

A session of engrossing insider stories told by a prominent panel of law enforcers with literary flair and deep insight. Ajay Pal Lamba, Amod Kanth and Neeraj Kumar, writers with a background in the Indian Police Service, speak with writer and journalist Meenal Baghel about their varied experiences and how they transferred them through fact and fiction in their books.
Ajay Pal Lamba is the Additional Commissioner of Police Jaipur, Rajasthan. He has written the book Gunning for the Godman: The True Story Behind Asaram Bapu's Conviction. Author and social activist Amod Kanth’s recent book is Khaki in Dust Storm. He is the current Chairman of Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights. Neeraj Kumar is the former Commissioner of Delhi Police. His books include Khaki Files: Inside Stories of Police Missions and Dial D for Don: Inside Stories of CBI Case Missions. Editor and writer Meenal Bhagel is the author of Death in Mumbai: A True Story.
 

28 Feb | 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
Front Lawn

Journalist Vijai Trivedi's painstakingly researched Hindi book, Sangham Sharanam Gachchami, follows the journey of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) since it was first established in 1925. The opaque, often mysterious, RSS, the Indian volunteer organisation which leads the Sangh Parivaar, the RSS family, pervades different facets of Indian society. In conversation with writer, screenwriter, translator and filmmaker Anu Singh Choudhary, Trivedi examines the political structure, culture and discipline of the Sangh, decoding its power, reach and ideology. A session which is important for both supporters and detractors.
 

28 Feb | 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Dharini Bhaskar gives voice to the inner lives of women in her intense and powerful novel These, Our Bodies, Possessed by Light. Through the tales of three generations of women, the author explores themes of agency, anguish and the act of storytelling. Bhaskar has previously contributed to the anthology Day's End Stories. Her debut novel These, Our Bodies, Possessed by Light was shortlisted for the JCB Prize for Literature 2020. In conversation with the debut author of The Illuminated, Anindita Ghose, she speaks of the power of words and the narrative impulse behind her debut novel. 

28 Feb | 01:00 PM - 01:45 PM
Front Lawn

Director and writer Devashish Makhija’s latest book, Oonga, is a powerful novel based on his film of the same name. Capturing the inherent paradox between dystopian ‘development’ and Utopian ideologies, the book narrates the journey of a little boy in the midst of a clash between Adivasis, Naxalites, the CRPF and a mining company. Makhija’s other books include When Ali Became Bajrangbali and Forgetting and Occupying Silence. He is also the director of the short films Taandav, Ajji and Bhonsle, among others. In conversation with author and journalist Kaveree Bamzai, Makhija dives into this evocative tale of identity and the tragedy of victims of violence forced into battles they don’t want to fight.
The book will be launched at this session during the Jaipur Literature Festival 2021.  
 

28 Feb | 01:00 PM - 01:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Ameya Prabhu presents his debut collection of carefully crafted stories, The Rock Babas and Other Stories. Told with an attention to detail and  compelling narrative flow, they are set in unexpected places and situations, and chart the transformative journeys of his varied characters. Prabhu is a financial services entrepreneur with a deep commitment to writing. He speaks about his craft, his inspirations and the discipline of writing. In conversation with Manjeet Kripalani.
 
The book will be launched at this session during the Jaipur Literature Festival 2021.  
 

28 Feb | 02:00 PM - 02:45 PM
Front Lawn

 

The human species responds to the passage of time by building monuments – structures vested with power, memory, meaning; sites where the past continues to live. In Monuments Matter: India’s Archaeological Heritage Since Independence, historian Nayanjot Lahiri examines and celebrates the country’s ancient history, guiding the reader through the changing frontiers of prehistoric India, discussing the impact that the Partition had on monuments, touching on matters of conservation, upkeep and contentious disputes. Lahiri is a Professor of history at Ashoka University. Her other books include Archaeology and the Public Purpose: Writings on and by M.N. Deshpande and Ashoka In Ancient India. Naman P. Ahuja is an art historian and curator. His books include Art and Archaeology of Ancient India: Earliest Times to the Sixth Century and The Body in Indian Art and Thought.  Jyotindra Jain, formerly Professor of Arts & Aesthetics at JNU, is an art historian who is presently engaged in research on colonial practices of collecting art from Indian monuments and the provenance of Indian art objects in foreign museums. 

 

In conversation with Rana Safvi, Ahuja, Jain and Lahiri discuss the history and methodology of archaeological research in India, the roles played by government institutions, including the Archaeological Survey of India, in protecting built heritage and the cultural legacy of monuments.



 

28 Feb | 02:00 PM - 02:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Sunil Munjal’s book, The Making of Hero: Four Brothers, Two Wheels and a Revolution that Shaped India, follows the story of the Munjal brothers and their inspiring journey in setting up the Hero enterprise. Munjal’s narrative not only unfolds his family’s legacy in building up the iconic Hero Cycles and Hero Honda motorcycle brand but also gives us a glimpse into the developing years of India’s economy. Raghunath Mashelkar is a National Research Professor and was the DG of CSIR as well as the President of the Indian National Science Academy. In conversation with Mashelkar, Munjal unfolds his family history and their socio-economic footprint over the past seven decades of Indian history.




 

28 Feb | 03:00 PM - 03:45 PM
Front Lawn

Kate Summerscale’s latest book, The Haunting of Alma Fielding, is a gripping narrative that follows the investigation of supernatural experiences in the shadow of war, and the unraveling of a story of trauma, loss and alienation. Summerscale is  also the author of  bestsellers The Suspicions of Mr Whicher and The Queen of Whale Cay. In conversation with historian and author Ira Mukhoty, Summerscale explores the 1930s case of the ‘Croydon Poltergeist’ and the hidden folds of the human mind.
 

28 Feb | 03:00 PM - 03:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Was the relationship between China and the world  shaped by wars? War with Japan in the late 1930s, the PRC's involvement in Korea in the early 1950s, its border conflict with India in 1962, and the military offensive it launched against Vietnam in 1978 were key events in the history of China's foreign relations. Within this context, how will the relationship between the two rising powers, China and India, and the global leadership of the United States change during the 2020s? As China develops its Belt and Road Initiative, how will it influence the future of Asia and the World? Rana Mitter, author of China’s Good War explores how China’s new nationalism might structure its relationship with India, the United States and the world. In conversation with Tansen Sen.
 

28 Feb | 04:00 PM - 04:45 PM
Front Lawn

A gripping and multi-layered political narrative, Jeremy Seal’s A Coup in Turkey: A Tale of Democracy, Despotism and Vengeance in a Divided Land unravels the events leading up to the coup that removed the traditionalist Prime Minister Adnan Menderes of Turkey in 1960. Through eye witness accounts, Seal lays bare the striking parallels between the past and the present and digs deep into the heart of the feud. Seal’s other books include The Wreck at Sharpnose Point, Meander: East to West, Indirectly, Along a Turkish River and A Fez of the Heart: Travels Around Turkey in Search of a Hat among others. In conversation with South Asia Bureau Chief for The Economist, Max Rodenbeck, Seal explores this charismatic political figure and his eventual downfall and dramatically re-centres our understanding of the past. 
 

