The Wisdom of Kabir and Other Sessions – Day 3 at JLF

Yatindra Mishra
Kahe Kabeera – What a delightful session
Yatindra Mishra
Kahe Kabeera – What a delightful session

Why does Kabir continue to live on in this world? Why is his writing still revered? What was fundamentally so strong about Kabir that people still love to quote him, singers love to incorporate his couplets, and philosophers quote him verbatim in their talks? Why, despite the distortions, the spread of Kabirism through oral traditions is so vibrant even today? Yatindra Mishra went about factually, while attempting to answer these questions. He also brought out little known facts about Kabir, even for those who have followed Kabir as a poet and mystic thinker.

Yatindra stated that Kabir wrote without religion, gender and conformance of any kind. Kabir didn’t go around telling people what to do and that is why there were no Kabir Panthis while he was alive. Kabir’s works traveled with the Indian diaspora all over the world and largely, in the oral tradition. In a world that has excesses of everything except thought, people want to understand Kabir and see the world through his perspective. A great session for those who could attend. Samvaad is the smallest of the venues and sometimes, it becomes the busiest.

Amar Singh and Salman Khurshid
Amar Singh shared stage with Salman Khurshid at Jaipur Lit fest

I saw a political statement in this photograph as Amar Singh shared stage with Salman Khurshid on a book launch by the Minister on Foreign Policy. Interesting.

Jaipur Literature Festival
Democracy and the People

Is India an evolved democracy? How can a country be democratic when all its main political parties are undemocratic with scant regard for democratic traditions or values? It had a great panel in Pavan Verma, Navin Chawla and Kalyani Shankar but Ravish Kumar, the NDTV anchor’s arrogance and unnecessary haste and self-seeking approach marred the session. This was one session which I thought was not moderated to match the ethos of Jaipur Lit Fest. There were valuable points made by all panelists but Ravish’s dominance was so strong that I have lost recall of most. Discussions did bring out the fact that India indeed is a pool of democracy, if you see it in the context of what is happening all around our neighbourhood. It is people who need to take charge of their destinies and ensure that politicians work for their constituencies and not just for their families.

Day 3 ended for me at a note of pessimism for my country.