West indian literature

Usha Uthup and Mozhdah Jamalzadah to headline 15th Jaipur Literature Festival

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oi-Oneindia Staff


Updated: Tuesday, March 8, 2022, 5:56 PM [IST]

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Undisputed Indian pop icon Usha Uthup, Afghan-Canadian singer, media personality and women’s rights activist Mozhdah Jamalzadah and a few other notable personalities will have insightful conversations on the fifth day of the 15th edition of the

Jaipur Literature Festival

Uthup and her daughter Srishti Jha will discuss with musician and writer Vidya Shah about the singer’s biography The Queen of Indian Pop: The Authorized Biography of Usha Uthup.

Usha Uthup and Mozhdah Jamalzadah to headline 15th Jaipur Literature Festival

The singer will highlight her colorful and inspiring career, her music, her memories, her milestones, her first gigs and then her meteoric rise to stardom, through conflicts, celebrations and intimate reflections and the book that sums it all up.

Afghan-Canadian singer, media personality and women’s rights activist Mozhdah Jamalzadah who speaks boldly about women’s rights, relevant topics and taboos, will talk about her biography Voice of Rebellion: How Mozhdah Jamalzadah Brought Hope to Afghanistan by Roberta Staley with journalist Jyoti Malhotra.

She started singing “to remind the Afghan people that women are a very big part – they have always been a big part – of society”. Being a powerful voice among people of her generation, her life has so many stories to tell the world and the conversation at the event will provide insight into her life and the book.

British writer Monica Ali, whose debut novel Brick Lane was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, will engage in a conversation with Bee Rowlatt where they will talk about ‘who we are and how we love in Britain today ‘today’.

Since its inauguration in August 1947, a time of extraordinary fervor and hope, India has presented an enduring puzzle. How to establish and consolidate democratic citizenship in a society characterized by mass poverty, social inequalities and illiteracy? For decades, India has challenged conventional ideas of democratic citizenship, according to which it can only be achieved after a certain degree of economic and social development. However, our civil and political liberties are at stake due to the decline of democratic citizenship in India and other parts of the world. Is this the end of the road for the greatest democracy in the world? Or is there still hope for renewal? A panel exploring the politics of hope amid growing anxieties and questions for the future of democratic citizenship in India.

Summary of day 4:

On the fourth day, the 15th edition of the

Jaipur Literature Festival

unfolded on its virtual platform. The day’s sessions bore witness to the rich variety of multiple forms of storytelling explored by the Festival, ranging from books to ideas to performances. The day opened with the soothing strains of Sufi music by talented singer-songwriters from Srinagar, Kashmir, Ali Saffudin and Noor Mohammad. The two came together to provide audiences with a unique, never-before-seen experience that set the tone for an outstanding lineup of sessions.

Usha Uthup and Mozhdah Jamalzadah to headline 15th Jaipur Literature Festival

At the Durbar Hall, the historian and archaeologist Himanshu Prabha Ray as well as the chair of tantric studies of the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes de Paris Andrea Acri discussed the process of influence and its types. The session explored the influence of Hinduism and Buddhism, Sanskrit and Indian art forms and architecture on large swathes of Southeast Asia. Together, Ray and Acri were in conversation with Festival co-director Willian Dalrymple. While talking about the Buddhist masters, Ray said, “I would like to say that the term Indianization itself is a Pizza effect. It started out as a European terminology and was really an effort to formulate what Europeans, especially the French , considered the civilizing mission in Asia”.

In another session, retired diplomat Vinod Khanna and Delhi-based independent scholar Malini Saran studied the Ramayana traditions of Indonesia and how Indian cultural elements were absorbed there. Their book “Ramayana in Indonesia” is comprehensive and thoroughly researched. Together with historian and festival co-director William Dalrymple, they discussed together the spheres touched by Ramayana traditions in Indonesia, including literature, performing arts, philosophy and regional traditions.

During the conversation, Saran talked about the Ramayana in the arts of Java and Bali and gave an engaging presentation. “The inherent qualities of the Ramayana – to entertain, instruct and edify – have fostered their special status…the malleability of the Ramayana has given local artists the freedom to shape and interpret this material within the confines of their art forms to do so their own,” Saran said.

For registration and more information, visit

Jaipur Literature Festival Website

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