From the lush lawns of Diggi Palace to entering the virtual world, the annual haven for literature lovers, Jaipur Literature Festival embraced change and how. As the curtains closed on its 14th edition, we’ve seen over 300 speakers and performers from around the world.
The last day of the festival began with Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai in conversation with Pragya Tiwari. The 23-year-old activist, who believes borders are a thing of the past as people need peace and not division, says her dream is to see India and Pakistan as friends.
“It is my dream to see India and Pakistan become true friends and we could all visit each other’s countries. You can continue watching Pakistani dramas and we can continue to watch Bollywood movies and enjoy cricket matches,” she said.
As she spoke about her book, I am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, she expressed concern on the news of internet shutdown and arrest of activists doing peaceful protests. According to Malala, “You are Indian and I am Pakistani and we are completely fine, then why is this hatred created between us? This philosophy of borders is old. The divide and conquer idea doesn’t work anymore… we as humans want to live in peace.”
In another session, director and writer Devashish Makhija launched his launched latest book Oonga that is based on his film of the same name. Talking to Kaveree Bamzai, he calls it ‘the journey of a little boy in the midst of a clash among adivasis, Naxalites, the CRPF and a mining company’.
“It is a tragic tale of all those who are the victims of violence that battles forces upon them. They fight for their identity and the fights they do not want to be involved in.”
The programme offered a kaleidoscopic view into themes of technology, politics, history, environment, economics, poetry, music, food, literature and so much more.
In one of the sessions on the perils of climate changes, Bill Gates spoke about the mission to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from 51 million tons to zero by 2050 and his book The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need. The business magnate and philanthropist thinks political parties need to prioritise the issue of climate change. He said “We want climate to be a bi-partisan issue because we’ve got to cap 30 years of progress, not just four years.” And when asked how can young people contribute, his response was, “I am not an expert of advocacy.”— TNS