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  Newsmakers   22 Jan 2017  Rajini’s daughter takes the bull by horns in Jaipur

Rajini’s daughter takes the bull by horns in Jaipur

Published : Jan 22, 2017, 4:36 am IST
Updated : Jan 22, 2017, 9:17 pm IST

With two more days to go let’s keep fingers crossed. The last session of the fest is reserved for a political debate.

Aishwarya Rajinikanth Dhanush
 Aishwarya Rajinikanth Dhanush

Jaipur: The third day of the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival 2017 was a power-packed affair with politics dominating literature. Whether it was newly sworn-in US President Donald Trump, ban on Jallikattu or Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader M.M. Vaidya’s statement on reservation — all were discussed in one compound.

With the gathering of some great names from the literary world — The Biographer’s Ballwhich  session — had authors A.N. Wilson, Andrew Roberts, David Cannadine, Lucinda Hawksley, Roy Foster and Suzannah Lipscomb in conversation with Anita Anand, the co-author of Kohinoor. Each biographer talked about their reason to pen someone’s life.

Had it not been for Aishwarya Rajinikanth Dhanush’s lively interaction fuelled by Sudha Sadanand’s perceptive questioning, the morning session would have been just another speculative academic round. After spiritual leader Jaggi Vasudev and actor Rana Daggubati, Aishwarya, who penned Standing on an Apple Box: Memoirs and Memories, also voiced her support for Jallikattu. “I believe that Jallikattu should not be banned. It is part of our (Tamil) tradition. I support youth who have been campaigning for Jallikatu,” she said. Her statement won a thunderous applause from the audience at this, usually politically correct jamboree.

Ms Sadanand, a publisher, made sure she extracted enough from Rajinikanth’s daughter. She talked about everything, from her childhood days when she stayed with her grandmother in Bangalore, to celebrating her birthdays at local kiosks. “The book has it all,” a no-nonsense independent producer with two successful films in her kitty said.

The disappointment of the day was the debate on Building a Country: Science or the Liberal Arts? despite a distinguished group of panelists — Aditya Mukherjee, Matt Reed, Devesh Kapur, Michael S. Roth, Sukrita Paul Kumar and Tarun Khanna moderated by Shail Mayaram, an author.

The moderator took nearly 10 minutes to establish her point before being forced by an enraged audience to hand over the mike to the  panelists. As a result, the panel had little time to come to the point and elaborate, much to the disappointment of hundreds of young boys and girls who looked eager to learn and offer their inputs on such an interesting topic. They would have loved to talk on the decolonisation of the mind as Michael Roth refuted claims of all those who professed the study of social sciences as a must for all-inclusive education.    

Lit Fest Director Namita Gokhle spoke about her book, Things to Leave Behind', with another Kumaon-born writer Mrinal Pande and Sunil Sethi. A sparkling session was lifted further by their banter and camaraderie, the two women regaled the listeners with their collective familiarity and understanding of the Kumaon region.

Meanwhile, no session, particularly those involving foreign authors, passed without a mention of President Trump. Of course, most of them were critical of him. With two more days to go let’s keep fingers crossed. The last session of the fest is reserved for a political debate.

Tags: jaipur literature festival, donald trump, jallikattu ban, aishwarya rajinikanth dhanush
Location: India, Rajasthan, Jaipur