The ‘East meets Middle East’ initiated the last day of the Jaipur Literature Festival with their original euphonious melodies. After that started a lineup of intriguing sessions, first of which included a discussion on misogyny and mansplaining carried by panelists Antara Ganguli, Anuradha Beniwal, Bee Rowlatt, Ruchira Gupta and Suhel Seth. Another of the first session of the day was addressed by Indian cinema veterans Sudhir Mishra, Imtiaz Ali and Rachel Dwyer as moderated by Shubhra Gupta. They touched the topics like parallel cinema, setting up of templates, and the overall evolution of the Indiana film industry in the session named ‘Mother India: Indian Films and the National Narrative’.
Later that day, illusionist and mentalist Neel Madhav amazed audiences with his canny mental tricks and illusions. He also gave an insight in a life of a young illusionist in India, how the land known for its highly clichéd magic tricks has turned into a place where the art seems to have lost its scope substantially. Meanwhile, North Korean defector and activist Hyeonseo Lee introduced by Anita Anand shared her life experiences stating that ‘I’ve escaped from the most reclusive country on the planet, my home country North Korea, where people can be sent to political prisoner camps if one simply tries to access outside information.’ In the session named after her famed book ‘The girl with seven names’ she once again brought to the forefront the situation in North Korea, considered to be the world’s most ruthless and secretive dictatorships.
Another notable session of the day was hosted by Neil Macgregor, in the Front Lawn venue, who illustrated the world where Shakespeare and all his works were born. The next session about ‘Poetry in the masses’, in the same place, was taken by Prasoon Joshi, an Indian lyricist and screenwriter. This hour was, to a large extent, dedicated to poetry as T.C.A Raghavan spoke about the subject ‘Poetry in Politics in Mogul India’, as the next hour was to different languages.
Where Angélica Freitas, Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir, Eluned Gramich, Inga Žolude, Issa Asgarally, Pierre Joris, Roman Simić and Rumena Buzarovska discussed how variation in the language of literature brings pleasant and thoughtful diversity and how dominant languages are flattening that effect; C.P. Deval, Geeta Samour and K.C. Maloo discussed about the local Rajasthani dialect and literature.
This hour also underwent through some schedule changes, the session pre-scheduled to be on Leonardo da Vinci by Luke Syson was taken Craig Murray who spoke on the subject ‘Sikunder Burnes’. Another surprise for the JLF visitors for the day was an unscheduled session by Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen. The author, known for her advocacy for the freedom of expression caused some upheaval with her comments. The day ended with a thought provoking debate on ‘Are we Living in a Post-Truth World’ held by prominent speakers of Jaipur Literature Festival 2017- Anne Waldman, Ashutosh Varshney,David McWilliams, Luke Harding, Shashi Tharoor, Prasoon Joshi, Suhel Seth and Swapan.