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William Dalrymple excited about JLF 2022; says young British-Indians challenging Empire amnesia

"We're back," celebrated author, historian, and Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) co-director William Dalrymple tells Connected to India, speaking about the upcoming JLF 2022.

In an interview with Himanshu Verma, Dalrymple talks about how he first came to India and fell in love with the place; how the inaugural JLF in 2006 "was the right idea at the right time", which led to its explosive growth; and how a new generation of British-Indians are challenging the "amnesia of Britain about the Empire" One such person Sathnam Sanghera, journalist and author was targeted after the launch his book Empireland, which gives an account of Britain's atrocities during their rule of India.       

"I think one of the reasons the amnesia is being challenged is that a whole new generation of ethnic Indians have grown up in Britain are challenging that amnesia and just wanting to know their own history," he said. 

JLF 2022 has faced many obstacles, with uncertainties over international travel, the Omicron wave and 'super-spreader' concerns leading to the event being pushed to March from January and being presented in a hybrid form, with five days of virtual events followed by five days on the ground in Jaipur. Dalrymple says he was relieved that a substantial number of their international speakers agreed to attend despite the postponement.

"It's the beginning of a return to normality, and it's great," he said.

"I hope the Jaipur Literature Festival will provide solace for many of us, particularly the book-lovers who have missed the joy of live events with their favourite authors. It is a unique lineup; no other literary festival in the world has writers like these years after year," he added.

Catch our full interview with William Dalrymple below, and the digital events of JLF 2022 are streaming on their website.

Author
Tushaar Kuthiala
Tushaar Kuthiala – Associate Editor

Tushaar has extensive experience as a journalist and in founding two start-up newspapers. He has developed editorial models for both copy and content, and has written several articles, news reports on a wide range of topics. He is a graduate of St. Stephen’s College and earned a post-graduate diploma in TV Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism (ACJ), Chennai. He has worked as a special correspondent based in New Delhi with Daily World, an international media organisation. 

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