Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) 2022 postponed

Coronavirus disrupts Indian literary calendar for 2022 again!

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Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF)
Naresh Khanna of IppStar at JLF speaks about its research of the Book publishing and printing industry in India and Bangladesh in a panel discussion in January 2020. Photo IPP

6 January 2022 – The 15th edition of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival which was scheduled to be held from 28 January – 1 February 2022 is likely to be postponed amidst the rising cases of Covid-19 infections in the state of Rajasthan, particularly the city of Jaipur. The literary extravaganza was to take place in a hybrid avatar this year with both its on-ground magnificence as well as its nifty virtual presence. The hybrid version was designed to enable a wider audience to access the Festival offerings, reaching out to bibliophiles, book publishers, and book enthusiasts across the globe.

There has been a recent spike in Covid-19 infections across the country with 90,928 fresh infections in India in the last 24 hours. The fresh Covid-19 cases have been following an upward trajectory in the state of Rajasthan with the cases crossing the 3,000 mark in the past few days. Jaipur has also witnessed a recent spike in infections with cases breaching the 1,000 mark yesterday. This has been the second single-day spike in the city since 4 June 2021 when the cases crossed the 1,000 milestone during the second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic. 1,137 fresh Covid-19 cases were reported from Jaipur on 4 January 2022.

The virtual sessions of JLF were to go live from 28 January to 6 February with an extended online experience. About 250 renowned authors from diverse fields were to speak at the 15th edition of the JLF. The Festival was to be organized at Hotel Clarks Amber near Jaipur with suitable facilities to accommodate large footfalls while following the mandatory Covid-19 safety protocols as per Rajasthan state guidelines.

The organizers of the Festival are to make an official announcement tomorrow regarding the postponement of the 2022 edition of Jaipur Literature Festival.

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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– Naresh Khanna

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