Free speech and sectarian tensions at the Jaipur Festival
by Claudia Hyles
This year’s Jaipur Literature Festival (20–24 January) more than lived up to the Indian Ministry of Tourism’s slogan – ‘Incredible India’.
The festival was established in 2006 as a component of the Jaipur Virasat (Heritage) Festival, an arts event intended to showcase the varied and colourful Rajasthani culture. Performances of classical music and dance were held in the forecourts of old temples, and folk concerts attracted huge crowds in city squares. Craft bazaars, art exhibitions, workshops, and disparate forms of theatre took place in dozens of locations around the city: former royal palaces, forts and gardens, a modern amphitheatre and galleries designed by architect Charles Correa, even an ancient reservoir. It was brilliant, exciting, and surprisingly intimate.