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At Jaipur Lit Fest, Debate on How to Debate Turns into Political Bickering Between Congress and BJP

The panelists, which included Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, senior Congress leaders Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid, were on the top of their voices.

PTI

Updated:January 28, 2019, 11:16 PM IST
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At Jaipur Lit Fest, Debate on How to Debate Turns into Political Bickering Between Congress and BJP
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Jaipur: The front lawns of Diggi Palace turned into a set of a news channel debate on Monday where senior leaders of political parties indulged in a typical 'tu-tu main-main' (bickering) in what was the closing debate of the ongoing Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF).

"The debate was more filled with noise than sense," said Prateek Sharma, a college student hailing from Karnataka.

The panelists, which included Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, senior Congress leaders Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid, were on the top of their voice as they deliberated on the topic titled, "Do Liberals Stifle Debate?".

A vast buffet of 'liberal' definitions was put to display in the discussion where time and again a panelist would pitch in to add or subtract ingredients of their own choice.

While Khurshid defined liberal as someone who believes of others "right to be wrong", Puri said those branding themselves as liberals today at the very least are "confused lot" busy hurling "abuses against the state".

Soon the discussion reached its crescendo with each panelist claiming their viewpoint more liberal than the other.

Also, everyone -- with little help from anyone -- was seen requesting each other to have a constructive debate.

"We shouldn't reduce this debate to a tu-tu main-main," said Kapil Sibal, who was just minutes before accused by his fellow panelist Puri of turning it into a "political slug fest".

That said, even the noisy closing debate could not shadow the incredible "celebration of written words" marked by the best of minds in the world who participated in the festival for the past five days.

The festival, which registered lakhs of footfalls, hosted over 350 writers, thinkers, humanitarians, politicians and more at the annual literary extravaganza.

"It is time to say goodbye and we hope you to take back all the good memories of all the wonderful discussions that happened here at the JLF," said Sanjoy Roy, producer of the festival, thanking everyone involved for making it a success yet again.

The next edition of the festival will take place from January 23 to 27, 2020.
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