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Jaipur Literature Fest starts in Pink City

Source : IBNS
Last Updated: Thu, Jan 24, 2013 15:20 hrs
Jaipur Literature Fest starts in Pink City

Amid tight security, the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival 2013 started in Rajasthan's capital Jaipur from Thursday.

The festival will continue till Jan 28 at Diggi Palace in the Pink City.

Rajasthan Governor Margaret Alva and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and noted Bengali writer Mahasweta Devi were present at the festival on Thursday.

Pertinently, the five-day festival started with Mahashweta Devi´s keynote address in the inaugural session titled "O To Live Again!".



She said ´right to dream´ should be made a ´fundamental right´.

As many as 20,000 are likely to visit the festival everyday that will be attended by noted writers and other eminent personalities, including spiritual leader Dalai Lama and former cricketer Rahul Dravid, from across the world.

Following protests and controversy surrounding the festival last year over the visit of novelist Salman Rushdie, the organizers will hope that things are peaceful this time.

Though a few groups have protested against Pakistani authors attending the festival, the organizers said they stood by their invitation to them.

Muslim groups have also warned organizers of the festival not to allow four authors, who had read out passages from novelist Rushdie´s banned ´The Satanic Verses´ at the event last year, to participate in the festival this year.

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday said the issue should not be ´politicised´.

"There are examples of when authors and sportspersons played a positive role in diluting tensions between two countries," Gehlot told media.

Festival producer Sanjoy Roy told media: "We are not ready to be bullied."

Rushdie, meanwhile, has said India is facing ´cultural emergency´.

"This is a different kind of emergency, it´s a cultural emergency in India. Culture is the new target and artists do not have gangs to defend themselves. Culture and art is not hard to attack," Rushdie told CNN-IBN.

Rushdie was not allowed to visit the event last year.

The organizers of the event had to cancel the much-talked about appearance of controversial writer at the event via video conferencing over protests by some Muslim groups on Jan 24, 2012.

A fatwa for killing the writer was declared in 1989 by Ayatollah Khomeini, the late supreme leader of Iran, for making certain remarks against Prophet Mohammed in his book "The Satanic Verses".

The remarks were considered blasphemous by the Islamic world.

Published in 1988, the book was banned in several countries including India.

Rushdie had attended the Jaipur Literature Festival in 2007.

A fatwa for killing Rushdie was declared in 1989 by Ayatollah Khomeini, the late supreme leader of Iran, for making certain remarks against Prophet Mohammed in his book "The Satanic Verses".

The remarks were considered blasphemous by the Islamic world.

Published in 1988, the book was banned in several countries including India.

Rushdie had attended the Jaipur Literature Festival in 2007.

Jaipur Literature Festival is considered by some as the greatest literary show on earth.

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