Javed Akhtar gives Jaipur LitFest a miss

4 years ago

Jaipur: Bollywood lyricist-scriptwriter Javed Akhtar who was to attend the annual Jaipur Literature Festival today gave it a miss.

The 69-year-old lyricist was scheduled to participate in a session titled "Urdu Mein Hindustan" in conversation with popular Hindi poet Ashok Vajpayi.

In Akhtar's absence, the session was taken over by lyricist Prasoon Joshi and singer Vidya Shah. Akhtar, has been a regular visitor at the recent editions of the festival. Last year edition witnessed a spat over religion between Akhtar and Dalit activist and writer Kancha Illaiah.

Festival organisers were unable to confirm whether Akhtar would participate in a session titled "Khalnayak" in conversation with Kishwar Desai scheduled for tomorrow.

Vali Nasr was slated to participate in the session titled "Dispensable Nation: Afghanistan after the US withdrawal". The session featured Barnett Rubin, Senior Advisor to the US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist Mark Mazetti, journalist Ben Andersn and Festival Director William Dalrymple.

"Vali Nasr, Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington was also slated to be part of this session, but he had to fly back because of a death in his family," Dalrymple said.

Union Minister Shashi Tharoor also skipped the annual five-day festival, due to his wife's death. The festival is scheduled to conclude on January 21.

PTI

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