Popular literary fests in India
Indian Literature Festivals have been the hub for great authors, their readers, extensive media coverage and advertisers. With the influx of writers, people and eminent figures, corporate sectors have increasingly shown interest in these festivals. Let's look at some of the most prominent literary festivals in the country.
Jaipur Literary Festival
One of the biggest literary festivals in the world is the Zee Jaipur Literature festival. As an eminent festival of national and international repute, it is open to all. An array of activities such as readings, talks, debates, performances, children’s workshops and interactive activities are organized and supervised at this event.
The annual event is held at The Diggi Palace Hotel and is a cluster of literary talent from around the world to address a huge audience encompassing intelligentsia, celebrities, policy makers and enthusiasts. The event is hosted by Teamwork Events and now the festival has become so popular that UK has planned a one day event in London.
This year’s festival that was held from January 17th to 21st had a line-up of authors and speakers numbering to 240, with debates and discussions lasting five days. The topics ranged from fiction to biography, history to music and catered to all age groups. Nicholas Shakespeare, Jonathan Franzen, Richard Holmes, Kabir Bedi, Ray Monk, Jhumpha Lahiri, Joseph O’Neill, Shobhaa De, AN Wilson, Javeed Akthar, Salman Khurshid, Geoff Dyer, were some prominent authors at the venue. The sponsors for the event were Zee, Google, Vodafone, Ford, Dove, Kingfisher, Coca Cola. This year’s festival included Geetu Hinduja [Contemporary Folk, Pop & Soft Rock], Vidya Shah [Indian Classical], Rajasthani Folk Musicians, Sonam Kalra [Sufi & Gospel], Sumitra Kamad [Folk Music].
Hyderabad Literary Festival
Hyderabad Literary Festival (HLF) is an annual event that honors creativity in all forms. The Festival started back in 2010 and it attracts over hundreds of Indian and International artists, writers, publishers and scholars each year. It is a multilingual event that focuses on writing in Indian languages. This year’s festival happened on 24th-25th January and the inauguration was done by Chandana Khan, Hon. Chairman of Hyderabad Literary Festival and I.A.S., Andhra Pradesh Tourism. There were workshops on Haiku & creative writing, book fair, special events for college and school students. This year’s festival had a line-up of prominent authors and speakers like Anand Gandhi, Mahesh Dattani, H.E Feilim McLaughlin, Mridula Garg. The Partners for the event were Ireland Literature Exchange, Alliance Française, National Arts Council, Oxford University Press, CitiBank, Roli Books, State Bank of Hyderabad, University of Hyderabad, Harper Collins etc.
Kolkata Literary Meet
Kolkata Literary Meet (KLM) is an annual literature event, the third edition was held this year at Taj Bengal from 25 to 30 January. KLM had tied-up with brands such as SREI, Google, Exide, NDTV and Tata Steel. The event included literary stalwarts such as Ramchandra Guha, Jhumpa Lahiri, Javed Akhtar, Adrian Levy, Shabana Azmi, Peter Godwin, Ian Jack, Aditi Mangaldas, David Godwin, Siddiqi and Sadaf Saaz. Speakers included national and internationally reputed literary geniuses. Favourites like Sharmila Tagore and Vikram Seth were back and the event was hosted by Naseeruddin Shah, Gloria Steinem and Mark Tully. The event was organized and executed by Gameplan. The first two editions saw writers like Valerio Manfredi, Vikram Seth, Amitav Ghosh, Pico Iyer, Alessandro Baricco and including Amartya Sen, Nobel Laureate winner.
Lit For Life
The Hindu’s Lit for Life 2014 was held in Chennai on January 11 to 13 and in Delhi on February 8. The event witnessed animated discussions, book signings, drama and music. The event saw well-known authors like Dr. Abraham Verghese, Amandeep Sandhu Samantha Shannon, Ashwin Sanghi, Naomi Wolf, Jim Crace, Rana Dasgupta, Shovon Choudhary, Ira Trivedi, Sam Miller, and Manu Joseph. Gulzar, the national award winner recited his poems and was surrounded by a huge crowd in the event. Its first edition was held in Chennai in 2011 that had poets Arvind Krishna Mehrotra and Jeet Thayil, authors Devdutt Pattanaik Jerry Pinto, Nilanjana Roy, Ashok Ferrey, Gopal Krishna Gandhi, and fashion designer and author Wendell Rodricks attend it.
Lucknow Literary Festival
The second edition of the annual Lucknow Literary Festival was held on the 1st and 2nd February 2014. The 1st edition of the festival was held from 23rd to 24th March, 2013. It was a big success and widely appreciated by everyone. The festival is an effort to bring forth the ‘lutf’ of languages – Hindi, Urdu, Awadhi & English on a common platform. This year’s special award ‘Pride of Lucknow’ was presented to 7 people; Padma Shri Raj Bisaria, Shri Bekal Utsahi, Gopal Das Neeraj Vinod Mehta, Malikzada Manzoor Ahmed, Padma Shri Runa Banerjee, Jayant Krishna.
The Literary festival main motive is to invoke the creative spirit of the city and bring together the authors and scholars from all over the country. This year’s festival included cultural events like Dastangoi on Kabir, Sufi Qawwali, Mushaira and Live Concert by Faridkot band. Well-known people like Naseeruddin Shah, Dolly Thakore, Padma Shri Bekal Utsahi, Amaresh Mishra, Veena Talwar Oldenburg, Padma Shri Gulzar Dehlvi were some of the participants of the festival.
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