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JLF-2013 concludes with appeal for defending freedom of expression

Posted on Jan 29, 07:17PM | UNI

Jaipur, Jan 28 :The five-day Jaipur Literature Festival-2013(JLF) was concluded here this evening with the organisers appealing to people to defend/honour freedom of expression

The five-day mega annual event a confluence of people from literature,cinema,art and culture, sports and social activists saw around 260 delegates to churn ideas on wide ranged issues/ subjects at more than 170 sessions

While Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama delivered a very enlightening-inspiring discourse on opening day on January 24 many more intellectuals,authors shared their experiences and views with masses on many topical subjects

However, controversies again marred the show and dumpened the spirits of participants who thronged Diggi Palace-the venue of the annual literary extravaganza-, in big number every day

While the controversy over renowned citic-sociologist Prof Ashis Nandy's comments about state of corruption in SCs, STs and OBCs had its echoes nationwide, a spate between author Kancha Ilaiah and Bollywood lyrist Javed Akhtar over religion at a session also made people feel sorry

On the concluding day today, reading out a passage from novel Narcopolis by novelist Jeet Thayil-that contained certain abusive phrases/words- and certain observation about choice for sex to women by panelist Prita Bhargava at different sessions today also made the audience raise their eye-brows

Taking note of the public reactions to the deliberations at the festival, the JLF directors Namita Gokhale and William Dalrymple appealed the people to defend the freedom of speech and expression

Dalrymple said 'I really hope people will rally around to defend the festival'

Ms Gokhale and Dalrymple also expected the media to be more responsible and report above and beyond controversies