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Curtains Come Down at the Jaipur Literature Festival

The seventh edition of the annual Jaipur Literature Festival concluded here today on a rainy day with organisers vowing to maintain the event as a platform to celebrate the freedom of speech and expression.

"We have always advocated this festival to be a platform supporting freedom of expression for authors and even visitors. We will keep this spirit going in the next editions as well," Festival Producer, Sanjoy Roy said today.

Appreciating the city police's support Roy said, "We are thankful to the police who ensured that the session went on peacefully and there were no disruptions. Jaipur is the perfect venue for this festival."

The five-day festival, had become a major calendar event for the literary world since first inception in 2006 and had seen its share of controversies had this time too a whiff of the same.

On the penultimate day, activists of a Rajput outfit protested against the presence of filmmaker Ekta Kapoor, objecting to the title of her TV serial 'Jodha Akbar', which they claimed presented their culture in bad light. However, the protesters were pushed outside the venue and the event continued.

This year the Festival keynote speech was delivered by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen and around 240 authors from varied backgrounds participated in discussions a variety of subjects.

Music too had a sizable share at the mega literary extravaganza with Grammy Award winning Tinariwen playing at the festival alongside Karsh Kale, Kiran Ahluwalia, Midival Punditz and the cream of Rajasthani musicians and dancers.

A debut initiative for the publishing industry, "Bookmark" which ran in parallel to the festival offered "food for thought" for publishers and agents.

Indian author, Cyrus Mistry won the USD 50,000 DSC prize for South Asian Literature for his book "Chronicles of the Corpse Bearer" which was announced at the festival.

A new literary initiative, Crime Writers' Association of South Asia, was launched at the festival.

The literary jamboree featured two Nobel Prize winners, Amartya Sen and Harold Varmus, as well as Man Booker, Pulitzer, Crossword, Samuel Johnson, Commonwealth, Hawthornden, Orange, Neustadt, Sahitya Akademi, Padmashree, Costa and DSC Prize long listed, short listed and winning authors.

Four of this year's Man Booker Prize authors Jhumpa Lahiri, Tash Aw, Alison Macleod and Jim Crace also attended the festival.

Festival goers were offered a chance to co-author poems with best-selling writers and other literature lovers through a special moblie application.

Visitors were seen disappointed when few personalities skipped the festival including Union Minister Shashi Tharoor, Bollywood lyricist-script writer Javed Akhtar and Boxer Mary Kom.

The dates for the next edition for the festival were also announced today.

"The next edition of JLF will take place during January 21 to January 25 at the historical Diggi palace," Festival Co-director Namita Gokhale said here.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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