This is Salman Rushdie.
Need I say more?
One of India’s biggest literary festivals in Jaipur has shown up the Indian National Congress party to be a weak kneed, non secular, ineffective group of politicians concerned with vote bank politics.
Some Muslim clerics objected to Salman Rushdie attending the festival and the state government of Rajasthan, under the excuse of being unable to provide security for Salman requested him not to attend the festival. Some hot headed Muslims went further and announced that even a telecast will not be allowed at the festival, and instead of providing the necessary protection to the fair, the state government washed its hands off the whole matter and the telecast was also not carried. This report from the BBC covers it in its usual balanced style.
Salman Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses was banned in India to mollify Muslim sentiment. I wonder how many Muslims have read it. Since it is banned, how could they take objection to something that they have not read? This is the height of absurdity and to deny Salman the right to visit India and attend a literary festival, if necessary by providing the protection of the might of the law, is nothing but pandering to the lowest denominator in the fringe elements of Islam in India. It is reported in the Indian press that most Indian Muslims think that the whole affair was totally unnecessary and has only added to Islamophobia and I agree with them.
What a miserable bunch of spineless politicians that runs Rajasthan and our country!
I have just read a chilling article by Christopher Hitchens in the Vanity Fair. Let me kindle your interest with how he concludes the article.
“Two decades on, Salman himself is thriving mightily and living again like a free man. But the culture that sustains him, and that he helps sustain, has twisted itself into a posture of prior restraint and self-censorship in which the grim, mad edict of a dead theocrat still exerts its chilling force. And, by the way, the next time that Khomeini’s lovely children want to make themselves felt, they will be armed not just with fatwas but with nuclear weapons.”
He uses the well known story of Salman Rushdie to illustrate what is happening in the name of political correctness and secularism.
I do not wish to add my two bits. The article is powerful enough to cause ordinary people to reflect.