By Sunil Kumar

The cerebral orgy has ended. According to the organizers and sources, there were nearly 200,000 footfalls this year, compared to the 120,000 last year. As I sum up my impressions of this year, I would like to state that despite all the controversies, the fest is a trailblazer of sorts as it has spawned a slew of similar events across the country.

The music in the JLF this year was tacky; compared to the lively beat we had last year. Also, a delectable tall blonde(or a brunette, I don’t remember) who was at the Tata Steel Front Lawns last year had mysteriously disappeared. The lady vanishes, perhaps! Now, for the pros and cons of the event, compared to the overhyped visit of Oprah last year, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was distinctly mild, rational, humble and gave simple, ethical practical advice. I am about to post a video of his talk on my YouTube channel, in case any of you who read this want to see it.

Flashback: in case my memory of this year fades away in a few seconds. “The Roots of Yoga” session with David White, Jim Mallinson, Mark Singleton and Birad Rajaram Yajnik attempted to project Hindu mystical ways as a universal belief system. David White gave a detailed historical perspective on the roots of one of India‘s most famous cultural exports. For anybody familiar with the idea as defined in our shastras; Patanjali‘s “Yoga Sutras” are considered by many to be the “Bible”. The long discussion attempted to project Yoga as a way of life; that could be enriched by more global contact.

Ruchir Sharma, Edward Luce and Gurcharan Das waxed eloquently on India’s trajectory in the “Inspite of the Gods Revisited” Session. While Gurcharan Das pointed out the lacunae in the country’s growth story, Luce gave a slightly different perspective. Both of them seemed to agree that India’s soft power and intellectual process lay in its freedom of expression and ability to deliberate. Although this can sound a bit farcical with all the bans around, the session was enlightening due to the passion of the speakers and the participating audience.

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300px Jaipur Column at Rashtrapati Bhavan%2C New Delhi Jaipur Literature Festival   This Year

 

 

 

 

 Jaipur Literature Festival   This Year
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