During its much-awaited 16th edition, to be held from 19th-23rd January at Hotel Clarks Amer, Jaipur the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival will explore and unravel a range of themes at panels curated with meticulous detail. The scale of programming remains as grand as ever. The ‘greatest’ literary show on Earth will feature relevant and pressing issues of the day, geopolitics being a key highlight.
Showcasing a stellar line-up of speakers, the Festival will host a session on India’s relations with China which has seen numerous highs and lows,featuring journalist and commentator Manoj Joshi; India’s former foreign secretary & Ambassador to China, Vijay Gokhale; and former foreign secretary Shyam Saran, in conversation with journalist and foreign policy expert, Suhasini Haidar. During the session, Joshi will discuss the rising tensions at the unresolved LAC, and what that means for the region. At another session, Saran will be in conversation with the UN Resident Coordinator for India,Shombi Sharp; writer Tshering Tashi; Ambassador of the European Union to India and Bhutan, Ugo Astuto; former IFS officer and ambassador, Lakshmi Puri; and author Avay Shukla to discuss the climate crisis. During the session, this expert panel will critically examine the way forward post COP27 and the fundamental questions of accountability across and regardless of borders while bringing in sustainable development, climate progress, climate justice and the path ahead.
At the Festival, Saran will be also seen at a session featuring former IFS officer and ambassador Lakshmi Puri; and academic and environmentalist Jason Scorse, in conversation with former diplomat and ambassador Navdeep Suri. At a session titled ‘Governing the Depth: The Politics of the Ocean’, this group of geopolitical experts will overview the existing deep-sea governance arrangements, addressing the logistical challenges inherent in monitoring resource exploitation, and the need to protect one of Earth’s last true frontiers.
China and India have for centuries been the two greatest economic powers of the world, and in the 21st century, their joint superpower status is likely to return. But while their histories and civilisations have traditionally been closely intertwined, today they are almost strangers to each other, their relations enmeshed by misunderstandings and military tensions. Three of India’s most distinguished observers of China – academic Tansen Sen; former Governor of Arunachal Pradesh JJ Singh and former foreign secretary of India Shyam Saran – will deep dive into the past and look at the future with historian and Festival Co-director William Dalrymple.
A session titled ‘The Great Game of Tech Morality’, featuring academic and writer Toby Walsh and tech entrepreneur and writer, Anirudh Suri, in conversation with journalist Praveen Swami, will focus on Suri’s recent book, The Great Tech Game: Shaping Geopolitics and the Destiny of Nations, which explores the era of ‘digital colonialism’ and technology’s role in shaping our values and the trajectory of the modern era. Swami will also be in conversation with journalist and commentator Manoj Joshi; journalist Nishtha Gautam; and academic, journalist and foreign policy analyst C Raja Mohan for a session on the critical need for a national security strategy for India in hard times. They will discuss India’s major challenges and concerns in the aftermath of the COVID pandemic, the current world economic crisis, and the ways in which these can be addressed.