The tenth edition of Jaipur Literature Festival, Asia’s biggest literary event, kicked off in Rajasthan’s capital city on Thursday. The five-day event was inaugurated by state chief minister Vasundhara Raje, award-winning Indian songwriter Gulzar and American poet Anne Waldman among a raft of other prominent personalities who were present at the opening ceremony.

The event is one-of-its-kind in India, attracting renowned writers and thinkers from across the globe. India-based British author William Darymple, one of the brains behind the the event, delivered an opening address, dubbing the event as “Ibiza of world literature”.

Darymple noted the event had grown steadily over the years to become one of the more popular litfests in the world.

Hindustan Times reported him saying, “About 500 people came in 2008. Last year, we had over a third of a million footfalls. The success of Jaipur has inspired a whole galaxy of nearly 90 other literary festivals not only in India but in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal and now Burma. We are as surprised as we are proud of this.”

The keynote address at this year’s event was reportedly delivered by songwriter Gulzar and poet Waldman.

At least 30 languages are believed to be represented at this year’s event.

Among famous authors who are attending this year include the likes of Man Booker Prize winners Paul Beatty, Alan Hollinghurst and Richard Flanagan.

“The festival has always aimed at showcasing the brilliant literary talent of India to the world, in return bringing some of the world’s greatest writers home. The Festival offers a unique opportunity to hear some of the world’s contemporary literary stalwarts at a platform that’s all-inclusive and democratic, brings together diverse thought and opinion, and upholds freedom of thought and expression,” a festival producer Sanjoy K Roy was quoted as saying by a news website.

Here are some highlights from the first day of JLF 2017

 

 

(Source: Facebook and Twitter feeds of JLF)