Jaipur, Feb 26 : As Jaipur Literature Festival continues to hold its sway, even in its 2021 virtual avatar, the venue of its next edition, hopefully in a physical form, is a hot topic of discussion amongst literature lovers of the Pink City and elsewhere.
The current edition of the JLF is being organised virtually in the wake of Covid but the state government last year denied permission to hold the event anymore in the Diggi Palace, a heritage property that has been its home for all the 13 editions since its inception, citing security and traffic congestion as the reason.
However, many from the JLF team refuse to believe that traffic congestion can be an issue.
Speaking to IANS, Teamwork Arts Managing Director and JLF's producer Sanjoy Roy noted: "They (the government) gave us the option to organise the festival in Clarks Amer Hotel. It can be a decent option... however, we stressed upon the fact that if audience want to have a sense of history and culture, then the venue should have to be a heritage property." "Then, they (want us to go to Jaipur Exhibition Convention Centre, but then it is a simple convention centre, and why should we come back to Jaipur to organise the event in an hangar when there are many other better convention centres in the world," he asked.
"What's the point in hosting the event in Jaipur if its in some conference hall," he said.
The JECC is situated in an industrial area, around 20 km from the present venue.
"If the city is not interested in hosting the event of magnanimous opportunity, we shall go elsewhere... if it is to be held in Jaipur, it should represent the culture and history of the city," Roy said.
Meanwhile, a senior official told IANS: "The kachhi bastis behind Diggi Palace suffer a lot when the event is organised. Also the people staying in colonies in and around the venue also face inconveniencewith so many vehicles coming in and most of their roads remaining blocked in wake of security concerns." However, Rampratap Diggi, the owner of Diggi Palace, said: "In the end, someone will have to start talking about it. Jaipur needs JLF more than the event needs the city." Roy adds: "Hopefully people understand the loss of it."