Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Why the Jaipur Literature Festival Deserves More Recognition

Jaipur Literature Festival

Roar writer Amaaya Nath discusses the Jaipur Literature Festival and its importance on an international scale.

In India, the Jaipur Literature Festival, the world’s largest free festival, is now underway. The event has 300 speakers representing two nationalities and includes many Nobel prize winners, industry leaders, and authors. As such, it is no surprise that it is considered the greatest literary event on earth.

Normally the festival takes place in the iconic Diggi Palace in Jaipur (India), attracting a crowd of 400,000. This year the team at Teamwork arts have done a fantastic job at replicating it as an online experience, complete with a 3D Durbar hall for events. However, what surprises me is the lack of interest from foreigners when I speak about this. It seems as though this is regarded as an “Indian event” where it seems appealing only to Indian audiences because of so-called cultural differences. 

The reason why this event means so much to me is because it gives a platform for many Indian authors and speakers that otherwise get overlooked. The main perception of Indian literature internationally is still one of writing back to the west, or Indian patriotism after colonialism. Yet this is far from the truth. Indian experiences and voices relay truths about our world and the societies we live in, and talk about important motifs worldwide, such as struggles with identity, feminism, nationalism and diversity. It means so much hearing about new groundbreaking ideas from other people of colour.

Having studied History in the UK, I have always been taught by white voices that often overlook the realities of the past. When I attended a talk about Jinnah (a freedom fighter), he explained and broke down the nuances of the partition which is often left out in national curriculums. The best part of it is that the festival is completely free. Events of this magnitude in the west are often taken as a given to be watched by people of all nationalities, yet it is beyond me how JLF is written off as an Indian only event.

This isn’t limited to Indian voices; JLF has attracted many internationally notable speakers such as Bill Gates, Malala Yousafzai, and Priyanka Chopra. While these big names attest to the magnitude of the festival, JLF is about the love of literature – not just Indian problems or big names.

The festival runs until 28th February. I’d encourage everyone to look at the programme, which is available here.



Staff writer Meher Kazmi examines the UK’s deteriorating public services and argues for a drastic strategy to save them from disrepair. In the few...

Maughan library exterior Maughan library exterior


A Freedom of Information (FOI) request has revealed that King’s College London (KCL) spent the equivalent of almost twenty domestic students’ annual tuition fees...


Soufiane Ababri: "their mouths were full of bumblebees but it was me who was pollinated"


Staff writer Hannah Durkin Review’s The Kings Shakespeare Company’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Feeling mildly frazzled and irked by the swarm of...


Staff writer Ruth Otim reminds us of the conflict in Sudan, and the importance of the media in paying attention to international conflicts. I...


KCL has dropped its commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2025, pushing the goal back to 2030 amid revelations that emissions have...


Staff Writer Isabelle Hickman looks back on the most memorable looks from Eurovision 2023 – a lavish night of music, fashion and solidarity. On...


Staff writer Ava Mellor examines the impact Isabel Oakeshott’s leaking of Matt Hancock’s WhatsApp messages may have on the Ghost Writing industry. ‘The Art...