28 Feb | 04:00 PM - 04:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Kevin Barry who won the International Dublin Literary Award, gives us another gripping novel in Night Boat to Tangier, the unsentimental story of two hard core, brash drug peddlers waiting at a ferry terminal in the Spanish port of Algeciras. Maurice and Charlie, partners in crime and violence, have their own share of anxieties, the immediate one being their need to track Dilly, Maurice’s absconding daughter who might be a passenger in a ferry. Their garrulous outbursts to each other pick up incidents that leave the reader in a state of suspense and expectation. Barry creates  a noir setting that is filled with foreboding and rich surprises, his language unfurling the warped minds of two despicable men who draw one’s sympathy rather than disdain. In conversation with the author is Cauvery Madhavan, a novelist who was born in India but now lives in Ireland. Her latest book is The Tainted.

28 Feb | 05:00 PM - 05:45 PM
Front Lawn

Unearthing the deep underbelly of one of the world’s most complex and precarious cities, Samira Shackle’s debut book Karachi Vice: Life and Death in a Contested City is an intimate narrative steeped in local knowledge and a profound global perspective. A writer and journalist, Shackle is also the editor of the New Humanist magazine. HM Naqvi is the author of the novels Home Boy and The Selected Works of Abdullah the Cossack and the winner of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. In conversation with Naqvi, Shackle unfolds individual and personal experiences to give us a ringside view of the last decade of a city marred by politics and violence.
 

28 Feb | 05:00 PM - 05:45 PM
Durbar Hall

How do you grasp another life and pin it to a page? What does it take to immerse yourself completely into someone else’s story, to comb through history and bring it alive? Biographers of luminaries and figures as illustrious as JBS Haldane, Akbar, Krishnadevaraya and Udham Singh come together in a panel to discuss what it means to bring the larger to life compellingly and authentically, and the challenges they face in doing so. In a conversation with broadcaster and author of The Patient Assassin Anita Anand.
 

28 Feb | 06:00 PM - 06:45 PM
Front Lawn

In Brown Baby, Nikesh Shukla explores themes of racism, feminism, parenting and our shifting ideas of home. By turns heartwrenching, hilariously funny and intensely relatable, the memoir is dedicated to the author’s two young daughters and serves as an act of remembrance to the grandmother they never had a chance to meet. In this emotionally stirring session, Shukla navigates the porous boundaries of love, grief and fatherhood in conversation with British stand-up comedian, radio host and presenter Nish Kumar, ultimately showing us how it’s possible to believe in hope. Shukla is a British author and screenwriter, and the editor of the 2016 collection of essays The Good Immigrant. His other works include the novels Coconut Unlimited and The One Who Wrote Destiny. Kumar is the host of The Mash Report on BBC Two, Hello America on Quibi and BBC Radio 4 Extra's topical comedy show Newsjack, among others.
 

28 Feb | 06:00 PM - 06:45 PM
Durbar Hall

Celebrated author, poet and artist Mark Haddon takes us on a journey through his literary career, which includes The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, the short story collection The Pier Falls and his latest novel, The Porpoise. In conversation with author and broadcaster Sandip Roy, he talks about the inspirations and ethos that guide his pen.
 

28 Feb | 07:00 PM - 07:45 PM
Front Lawn

Has technology, with its augmented and extended reality, and the social disengagement of the Pandemic, transformed our perception of the real? Has the virtual world  changed and upended the significance of physical experience? What are the definitions of reality? What defines the new realities?  Writers and thinkers, futurists and traditionalists discuss and debate if the virtual has overtaken the real.
 

28 Feb | 08:00 PM
Front Lawn

The Kutle Khan Project is Khan’s voyage into a world of music beyond boundaries; where he delves into his folk roots and draws from his musical experience and influence of collaborating with musicians from different cultures.What remains is a perfectly distilled blend of musical styles with a strong Rajasthan folk sensibility. He received GIMA AWARD in 2015 for his composition Moomal and was also featured in the IIFA Awards Mumbai 2019. He received acclaim for his appearance on Coke Studio Season 3 with Amit Trivedi. He was also honored as best folk singer of 2019 by the Indian Icon Film Awards. The Kutle Khan Project is a unique collective of Rajasthani folk musicians highlighting Kutle Khan, a multi-talented folk musician who has performed on various stages across the world. His music is as seductive as it is rhythmically complex. He embodies the rich melodic and sophisticated rhythmic traditions of Rajasthani folk music, and his performances are informed by his understanding of contemporary Indian and Western musical traditions. With this, Khan produces the most passionate and energetic live Sufi and Indian Folk. Coming from a family of musicians, this master of the khartal from the land of the Rajputs began playing music at the age of 8, learning every instrument he could get his hands on. A singer as well as a musician, Khan not only plays the dholak, khartal, bhapang, harmonium, sarong, the lot, proving that there’s no percussion he can’t play, he also sings soulful renditions, and also writes and composes his own songs. Apart from his many performances stunning his audiences in India, he has since travelled to 72 countries, gaining popularity and spreading Indian Folk and contemporary sufi music to all parts of the world. He has performed with the legendary Susheela Raman, a UK-Tamil artist, Midival Punditz, Papon,

19 Feb | 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Front Lawn

02. Across Genres: Classical, Folk and Popular Music

Prasoon Joshi in conversation with Vidya Shah

Presented by Rajasthan Patrika

An intense session on the interrelated schools of Indian music, which discusses the constant creative interplay between classical and folk music as well as that of hybrid and popular genres, in our online digital age. Prasoon Joshi and Vidya Shah speak of their understanding and appreciation of musical traditions, and their evolution, occasionally breaking into song to explain or expand on a point. The multifaceted Joshi is a poet, writer, lyricist, CBFC chairman, communication specialist and corporate hotshot. Yet his abiding passion, which he shares with spouse Aparna, as well as his parents, is perhaps music. Together with Shah, passionate scholar, singer, musician, writer and social activist, he throws light on the cultural diversity as well as the intrinsic unity of this vast heritage and its new offshoots.


 

19 Feb | 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
Front Lawn

Tripurdaman Singh's latest book Sixteen Stormy Days: The Story of the First Amendment of the Constitution of India is a fascinating look into the turbulent history and contentious legacy of the First Amendment of the Constitution. Rooted in parliamentary debates, press reports, judicial pronouncements and existing scholarship, the book takes a deep dive into the series of events that led Prime Minister Nehru to make this sweeping amendment in a constitution he had so passionately championed. Singh is a British Academy postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. In conversation with journalist and writer Karan Thapar, Singh explores the nascent years of India in the context of what he calls “the first great battle of ideas.”


