London, June 9 (IANS) The London edition of Indias popular Jaipur Literature Festival “ZEE JLF at The British Library” has kicked off, filling the historic spaces of Londons iconic literary venue and welcoming over 100 eminent authors and thinkers from across the globe.
The festival aims to showcase South Asia’s literary heritage, multilingualism, oral traditions, performing arts, books and ideas.
At the inaugural address “Imagining Our Worlds” on Friday evening here, festival producer Sanjoy K. Roy, welcomed a packed house of attendees.
“London is the capital of the arts world and it was important for us to set up a platform here to bring together authors to debate and discuss, and most importantly to dissent. It is through dissent that we create some kind of dialogue, and have a sense of everybody’s point of view being expressed,” he said.
Festival Co-Director Namita Gokhale said it was an “emotional moment” to see the opening of the festival at the British Library after all the hard work of the year.
William Dalrymple, who is curating the festival along with Gokhale, observed that the annual literary event in Jaipur is the largest literature festival in the world, with over half a million footfalls recorded this year.
The first session “India Sutra: Why I Am A Hindu” featured writer-politician Shashi Tharoor in conversation with Gokhale.
Tharoor discussed the difference between the “vision” of Hinduism and its social practices, which he claimed is often “distorted” for political means.
He maintained that it is “wrong” to use Hinduism politically, and “there is the need to reclaim Hinduism” for its vision as a faith, “with ideas of life and purpose of this planet.”
This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Festival’s presence in London.