JLF stands for diverse viewpoints: Organisers on inclusion of RSS speakers | india-news | Hindustan Times
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JLF stands for diverse viewpoints: Organisers on inclusion of RSS speakers

Manmohan Vaidya, head of RSS’ communications department and Dattatreya Hosabale, the organisation’s joint general secretary are in the list of speakers for the 2017 edition of Jaipur Literature  Festival.

Jaipur Literature Festival 2017 Updated: Jan 19, 2017 19:01 IST
File photo of the 2016 Jaipur Literature Festival. Eyebrows are being raised at the inclusion of two RSS leaders in the speakers’ list at the 2017 edition of the event.
File photo of the 2016 Jaipur Literature Festival. Eyebrows are being raised at the inclusion of two RSS leaders in the speakers’ list at the 2017 edition of the event. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo )

The organisers of the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) on Thursday said that the annual event has always stood for presenting diverse opinions on one platform following a controversy over the inclusion of RSS leaders Manmohan Vaidya and Dattatreya Hosabale in the programme.

“The festival has always been inclusive and welcomed plurality in opinion and often opposing viewpoints, to be expressed without discrimination. This is neither the first nor the last instance where we have welcomed speakers from the right, left and centre,” a statement by the organisers said.

Another development that has led to questions being asked is the reported absence of poets Ashok Vajpeyi, Uday Prakash and K Satchidanandan, who were prominent faces of the “award-wapsi” issue.

Read | Jaipur Litfest wouldn’t be poorer without RSS pracharaks

The statement said the festival’s core values place equity, democratic access and free speech above all.

“For dialogue to be meaningful, we must have representation from all points of view,” the statement said.

Vaidya is the head of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s communications department, while Hosabale is a joint general secretary.

“For a decade, the Jaipur Literature Festival has stood for diversity of ideas, languages, nationalities and subjects. The 2017 edition is no different in featuring multiple voices and viewpoints across genres collectively on one platform,” the statement said.