 

19 Feb | 01:00 PM - 01:45 PM
Front Lawn

Parameswaran Iyer’s latest book Method in the Madness: Insights from My Career as an Insider-Outsider-Insider graphs out his career from the civil service to world technocrat to his return to India to implement the transformative Swachh Bharat Mission. His book, written with humour and wisdom, is an inspiring read with key management insights, practical career advice and valuable life lessons. He shares his views with other distinguished professionals, including banker and former President of FICCI, Naina Lal Kidwai and Director at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Errol D' Souza, CEO of the NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant, Journalist and Editor-in-Chief and Chairman of The Print, Shekhar Gupta and Rajiv Mehrishi the former Comptroller and Auditor General of India and Vice Chairman of the United Nations Panel of External Auditors. An enriching session full of anecdotal deep reflections and learning. 
 
The book will be launched at this session during the Jaipur Literature Festival 2021.  

19 Feb | 02:00 PM - 02:45 PM
Front Lawn

Namita Gokhale and Malashri Lal’s co-authored play Betrayed by Hope follows the chequered life of poet and writer extraordinaire Michael Madhusudan Dutt. The script captures the  anguish of  a fractured identity as well as Dutt’s remarkable innovations in literary genres such as the epic and the sonnet. His journey, of alienation and a return to selfhood, is one many writers have travelled before and after him. Namita Gokhale is an author and co-Director of the Jaipur Literature Festival. Dr. Lal is a writer and academic. They have co-authored two previous anthologies together. Oroon Das is an actor and multidisciplinary artist who has recently produced and acted in a digital adaptation of Betrayed By Hope, with Bangladeshi-American actor, Inji Zayba Zaheer now based in Vancouver, Canada. In a fascinating session of readings and discussion they explore the paradoxes of Dutt’s life and work.


 

19 Feb | 03:00 PM - 03:45 PM
Front Lawn

Straddling the worlds of the literary imagination and the visual arts, celebrated author, poet, translator and curator Ranjit Hoskote introduces us to the multiverse of word, image and text he inhabits. Hoskote’s collections of poetry include Vanishing Acts, Central Time, Jonahwhale, The Atlas of Lost Beliefs, and the forthcoming Hunchprose. He curated India’s first-ever national pavilion at the Venice Biennale under the title ‘Everyone Agrees: It’s About to Explode’. In conversation with Anupama Raju, he gives us a glimpse into his aesthetic vision and his understanding of the contemporary literary and cultural landscape.
 

19 Feb | 04:00 PM - 04:45 PM
Front Lawn

The future belongs to Asia. An eastward shift in the economic centre of gravity is steadily underway. But what is Asia? A diverse and politically fragmented continent with massive possibilities of production and utilization. What is the vision that will take this ancient, densely populated, and culturally diverse region forward? Who will be the political and economic powers steering global discourse? Can this be an Asia century? An expert panel of economists, policy strategists and researchers discuss the various implications of the present day political climate vis a vis Asia.
 
Vivan Sharan is Visiting Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation and author of Wonked: India in Search of an Economic Ideology. Parag Khanna is a global strategist, founder of the strategy firm Future Map and author of The Future is Asian: Commerce, Conflict & Culture in the 21st Century. Shruti Rajgopalan is a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center and a Fellow at the Classical Liberal Institute at New York University School of Law. Mihir S. Sharma is a Senior Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation and the author of Restart: The Last Chance for the Indian Economy  and the co-editor of What the Economy Needs Now. Sajjid Z. Chinoy is J.P. Morgan’s Chief India Economist and also serves on the Advisory Council to the 15th Finance Commission set up by the Government of India. 

19 Feb | 05:00 PM - 05:45 PM
Front Lawn

Unfinished is one of the most exciting and inspirational books of the year, following Priyanka Chopra Jonas' journey through life and cinema. The memoir takes readers from her childhood in India, through her formative teenage years in the US, to her return to India where she unexpectedly won the national and global beauty pageants (Miss India and Miss World) that launched her acting career. The result is a book that is warm, funny, sassy, inspiring, bold and rebellious and will inspire a generation around the world to gather their courage, embrace their ambition and commit to the hard work of following their dreams. 

 

A National Film Award winner with more than 60 international and Hollywood films to her credit, Chopra Jonas made her American TV acting debut on the ABC-TV hit drama Quantico where she made history as the first Indian-born actor to star as the lead of a TV drama series. She is a global UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, recipient of the prestigious Danny Kaye Humanitarian award, and is also involved in a number of efforts to protect children's rights and to promote the education of girls around the world, including her namesake charity, The Priyanka Chopra Foundation for Health and Education. In conversation with  author and columnist Shobhaa De.


 

19 Feb | 06:00 PM - 06:45 PM
Front Lawn

The creative force behind The Lost Words, a tender, unusually written homage to nature, returns with a journey into another realm: of magic and spells. Immersing the reader within  splendor and enchantment of nature’s many miracles, The Lost Spells is a pocket sized initiation into the inner workings of the external world. With heartfelt illustrations and poignant words, the book offers a chance to revisit the innocence of childhood, and take in the surreal, poetic imagination of the natural. In conversation with naturalist Yuvan Aves, Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris discuss their journey in creating a work of astonishing beauty and timeless reach. A session to make you wonder. 
 
Robert Macfarlane is a British writer and Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, best known for his books on landscape, nature, place, people and language, which include The Old Ways, Landmarks, The Lost Words and Underland. Illustrator and writer Jackie Morris won the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2016 for Lost Words, among other accolades. Yuvan Aves is a writer, naturalist and ecological activist.
 

19 Feb | 07:00 PM - 07:45 PM
Front Lawn

What does it mean to be Indian? Politician and celebrated author Shashi Tharoor's latest book, The Battle Of Belonging: On Nationalism, Patriotism, And What It Means To Be Indian, evaluates the historical and current political trends impacting the “idea of India.” Tharoor explores these changing interpretations of nationalism, patriotism, citizenship and belonging as well as the nature and future of nationhood. In an important conversation with journalist Faye D’Souza, he discusses these themes and ideas in the context of the past, the present and the emergent future. 
 

19 Feb | 08:00 PM
Front Lawn

The Anirudh Varma Collective is a contemporary Indian Classical Ensemble led by Delhi-based pianist, composer and producer, Anirudh Varma. It aims to bring artists and musicians of diverse musical and cultural backgrounds together to form a unique contemporary identity of Indian Classical Music for audiences of all age groups. It is made up of over 100 musicians and artists from the contemporary Indian Music Scenario. Having launched its debut full length album Perspectives in March 2018, the Collective has performed in collaboration with HCL Concerts, Jaipur Literature Festival, Teamwork Arts, Serendipity Delhi, Global Music Institute, Delhi University and Ambedkar University since then.

19 Feb | 09:15 AM - 09:45 AM
Front Lawn

Shubhendra Rao is an internationally-acclaimed performer, composer, cultural entrepreneur and music educator. A protégé of Pandit Ravi Shankar, Pandit Rao has performed at major music festivals and prestigious concert halls like Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Sydney Opera House, Salzburg International Music Festival, the BRICS Summit in China among several others. Together with his wife Saskia, he has created India’s first-ever music curriculum for children, ‘Sangeet4All’. As an empanelled ICCR Guru, Rao has trained many foreign students who, in turn, are teaching Indian music across the world. 

