DEMOCRACY AT WORK: AN EYE ON ELECTIONS

The major theme of this session was the recent rise of national parties in regional elections. Swapan Dasgupta argued that a successful political party is one that blends national concerns with local issues.According to Dasgupta, the BJP’s victory in recent elections in Assam, India, is significant because Assam is a gateway locale to north-eastern India. He argued that… Read more »

Deconstructing Change: The Election That Changed India

The 2014 General Election was a landmark moment in the history of independent India. A packed Char Bagh saw one of the most electrifying sessions of the 2015 ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival as the speakers analysed the repercussions of the historic mandate given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and its meaning for the future of Indian politics and… Read more »

History Strikes Back And The Collapse Of Globalism: Hubert Vedrine In Conversation With John Ralston Saul

Important aspects of governance, economics and democracy were debated in an engaging session between two renowned intellectuals. Hubert Vedrine, author of History Strikes Back, and JohnRalston Saul, President of PEN International. The pair discussed evolving economies all over the world, looking at the impact of globalization and applying European theories – such as Fukuyama’s idea of the ‘End of the History’ –… Read more »

A Rediscovery of India: Agendas for Change

The title of the session was derived from Meghnad Desai’s book The Rediscovery of India, in which he examines India’s past and present for factors that make India a nation and hold it together, despite inherent contradictions. Throughout the discussion, the panel tried to get a sense of the problems uppermost in the Indian mind, and of people’s expectations… Read more »

Is the commerce of Literature today killing good writing?

Ever the spark for igniting debate, actor and playwright Girish Karnad opened the session by stating three reasons why books should play a central role in society: firstly, when reading a book, you have sustained engagement with it; secondly, its tangible format enables you to flick to past pages and reflect; thirdly, reading gives rise to informed… Read more »

Closing Debate JLF 2014

In the light of India’s looming general elections, the closing debate of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival 2014, interpreted the famous quotation by Winston Churchill “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others.” Indrajit Hazra conceded that democracy is not faultless “- it is not a perfect “spouse” –… Read more »

Elephants In The Room – India And Its Neighbours: Kazi Anis Ahmed, Ahmad Rafay Alam, Lily Wangchhuk, Aunohita Mojumdar In Conversation With Neelam Deo

A power panel explored the social and political workings of the countries bordering India, namely Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The discussion ranged from elections and political portraits to the role of the media and involvement of the youth and middle class in social change, as well as India’s position as a strategically important neighbour…. Read more »

Freedom, Opinion And Expression: John Ralston Saul, Peter Godwin, Jerry Pinto In Conversation With Antara Dev Sen

In a country where censorship arguably holds more importance than expression itself, a debate on the ‘freedom of expression’ turned out to be a sensitive subject, and firmly established one of the core themes of the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival: to speak out. John Ralston Saul, President of PEN International, introduced the features of PEN, an organization that… Read more »

History Strikes Back And The Collapse Of Globalism: Hubert Vedrine In Conversation With John Ralston Saul

Important aspects of governance, economics and democracy were debated in an engaging session between two renowned intellectuals. Hubert Vedrine, author of History Strikes Back, and JohnRalston Saul, President of PEN International. The pair discussed evolving economies all over the world, looking at the impact of globalization and applying European theories – such as Fukuyama’s idea of the ‘End of the History’ –… Read more »