The Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF), which is underway in the pink city, has been a trailblazer, sparking a stampede of literature festivals in its wake, with no less than 70 of them springing up across India and South Asia. And interestingly, most of them have managed to secure some form of corporate and government support. The JLF, for instance, has enjoyed the support of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the public diplomacy division of the ministry of external affairs, and the ministry of culture. Its sponsors include a veritable who’s who of the corporate world, not to mention the cultural diplomacy wings of various countries, such as the British Council, Alliance Francaise, and the American Center. The Bangalore Literature Festival (BLF), another big stop in India’s lit-fest circuit, also boasts of state and corporate partners.

As Dalrymple changes his mind on Rajiv Malhotra, JLF attendees must take on Dinanath Batra and the threat to books in India, says Hartosh Singh Bal

william_dalrympleThe Jaipur Literature Festival, or to give it its rightful name this year, the ZEE-Jaipur Literature Festival, has, like every other year, attracted a number of well-known authors. But this year in India is not like any other year. We have a new government in place, and the change from one dispensation to another is reflected in the festival as Tarun Tejpal gives way to Tarun Vijay.

Of course it is not incumbent upon the festival to reflect on this change; politics need not be the stuff of literature. But over the past year, a man named Dinanath Batra—who has the full endorsement of the current dispensation—has had considerable success in ensuring that publishers think more than twice about publishing anything that may annoy the Sangh Parivar, which is but a name for the vast amorphous machinery of Hindutva ideologues that drives the BJP. So even if politics does not concern the festival, its impact on literature should.  

edwinthambooRenowned author Edwin Thumboo got nostalgic during his Goa visit when he opened the fifth edition of the Goa Arts and Literature Festival (GALF) here.

Speaking after the opening ceremony, Thumboo, 81, recalled his childhood teachers, a Goan couple, who shaped his growing years here.

“I also recall when I was eleven-year-old, we had two Goan families living in the city. They were the example of what a person should be,” said the Singaporean poet, who is regarded as one of the pioneers of English literature in his country.

The Nepal Literature Festival has come a long way from its humble beginnings, thanks to its organisers continuing to believe in their dream: The Kathmandu Post

In 2007, the Fine Print Book Club set up a small office in Baluwatar, where they conducted monthly interactive sessions for people who were into reading. Occasional interactions would be held on different subjects and book-lovers came together in small groups to talk about their book fetishes.

For Ajit Baral and Niraj Bhari, the brains behind the reading club, the goal lay farther than just running a book club. As publishers, they had one objective: to promote reading culture in Nepal.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Syima Aslam and Irna Qureshi, organising the Bradford Literature Festival after it received funding from the Arts Council.

Syima Aslam and Irna Qureshi, organising the Bradford Literature Festival after it received funding from the Arts Council: Telegraph & Argus

A new literature festival for Bradford aims to be the first in the UK to champion world literature and British writing on an equal footing.

The Bradford Literature Festival is being set up by two local bookworms who believed the city deserved its own festival to rival those in Hay-on-Wye and Edinburgh.

India’s Jaipur Literature Festival, the largest free event dedicated to literature and the arts which closed on 21 Jan, has made all its panel discussions available on YouTube: ahramonline

Recorded by the organisers, over 170 discussion panels between 240 great minds of the 21st century attending the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) between 17 and 21 January are now available for viewing on YouTube.