 

20 Feb | 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Front Lawn

TM Krishna, public intellectual and acclaimed classical vocalist in the Carnatic tradition, is dedicated to working across the spectrum of music, society and culture. The Edict Project, in association with Ashoka University, is a creative collaboration that seeks to musically rediscover Emperor Ashoka’s ancient edicts -- philosophies that speak of a more humane society built on empathy and compassion created during the period of the lockdown, they convey Krishna’s conviction that the world can be healed through a deep understanding of music. An inspirational multidisciplinary session that searches history and culture to frame words, music and meaning for our times. Krishna’s latest book is Sebastian and Sons.
 

20 Feb | 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Front Lawn

Patrick Radden Keefe has always had a way with his words, powerfully laying out stories that illuminate a much larger picture. An award-winning staff writer for The New Yorker, Radden Keefe’s recent literary escapes include an eight-part podcast called Wind of Change, which investigates the strange confluence of espionage and pop music during the Cold War. His other recent work includes the book Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland, which follows the story of a missing mother in the years of the Irish Troubles, unraveling a history which is still very raw. In conversation with author and literary editor Finton O’Toole, Radden Keefe gives us a glimpse into his writing process and the source of his inspirations.
 

20 Feb | 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
Front Lawn

Humankind's connection with land has always been contentious and yet in many ways elemental and necessary. Celebrated author Simon Winchester’s latest book, Land: The Ownership of Everywhere, explores this primal relationship, its benefits, foundations and the fundamental question: can land ever truly be ‘owned’? Winchester is the bestselling author of books such as The Surgeon of Crowthorne, The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World and The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary. Writer and journalist Raghu Karnad is the author of Farthest Field: An Indian Story of the Second World War. In conversation with Karnad, Winchester examines the human impact on land and its central role in our existence.
 

20 Feb | 01:00 PM - 01:45 PM
Front Lawn

The Swansea University Dylan Thomas Prize is one of the most prestigious literary prizes in the world for young writers. Its 2021 jury, chaired by award-winning writer, publisher and JLF co-founder-director Namita Gokhale, comprises critically-acclaimed poet Stephen Sexton and novelists Joshua Ferris and Francesca Rhydderch, as well as Syima Aslam, founder and Director of the Bradford Literature Festival, celebrated as the most socio-economically and ethnically diverse literary festival in the UK.  In conversation with the Prize’s Executive Officer Elaine Canning, the Judges discuss their individual literary disciplines, the new literary landscape and the significance of words in transcending borders and cultures. Featuring a special reading from internationally-acclaimed Welsh actor Michael Sheen


 

20 Feb | 02:00 PM - 02:45 PM
Front Lawn

A session traversing the spiritual and archeological path of the expansion of Buddhism opening a fascinating window into its foundations, histories and traditions. It also gives a keen insight into the role of patronage and of Buddhist monks in spreading its ideas and philosophy. Academic and author Himanushu Prabha Ray, talks of the expansion of Buddhism within India while the Senior curator for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, John Guy, explores the spread of Buddhism through SE Asia, in conversation with Festival Co- Director and author William Dalrymple. 
 

20 Feb | 03:00 PM - 03:45 PM
Front Lawn

Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the very public figure who remains ultimately inscrutable, has been celebrated as often as he has been reviled. How did the urbane westernised gentleman who chose a Parsi wife transition into the Muslim communitarian and chief proponent of the two nation theory? Ishtiaq Ahmed's latest book explores this and other conundrums, which will be discussed with TCA Raghavan, formerly India's High Commissioner to Pakistan. 
 

20 Feb | 04:00 PM - 04:45 PM
Front Lawn

At a time when optics is all, the proliferation of high-sounding and well-meaning schemes has little correlation with the actual impact on ground. "Maximum governance, minimum government,” seems to have been turned on its head both in the NDA and in the subsequent Modi governments. A session that examines the welfare architecture in terms of state capacity and abilities, within the larger narrative of empowerment. Yamini Aiyar is the President and Chief Executive of the Center for Policy Research. Historian and author Hindol Sengupta’s books include The Man Who Saved India, The Modern Monk and Being Hindu: Understanding a Peaceful Path in a Violent World. Journalist Sucheta Dalal is the Managing Editor of Moneylife. Rohit Kumar Singh is the Rohit Kumar Singh is the Additional Chief Secretary, Panchayati Raj & Rural Development, Government of Rajasthan.  They speak to entrepreneur and investor Mohit Satyanand on how to envision and implement reforms that improve efficiency and delivery in the social sector.
 

20 Feb | 05:00 PM - 05:45 PM
Front Lawn

Democracy is an inherently participatory process that ensures the role of constituents in the direction and operation of political and social life. Electoral systems convert individual votes and choices into larger decisions that impact societies, cultures and nations. A vital session that looks at elections and constitutional procedures to understand the value and transformative power of the vote. A distinguished panel deciphers and evaluates the electoral process  in conversation with anthropologist and writer Mukulika Banerjee. Navin B. Chawla is a retired Indian civil servant, having previously served as the 16th Chief Election Commissioner of India and the author of Every Vote Counts: The Story of India's Elections. Neie Kantha Uprety is a former Chief Election Commissioner of Nepal. Dasho Kunzang Wangdi was the Chief Election Commissioner of Bhutan.
 

20 Feb | 06:00 PM - 06:45 PM
Front Lawn

Turmeric Nation is an ambitious and insightful project that delves deep into the socio-cultural elements that have come to inform and influence Indian cuisine. In this charming collection of essays, Shylashri Shankar traces the myriad patterns that form the Indian food palette, its preferences and traditions, offering a sumptuous, layered and revealing portrait of India through its enduring relationship with food. Masala Lab by Krish Ashok is a science nerd's exploration of Indian cooking with the ultimate aim of making the reader a better cook and turning the kitchen into a joyful, creative playground for culinary experimentation. A session in conversation with celebrated chef and author Ravinder Bhogal to activate your palette and understanding with a focus on approaching India's culinary traditions through a scientific and historical approach. 
 
Shylashri Shankar, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, is the author of Turmeric Nation: A Passage Through India’s Tastes. Her academic books include Scaling Justice: India’s Supreme Court, Anti-Terror Laws and Social Rights, Battling Corruption: Has NREGA Reached India’s Rural Poor? and A Secular Age Beyond the West. Krish Ashok is the Global Head of Digital Workplace, which helps large organisations reimagine the future of work for their employees. In addition to being an author, he is a columnist, classical violinist, guitarist and cellist. Award-winning food writer and restaurateur Ravinder Bhogal’s new cookbook  Jikoni: Proudly Inauthentic Recipes from an Immigrant Kitchenblends myriad cuisines and a heritage that crosses continents.
 

