The JLF Sunday is a massive affair. People come in droves and occupy every possible inch of the ground.
When the William Dalrymple session, named as ‘Anarchy’, started, it was as if the literary gods took it upon themselves to make sure that there was anarchy at the venue in the true senses. Though a huge audience listened with the intent that is rarely shown in a history class, there was absolute mayhem surrounding the venue with people jostling to find their way around the selfie-crazed youth. As the day rolled on, more and more people started coming to witness the extravaganza of the biggest and probably the most glamorous literary show in the world, and the festival remained lively as ever.
The economics of publishing and the shape of future
The Nobel Laureate Abhijit V. Banerjee took the centre stage and talked about the Global threats facing the economy. Though the festival celebrates the spirit of literature, hence is devoted to mostly trade books, the non-trade, i.e. academic book publishers were too keeping an eye on the proceedings, and added to what the panellists discussed through comments. At a time when the internet is revolutionizing the ways of publishing, it is the piracy that is killing the margins and therefore the business. The discussions even went on to the lengths of including the role of AI and how it will affect the publishing in general.
Books abound this arena, and writers are the heroes here
From travelogue to OTT platforms to civil services to even democracy, they were all saved by books at the JLF on Sunday. The sessions looked closely at the topic at hand with the lense of the books. Writers first spoke passionately about their books or discussed others’ works and then signed copies for the readers who stood in long lines. Every writer found fans for himself, and readers got the chance to see their heroes from up close.
Politics, polity and beyond
Just like others, politicans too made appearances on the various stages at the festival and added their two cents to the on-going discourse. A rather fiery atmosphere was counter-balanced by the quick-witted remarks and questions. The students put their issues in front of the people, and asked straight questions of their representatives.
The JLF Sunday saw a star-studded line of sessions across all the venues. While the people ran from one venue to the other and ate the most exquisite food in-between, it is the Diggi Puri tea that re-energised the minds and reinvigorated the spirits.
On that steamy note, I would like to put an end to this day’s report. Let’s see what the last day of the festival has in the offing. See you tomorrow!