Digital edition of JLF 2021 in February

First list of Jaipur Litfest speakers announced


With the Coronavirus pandemic raging throughout the world, most events and exhibitions are either canceled or postponed or going the virtual route. The Jaipur Literature Festival is no exception. The 14th edition of the literary event will take place in a digital format in two sub-events – the first from 19-21 February and the second from 26-28 February. Both are Friday to Sunday weekend events.


The first list of speakers for the JLF digital editions have also been announced and includes several renowned authors, including Ramachandra Guha, Daniel Simpson, Prasoon Joshi, Bibek Debroy, Carlo Rovelli, Shashi Tharoor, Marina Wheeler, Simon Winchester, Stephen Brusatte, Sarbpreet Singh, Albie Sachs, Moin Mir, Ranjit Hoskote, Michael Sandel, Navtej Sarna, Oliver Craske among others.

The virtual format of JLF 2021 aims to provide an immersive experience and global access to the attendees in what one hopes are the last acts of the pandemic. The popular literature event will continue its quest for literary excellence, author and co-director William Dalrymple said in an official statement.

Mental health, translations, science and medicine, technology and artificial intelligence, environment and climate change, history and translations are some of the themes that will be explored in the virtual literary extravaganza.

According to, Jaipur BookMark (JBM) – the B2B arm of the litfest will be organizing a digital program in weekdays between the two weekends that is from 22-25 February 2021. The 8th edition of the JBM will bring together publishers, literary agents, writers, booksellers and translation agencies from across the world and will have two sessions per day.

The JLF 2021 merchandise and books by participating authors will be available online at

Our view

Elsewhere, organizer Sanjoy Roy has spoken about the digital events held by JLF throughout 2020, although the live JLF 2020 event did take place in January-end, just before the pandemic took hold. Roy said audiences who had never been able to take part at Jaipur could get some of the flavor of the event in its virtual caravan.

However, in our view, the JLF is the single most important cultural event in India and a considerable achievement in terms of vision, practical organization, and logistics. Although one should not close one’s mind to the JLF’s organizers’ creativity, it will be sorely missed by a broad and inclusive audience. It deserves support to eventually leapfrog the Covid-19 pandemic in 2022 to continue on its evolutionary path.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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