20 Feb | 07:00 PM - 07:45 PM
Front Lawn

In a cleverly satirical narrative, author and columnist Moni Mohsin’s recent book The Impeccable Integrity of Ruby R takes on the use of social media as a part of political propaganda and provides an insightful take on the MeToo movement. Mohsin is well known for her long running satirical column The Diary of a Social Butterfly for The Friday Times and a book with the same name. Her other books include The End of Innocence and Duty Free. In conversation with writer Supriya Nair, Mohsin takes us through the fictitious life of the idealistic and industrious Ruby Rauf, her ambitions, insecurities and reality.
 

20 Feb | 08:00 PM
Front Lawn

Rehmat-e-Nusrat are a group of young musicians from the hills of Uttarakhand in northern India who bring a fresh new perspective to the timeless tradition of qawwali music. The group presents qawwalis by Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Sufiyana kalaams by the great poets Amir Khusrao, Meera Bai, Baba Bulleh Shah, ghazals, Kabir bhajans, and original compositions. The group was formed in 2014 by lead vocalist and harmonium virtuoso Sarvjeet Tamta, who counts amongst his teachers, Ustadji Wadali Brothers in Amritsar, Ustadji Fakira Khan Saheb from Barmer Rajasthan, and Ustadji Padma Shri Anwar Khan Manganiyar. The group has performed at various college festivals around north India, and introduced Sufi and qawwali music to new audiences in their state. Rehmat-e-Nusrat were signed to the label Amarrass Records in November 2019, and performed at the first Amarrass Nights@Sunder Nursery concert in January 2020. The pandemic has not dampened the band’s enthusiasm and they have performed pop-up concerts at Museo Camera Museum, Throttle Shrottle, and virtual concerts with Sacred Music Seattle, In2Wild Festival UK, Hothouse Chicago, FabIndia and others.

20 Feb | 09:15 AM - 09:45 AM
Front Lawn

HimaliMou perform 'Pahaadi' or mountain folk music from Haldwani in Uttarakhand, presented by the group Rehmat-e-Nusrat. Rarely heard outside the mountains, the band will showcase several different styles of music from the region, including Jhora, Chanchari, Chapeli, Nyoli and Chaiti (with the first three actually dance forms with accompanying music). Traditionally, the music is performed to dance and at important ceremonies, festivals and gatherings, with songs in Kumaouni, Garhwali, Nepali and Jaunfari. The sonorous melodies of the bansuri (bamboo flute), rhythmic pulses of the dholak, hand drums and claps, and joyous shouts of exuberance from the singers infuse the performances with verve and raw energy.

21 Feb | 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Front Lawn

Acclaimed author and historian Vincent Brown's groundbreaking geopolitical thriller Tacky′s Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War takes on the Atlantic slave trade with a subversive and powerful reconstruction of the history of insurgency, rebellion, victory and defeat. With a keen emphasis on the seminal uprising that upended the dominant imperial rule of the British Atlantic world, eventually becoming known as the Tacky’s Revolt and ultimately leading the way for abolition, the book explores the contentious climate of oppression and slavery, offering an alternative perspective of the events that occurred, with an unflinching look at the brutal and inhumane methods of oppression and the resilience of those that resisted. In conversation with writer and academic Maya Jasanoff, he unpacks the complex narratives binding the conflicting histories of Europe, Africa and America, offering illuminating insights into the condition of terror and war, proving more relevant than ever in the era of BLM and socio-political sifting change and raising the ever pertinent question, who gets to write the story?
 

21 Feb | 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Front Lawn

Will India win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic? When can we expect a safe and effective vaccine?  How should we respond to this 'new normal' as an individual and as a community? What is the way forward? Offering insights on how India continues to fight the pandemic, Till We Win is a must-read for everyone. A detailed, objective and hopeful account of our times, this is a book for the people, for political leaders, policymakers and physicians with the promise and potential to transform public health in India. Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, is an MD in Medicine and the first DM in Pulmonary Medicine in the country, and has been at the forefront of the Government of India’ sefforts on the COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and response. Dr. Chandrakant Lahariya is a leading public policy and health systems expert and a recipient of the Indian Council of Medical Research's Dr. BC Srivastava Foundation Award for his work on translating community-based health research in public policy interventions. Dr. Gagandeep Kang is a renowned infectious disease researcher and virologist who serves on many advisory committees in India and internationally, including for the World Health Organisation. The co-authors discuss their exciting new project in conversation with award-winning journalist Maya Mirchandani.
 

21 Feb | 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
Front Lawn

Award-winning author and playwright Kishtwar Desai’s book The Longest Kiss: The Life and Times of Devika Rani charts the life and career of India’s first international superstar. Based on her personal letters and documents, the book narrates her journey through the creation of Bombay Talkies, the country’s first professional studio, her marriages to Himanshu Rai and Svetoslav Roerich,and the struggle of being a woman in the entirely male dominated world of Indian cinema. Desai’s work includes the books Darlingji: The True Love Story of Nargis and Sunil Dutt and Jallianwala Bagh: The Real Story. She also wrote the play Devika Rani: Goddess of the Silver Screen. In conversation with journalist Jyoti Malhotra, Desai examines the intensely private life and tragedy of Devika Rani.
 

21 Feb | 01:00 PM - 01:45 PM
Front Lawn

Celebrated classical dancer Bharati Shivaji's recent book Mohiniyattam: Its Art and Aesthetics is an exquisite journey following the female art form of Mohiniyattam and its style and transformations through the ages. Rooted in research based on sculptures, literary sources, historical references and the Dasi tradition, Shivaji's book explores the intricacies and regional variations of the dance form and the music and rhythm which has come together to mould its legendary tradition. Shivaji is the founder of the Centre for Mohiniyattam. In conversation with Vani Bhalla Pahwa and Sanjoy K. Roy, Shivaji gives us a glimpse into this evocative art form and how it is understood and appreciated. 
 
The book will be launched at this session during the Jaipur Literature Festival 2021.  

 
 

21 Feb | 02:00 PM - 02:45 PM
Front Lawn

The first Chief Information Commissioner of India Wajahat Habibullah’s recent book, My Years With Rajiv: Triumph and Tragedy, offers an acute insight into his professional and personal relationship with the former Prime Minister. The book also gives a ringside view of the last three decades of the 20th century from the perspective of a respected officer of the Indian Administrative Services. Habibullah is the former chairperson of the National Commission for Minorities. He has also written the book My Kashmir: The Dying of the Light. In conversation with writer and diplomat Pavan K. Varma, he attempts to demystify the workings of the Indian government and bureaucracy and gives us a candid account of some of the formative years of Indian history.
 

21 Feb | 03:00 PM - 03:45 PM
Front Lawn

Two leading political commentators discuss the past impact of liberalism and its place in an age of resurging autocracy and rampant bigotry. Distinguished writer and essayist Adam Gopnik's most recent book A Thousand Small Sanities: The Moral Adventure of Liberalism follows the current attack on the liberal ideology and thought. Presenting a nuanced look into the changes the ideology has witnessed through the ages, Gopnik stresses on the idea of liberalism being rooted in the search for radical change based on humane measures rather than the despondency around it today. John Micklethwait is editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News - and a former editor of The Economist, created by 19th century liberalism. In his co-authored book, the Wake Up Call, he looks at the way that the liberal West has failed to deal with Covid. His work critically examines the changing socio-political-economic nature of the west and its impact on ideologies. Mihir S. Sharma, Senior Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation, speaks to both of them on the future of liberalism.


