With the global literacy rates touching 80%, it is no surprise that there has been a sharp rise in potential audience of book publishers. And considering that a majority of this population reads in local languages, there has been a renewed interest not only in the vernacular and ethnic literature, but also in conserving endangered linguistics.
Taking note of this trend, the Jaipur Literature festival has incorporated speakers representing an array of Indian and international languages within its exhaustive line up.
Venturing beyond the popular English standard, the festival will feature authors and literary geniuses that have popularised languages hyper local languages.
Take for instance, Anvita Abbi, a professor of linguistics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, she has worked extensively on tribal and other minority languages of South Asia. As an award winning authority on endangered languages, she will address a session on 'Vanishing voices: The great Andamanese languages' on January 18.
International languages will be represented through writers like Dutch author Jørn Lier Horst who has written over ten crime fiction novels and will be speaking in a panel on Crime and Punishment on January 20.
Then there are a number of Iranian writer, a certain Kooshyar Karimi among them, who is writer and translator. He was who was kidnapped in 1998, blindfolded, and tortured by the Iranian Intelligence Service, an experience that inspired his book.
Similarly, Chinese writer and film maker Xiaolu Guo will also be speaking along with Jhumpa Lahiri, Jonathan Franzen, Jim Crace, and Maaza Mengiste in a session on the 'Global Novel' on January 18. Also Carlos Rojas, associate professor of Chinese Cultural Studies at Duke University, who has translated seven books will be conversing at a session on 'The Forgotten Ally: The Making of Modern China'.
While there is considerable attention paid to Hindi language literature with prominent authors such as Ashok Vajpeyi, Mahmood Farooqui and the likes, other Indian languages including Urdu, Sanskrit, Assamese, Malayalam and Rajasthani.
Popular Assamese writer Anuradha Sharma Pujari will be speaking at a number of seminars on 'Cross Media Narratives' and 'Chronicles of Conﬂict and Change'.
Being in capital city of Rajasthan, of course, the culture, language and literature of the state will also be presented through authors such as Bharat Ola, and Chandra Prakash Deval. While Ola will be speaking at a panel called 'Rajasthali' on January 19, Sahitya Academy award winning CP Deval will be interacting at the Bhasha Paribhasha panel on January 18.
Other writers include author Benyamin Daniel who has written ten books in Malayalam and Alex Watson, a preceptor in Sanskrit at Harvard University.