Sir Salman Rushdie’s name dropped from Indian literature festival over safety fears

“I call upon the Muslim organisations of the country to mount pressure on the centre to withdraw the visa and prevent him visiting India where [tens of millions] community members still feel hurt owing to the anti-Islamic remarks in his writings. The Muslims cannot pardon him at any cost,” the seminary’s leader said earlier this month.

Politicians across the political spectrum, including the ruling Congress party supported the call for his visit to be stopped as they campaigned in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, where strategists believe the large Muslim minority – just under 20 per cent – could determine the result. Even the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which has fuelled communal tensions in the past supported calls for his visit to be blocked.

The author had been scheduled to speak at the opening day session on ‘Midnight’s Child’ on Thursday and join authors Ira Pande and Tarun Tejpal for a discussion on ‘Inglish, Amlish, Hinglish: The Chutneyfication of English’ on the following day.

His name has now been dropped from the programme and organisers said he will no longer be in India on those dates.

Some suspicion remains over whether the claims he is not attending the festival are true and whether they may be part of a ruse to diffuse tensions over his appearance.

In a statement released by the festival, a spokesman said: “Salman Rushdie will not be in India on 20th January due to a change in his schedule. The festival stands by its invitation to Mr Rushdie.”

Rajasthan’s minorities minister however said he was pleased the author would not now be visiting. Brijkishore Sharma told The Daily Telegraph: “We are satisfied that he’s not coming.

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: Premium WordPress Themes | Thanks to Themes Gallery, Bromoney and Wordpress Themes