 

21 Feb | 04:00 PM - 04:45 PM
Front Lawn

Colum McCann’s latest novel, Apeirogon, is a story of a friendship which blossoms in the face of extreme conflict and grief. McCann’s narrative follows a Palestinian and an Israeli man, who despite the divisions between them, are brought together by their unifying call for peace and harmony. McCann’s stunningly emphatic novel is built upon the foundation of the lives and personal recollections of these two men and is blended into a lyrical web across time, history, nature, and politics. In conversation with writer and activist Ru Freeman, he discusses the inspirations behind this tale and the undying quality of hope.
 

21 Feb | 05:00 PM - 05:45 PM
Front Lawn

With the growing friction between China and the world, exacerbated in the wake of the pandemic, the need to understand the political legacy of Mao is urgent and growing. In Maoism: A Global History, eminent British scholar, author and translator Julia Lovell takes on the ambitious and challenging task of covering the sweeping and turbulent history of Maoism in one accessible text, bringing attention to Mao and his ideas in a new light. Through a series of interviews, archival references and ethnographic study, Lovell synthesises concurrent narratives and conceptions, providing a re-evaluation of the ideology in the present context. She discusses her exciting work in conversation with historian and writer Michael Puett in an essential session on the enduring appeal of Maoism.

21 Feb | 06:00 PM - 06:45 PM
Front Lawn

Celebrated American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian, social critic and political activist Noam Chomsky’s book Who Rules the World? questions the United States and its exercise of power throughout conflict areas in a post 9/11 world. Critically analysing claims of freedom and human rights, Chomsky in his celebrated style investigates the era of modern day imperial powers and their role in climate change, nuclear proliferation and the overall threat to human civilisation. In conversation with journalist Sreenivasan Jain, Chomsky delves into the critical need for active public participation in changing policies and introduces us to the unsettling truths of our times. 
 

21 Feb | 7:00 PM IST - 7:45 PM IST
Front Lawn

“All power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” So goes the axiom but is it an absolute truth? Is power inherently susceptible to being misused? Or can power be yielded dispassionately for the public good? Eminent speakers and public intellectuals examine the proposition in its different dimensions.
 

21 Feb | 08:00 PM
Front Lawn

Belonging: A Belfast-Kolkata online musical collaboration featuring Jason O’Rourke and Deepmoy Day. The idea behind this project was to carry out an online musical collaboration that could be delivered in socially-distanced settings taking into account current and possible future public health restrictions due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. The ‘Belonging’ project was funded by the UK National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. We wanted to bring together the traditional music of India and Ireland by finding common ground between the two ancient musical cultures, and also by composing new material, to establish a deep collaboration. Day is firmly rooted in the Bengali tradition and O’Rourke in the music of the North of Ireland. To try and be as inclusive as possible, the pair have worked on songs in Hindi as well as Bengali. Their backgrounds are important to the theme of the project with both of their family histories involving migration across lines drawn on maps at the end of the British Empire. Thus, they have a song from East Bengal paired up with an Irish tune that O’Rourke picked up as a child in England. By bringing their musical traditions together, the pair hope the project is a positive demonstration of that process of cultural mixing, communication and inter-connectedness.

21 Feb | 09:15 AM - 09:45 AM
Front Lawn

Ujwal Nagar is a promising Hindustani classical vocalist from Delhi. He received his initial training in classical music from his mother, Guru Urmila Nagar, a renowned Kathak and Hindustani music exponent. He has also received intensive training from Late Ustad Bashir Ahmad Khan of Sikar and is currently taking guidance from Pandit Sriram Umdekar and Pandit Somnath Mardur. He is an All India Graded Artist and a recipient of Ministry of Culture and Sahitya Kala Parishad Scholarships. He is also a recipient of Junior Research Fellowship under University Grants Commission and has also done his PhD in Hindustani classical music. His appealing voice texture, breathtaking fast taans and intricate Sargam patterns clearly indicate the depth of his growing musical maturity. Remarkable command over ‘layakari’ and emotional inner connection while rendering ragas can be profoundly felt by listeners when he performs. Even though a classical vocalist by profession, he is also a proficient tabla player having trained under his brother, young virtuoso Tabla player Vishal Nagar. He has performed in major cities in India, Thailand, Singapore, South Africa, UK and Europe. Although a purist at heart, Nagar is an example of the evolving picture of an Indian classical musician who has enriched his musical pursuit by exploring various other genres of music without compromising on his traditional roots. His work with pianist Terry McCaw of USA under the group name ‘Yogini’ made an impressive impact on the music enthusiasts in the United States and some of their work could also be heard as the background score for the critically acclaimed documentary ‘Dalai Lama Renaissance man’ narrated by Harrison Ford. Nagar’s ongoing collaborative work with the group ‘Advaita’ as a lead classical singer has been greatly appreciated by classical music connoisseurs as well as the world music listeners.

22 Feb | 12:30 PM - 01:15 PM
Front Lawn

Cambridge academic Sujit Sivasundaram traces forgotten histories along the coasts and islands of the Indian and Pacific oceans in Waves Across the South: A New History of Revolution and Empire, offering a new understanding of the making of our world, and insisting particularly on the significance of the environment. Astutely observed and creatively written, the British-Sri Lankan writer looks at the perspective of indigenous populations and their efforts to assert identity, as the British empire drove unexpected change. In Unruly Waters, Yale historian and MacArthur Fellow Sunil S. Amrith reimagines Asia's history through the stories of its rains, rivers, coasts and seas-- succinctly tying these narratives with efforts to reshape nature through dams and pumps, that have unleashed ramifications within and between nations. Together they shine a light on an often ignored integral part of global history.
 

22 Feb | 02:30 PM - 03:15 PM
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In his bold and pertinent text Why Leaders Lie? The Truth About Lying in International Politics, political scientist John Mearsheimer breaks down the insidious and elaborate deceptions of world leaders, with reasoned and constructive analysis of the logic, motivation, and justification behind their lying behaviour. Writing with verve, originality and precision, Mearsheimer offers a deep and path-breaking study of international politics, with references to examples from the recent past. In conversation with prominent news anchor and journalist Vishnu Som, he discusses the need and effectiveness of falsehood within the political sphere.
 

22 Feb | 8:00 PM
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22 Feb | 11:10 AM
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23 Feb | 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
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Two prominent Hindi writers look back at maps of personal and national memory. The prolific and inspirational Chitra Mudgal has written over 50 books and novels. In her latest work, Til Bhar Jagah Nahi, she writes of her husband, the poet, writer and editor Awadh Narain Mudgal. Alka Saraogi is one of the most beloved of Hindi writers and the author of numerous acclaimed works of fiction. Her most recent novel is the memorable Kulbhushan ka Naam Darj Kijiye, a bestseller which has gone into second imprint within 40 days of publication. Editor, publisher and academician Aditi Maheshwari-Goyal speaks to them of history, memory and archiving, and the interface of novels and narratives.


