Lit By Flames
It was a great idea whose time had obviously not yet come. When the Jaipur litfest wallahs decided a couple of months ago to open one more branch of their festival in Srinagar, it was hailed across the world as a game-changer. But the cultural diplomacy the litfest organisers were hoping to crank up exploded in their faces—with authors pulling out and over 200 signing an online protest against the litfest. The organisers have finally called it off—but not before exchanging some name-calling with the protesters, calling them anti-free speech, anti-art and a “vocal minority”. Hardly a diplomatic exit line!