Any moment now I expect India’s litfest mafiosi to describe this article on the ‘Essar Kahani Utsav’ by Akshay Pathak as an ‘attack on free speech’:
Money was not the only thing coloured there. Long pieces of cloth in different colours hanging outside the venue— in classic Teamwork Productions style (the event management company organising this festival)—conjured a sense of celebration. The packaging was good. It mostly is—like that of the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival, also organised by the same company.
The mood inside, though, didn’t match. That is, if you set aside the sight of visibly uninterested festival organisers and district administrators finding ways to pat their backs. And there was certainly no festive air around the 600-odd Adivasi children who had travelled hours on foot and buses to hear stories on an empty stomach—“the district administration miscalculated the numbers”, the organisers explained to me later, and so they had run out of food for the children. [Read the full article.]