 

23 Feb | 01:30 PM - 2:15 PM
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Where does fiction come from? What is the process of its creation? How do you make up characters and situations that are believable? And why should the reader care? Four of the world’s leading novelists, Annie Zaidi, Colum McCann, Colm Tóibín and Jeet Thayil share their insights on the art of the novel with Moin Mir.


 

23 Feb | 8:00 PM
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23 Feb | 11:10 AM
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24 Feb | 12:30 PM - 01:15 PM
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Sex and Vanity is Kevin Kwan’s latest book, following on the sensational success of Crazy Rich Asians, and opening up a world of extravagant travel, love, and deceit, with subtle undertones of the complexities of race and identity. A love affair traversing Capri and the Hamptons, the narrative – a homage to A Room With a View – introduces us to the lives of the ultra-rich seeking happiness in excess, Asian classism and snobbery. The bestselling author of China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems dives into his literary journey and the universe of privilege, couture and cultures his books represent, in conversation with author Shunali Khullar Shroff.
 

24 Feb | 02:30 PM - 03:15 PM
Front Lawn

Vikas Swarup’s thrilling second novel Six Suspects is a witty, gripping and masterfully written tale that looks deep within the heart of contemporary India. The internationally bestselling author Slumdog Millionaire deftly explores themse of murder, corruption and oppurtunity, through an imaginative and intensive plot, unravelling the lives and motives of the six suspects involved in the killing of a politician’s son, offering both a riveting page-turner and a sobering look into the social dynamics at play.  The author discusses his influences, writing process, and the upcoming web adaptation of his riveting novel, in conversation with Shubhra Gupta.

Vikas Swarup is an Indian diplomat and writer, and current Secretary (West) at the Ministry of External Affairs. He is best known as the author of the novel Q & A, adapted in film as Slumdog Millionaire, the winner of Best Film for the year 2009 at the Academy Awards, Golden Globe Awards and BAFTA Awards.
 

24 Feb | 8:00 PM
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24 Feb | 11:10 AM
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25 Feb | 12:30 PM - 01:15 PM
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The power of the ‘tweet’, the ‘like’ and the ‘share’, and other digital interventions has never been more evident as online avenues become increasingly viable sites of protest. They offer invaluable potential for raising awareness, engaging in structural critique, mobilising support and driving action while also allowing for a range of negative mirror activities. An urgent session on the positive power of digital activism as founders of virtual social justice platforms discuss the rise of new movements, the effectiveness of online petitions, and the internet as an emerging space for resistance, in the wake of the pandemic and mounting political crises across the globe. In conversation with Abhinandan Sekhri.
Avijit Michael is the founder and executive director of Jhatkaa, a campaigning organisation committed to building grassroots citizen power across India.  Nida Hasan is the Country Director of Change.Org. Abhinandan Sekhri is the Co-Founder and CEO of Newslaundry.


 

25 Feb | 02:30 PM - 03:15 PM
Front Lawn

The world’s biggest inoculation drive against the novel coronavirus has begun with India’s effort to immunise more than 1.3 billion people -- including health workers, safai karamcharis, the Army and disaster management volunteers as priority groups. The country currently stands sixth in the world in providing vaccination coverage and is set to balance domestic requirements vis-à-vis requests from other countries for indigenously developed vaccines. An important panel on the path ahead, as CEO of Niti Aayog Amitabh Kant, Member (Health) Dr. Vinod Paul and Secretary for Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, CK Mishra review the past year, discussing strategies for public health mitigation measures, concerns about newly discovered strains, effectiveness of the vaccine, potential for economic recovery, and preparing for a long battle against a moving target. In conversation with journalist and anchor Sarah Jacob.


 

25 Feb | 08:00 PM
Front Lawn

Jack Warnock is a multi-instrumentalist/singer from Maghera, County Derry. In January 2021, Warnock was announced as the recipient of a prestigious, BBC Northern Ireland and Arts Council of Northern Ireland Young Musician Platform Award in the folk and traditional music category. As guitar/piano/cocalist in the traditional groups Cóiriú and Meargánta, he has performed in the final of Siansa Gael Linn at the National Concert Hall, Dublin on multiple occasions, and at the Royal Albert Hall, London. He was part of The Doc Flock who appeared at the Celtic Colours International Festival in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in October 2016. As a solo artist, Warnock won the An Ré Nua competition in the lead-up to Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, 2013 in Derry and after honing his craft for a few years, was nominated for the prestigious BBC Young Folk Award in 2018. Later that year he won the Senior Accompaniment Competition at Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann. He was Artist in Residence for Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, An tAcadamh Ceoil and IMBOLC International Music Festival from 2018-19. He was also named one of Moving On Music’s ‘Emerging Artists’ for 2020, and he is the guitarist and singer with the hot new trad group, ‘TRODA’.

Warnock recently received a SIAP grant from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, through National Lottery, to record his highly anticipated debut solo album, due for release in 2021. Throughout his career, he has shared the stage with many fantastic musicians, playing support for We Banjo 3, Ulaid, Lúnasa and more. He has also accompanied musicians such as Liz Doherty, The Vallely Brothers and Troy MacGillivray. He is a graduate of Ulster University, Magee, with a 1st Class Honours in Irish with Music

25 Feb | 11:10 AM
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26 Feb | 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Front Lawn

These are dangerous times for democracy. In his new book, The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good?, renowned philosopher Michael Sandel shows how the polarised politics of our time reflects the deep divide between winners and losers. He argues that we must rethink the attitudes toward success and failure that have accompanied globalisation and rising inequality. In conversation with celebrated author and Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor, Sandel offers an ethic of dignity and solidarity that points the way to a new politics of the common good.
 

26 Feb | 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Front Lawn

“It’s easy to feel powerless in the face of a problem as big as climate change. But you’re not powerless. And you don’t have to be a politician or a philanthropist to make a difference.” – Bill Gates

In conversation with Alok Sharma, President of the COP26 Climate Conference and former Secretary of State for Business, Bill Gates will set out a wide-ranging, practical—and accessible—plan for how the world can get to zero greenhouse gas emissions in time to avoid a climate catastrophe. Gates has spent a decade investigating the causes and effects of climate change. With the help of experts in the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, political science, and finance, he has focused on what must be done in order to stop the planet’s slide toward certain environmental disasters. He will explain not only why we need to work toward net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases, but also details what we need to do to achieve this profoundly important goal. 

26 Feb | 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM
Front Lawn

Our knowledge and information of the Aztec empire, their history and their conquest, for generations has been informed by the western pen. Author and historian Camilla Townsend’s Cundill History Prize winning Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs brings to light a complex and riveting history of the Aztecs based entirely on direct translations of the annals written in the neglected Nahuatl language. Townsend is the Distinguished Professor of History at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. Her other books include Annals of Native America: How the Nahuas of Colonial Mexico Kept Their History Alive. Peter Frankopan, Professor of Global History at Oxford University, is the author of The Silk Roads: A New History of the World and The News Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World. In conversation with Frankopan, she explores the precarious survival and brutal conquest of the people of the sun and their journey of endurance.
 

