It was a moment of nostalgia for those who have been regular here, while for others, the excitement just unfolded each passing moment. The folk artistes took over the Diggi Palace, a lavish and spacious venue for Jaipur Literature Festival, early morning where they welcomed book lovers from different walks of life with their traditional and signature tunes. Delhi-based artiste Sonam Kalra wafted spirituality with her versions of ‘Hallelujah’ and ‘Allah Hu’ while young Jaisalmer Boys drew maximum cheers for their extraordinary vocal skills before the opening session on ‘the poetic imagination’. “Authors’ right to write should not be violated. They don’t write to please anybody. We believe in plurality of voice and equity of knowledge. Opinions just be allowed to be shared in a peaceful atmosphere. World is a difficult place and more often, the freedom of speech and expression is hijacked by fringe elements,” said Sanjoy Roy, the producer of JLF. Over 400 authors and artiste are participating in this edition of JLF.
Like every year, the chief minister of Rajasthan opened the festival, however, Vasundhara Raje recalled her long association with the event. “When I first attended the festival, there were around 40 people and last year it recorded a footfall of over 2 lakh people. The world is so fast-paced and it is through intellectual gatherings like this one can restore sanity, plug into other people and believe that there is a possibility of change,” Raje said.