26 Feb | 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
Front Lawn

Keshav Desiraju’s book, Of Gifted Voice: The Life and Art of MS Subbulakshmi, brings a new perspective to the most famous vocalist of Carnatic music. With access to less known information about her personal life, and seeing this in conjunction with the finesse  of her performances, the author hopes to correct some assumptions  about ‘MS’ the person and her command over a vast repertoire of compositions. Known to be a philanthropist and a woman of exquisite style, MS’s devotional music has enthralled generations of listeners. Jawaharlal Nehru called her the ‘Queen of  Music’ and adoring audiences thronged to her concerts. Writer and broadcast journalist Mrinal Pande is the former chairperson of Prasar Bharati. Writer and journalist Samanth Subramanian most recent book is A Dominant Character: The Radical Science and Restless Politics of J.B.S. Haldane. In conversation with Pande and Subramanian, Desiraju places MS Subbulakshmi’s achievements in the larger context of the advent of film, radio and gramophone which dramatically altered the music industry. 
The book will be launched at this session during the Jaipur Literature Festival 2021.  

26 Feb | 02:00 PM - 02:45 PM
Front Lawn

 

A master of expression and text, award-winning Irish writer Colm Tóibín possesses a unique ability to inhabit and blend through his words an expansive universe of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. He is the bestselling author of The Master, The Blackwater Lightship,  The Testament of Mary and Nora Webster. His upcoming book is The Magician. In conversation with Nandini Nair, Tóibín takes us through the rhythm and roots of his writing process and celebrated career.


 

26 Feb | 03:00 PM - 03:45 PM
Front Lawn

Anish Kapoor has succeeded in transforming the cool, conceptual, and minimal approach to sculpture by adding lyricism, metaphor, and the heat of the primordial. Objects spill out from their own parameters, yet they also stand serenely as in meditative focus as if for ritual. Typically, the sculptures appear abstract, with Kapoor's intention to promote self-reflection made most obvious when using mirrored surfaces. He does not wish to present a prescriptive idea, but instead to create an environment within which people themselves can consider meaning. As the viewer becomes part of the sculpture, each work speaks of the confined individuality of a single body, but also of the expansive inclusiveness of a shared place. His sculptures paradoxically entwine esoteric philosophy with sensual everyday experience. In this session, one of India’s greatest artists talks about his life and work with his friend Homi K. Bhabha.
 

26 Feb | 04:00 PM - 04:45 PM
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Meelis Friedenthal’s historical novel Mesilased: The Bees is based in Estonia of the 17th century. Using a fabulist technique the author explores philosophy and science as twin factors influencing the hero, Laurentius, who,accompanied  by  his parrot  Clodia, travels to Tartu.  The Estonian city, famed as the abode of the Muses, turns out to be a place of destitution and disease. While Laurentius submits to various treatments for his bodily and mental illnesses, he faints and begins to see an enchanting bee-like maiden in his hallucinatory condition.  The novel melts the boundaries between history and speculation, creating a fascinating discussion on the perception of reality. In conversation with Meelis Friedenthal is academic and writer Malashri Lal. Lal’s recent book is Betrayed By Hope: A Play On The Life Of Michael Madhusudan Dutt.
 

26 Feb | 05:00 PM - 05:45 PM
Front Lawn

The pandemic has provided many parts of the planet a reprieve from the worst effects of pollution, demonstrating that the problem has solutions and is at least partially reversible. It has also served as a potent reminder that burning of fossil fuels is no longer feasible because the severe consequences and alternative measures are imperative for the survival of our planet. An important session that looks at the human cost of air pollution, be it natural or man made, and the possibility of change. Jyoti Pande Lavakare is a journalist, columnist and author of Breathing Here Is Injurious to Your Health: The Human Cost of Air Pollution and How You Can Be the Change. Academic and author Alastair Lewis is a Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of York and a Science Director at the National Centre for Atmospheric Science. Siddharth Singh is an energy, mobility and climate policy expert. He was selected to be a German Chancellor Fellow in 2016-17 and is the author of The Great Smog of India. In conversation with Anumita Roychowdhury, the Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Centre For Science and Environment, they look at solutions for clean air, and discuss the potential for innovative political, economic and social reform that need to be addressed to make a credible impact on emissions and the quality and value of human life.
 

26 Feb | 06:00 PM - 06:45 PM
Front Lawn

Academic and author Richard M. Eaton’s book India in the Persianate Age is a diverse and rich account of the Indian subcontinent’s interaction with cultures and people across the world through the centuries. Focusing on the introduction of Persianate culture into the region, the book explores the assimilation and integration of the traditions with India’s Sanskritic cultures and into the fabric of our language, art, architecture, literature, cuisine, and more. Eaton is the Professor of History at the University of Arizona. His other books include A Social History Of The Deccan, 1300-1761: Eight Indian Lives and Essays on Islam and Indian History. In conversation with author and Festival Co Director William Dalrymple, Eaton takes us on a journey through the influences and traditions that made India establish its diverse cultural roots.
 

26 Feb | 07:00 PM - 07:45 PM
Front Lawn

“India lives in her villages,” said Gandhi. Although agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, accounting for close to 16 %of the GDP and providing employment to much of the nation's workforce, rural-urban distances and divides continue to grow. The incomprehension between those who contribute to growing our food and those who consume it widens by the day. All political parties claim to represent the farmer but the tiller of the soil is mute and invisible in the process of decision making. Climate change further impacts the uncertainties that farmers face. An engaged panel speaks of the paradoxes of policy and the complex issues involved in bringing about much-needed reforms and discusses the signposts ahead. Kota Neelima is an Indian author, researcher, artist and political commentator, specialising in rural distress, gender and her work focuses on the condition of women farmers, farmer suicides and peripheries of democratic societies. Economist, author and columnist Surjit Bhalla is currently the Executive Director for India at the International Monetary Fund. Dushyant Dave is a senior advocate and former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association. Sanket Upadhyay is an anchor and Executive editor at NDTV.
 

26 Feb | 08:00 PM
Front Lawn

After Junun where Shye Ben Tzur collaborated with numerous musicians from Rajasthan, India and Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, Ben Tzur initiates a live experimental voyage where all the beats and compositions are recreated live. Ben Tzur’s previous work Junun with Jonny Greenwood was recorded and mixed by Nigel Goodrich in a 15th century Fort in Jodhpur, India.Junun was also documented by Paul Thomas Anderson into a film by the same title. Besides playing independent concerts and performing in Festivals, Junun has supported Radiohead’s tours  in Europe, Israel, South and North America. His new project is aLive music solo performance with devotional poetries filmed and recorded in the Augusta Victoria Church and on the outskirts of Jerusalem’s sacred landscape. Halel is a 43 min artistic journey moving from meditation to  ecstasy.

26 Feb | 09:00 AM - 09:40 AM
Front Lawn