Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Salman Rushdie pulls out of Indian literary festival amid assassination fears

By Alice Purkiss / 20 January, 2012

Author Salman Rushdie has been forced out of the Jaipur Literary Festival, after receiving information suggesting hit-men had been ordered to assassinate him.

Muslim leaders had been calling for Indian-born Rushdie to be banned from the festival. Rushdie’s 1988 novel, The Satanic Verses, which is inspired by the life of Muhammed, was perceived by Muslims to be blasphemous.  Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against Rushdie, calling on all good Muslims to kill the author. The book was banned across the world, including in India, where it is still banned.

This morning Rushdie announced his withdrawal from the festival.

Salman issued the following statement:

“For the last several days I have made no public comment about my proposed trip to the Jaipur Literary Festival at the request of the local authorities in Rajasthan, hoping that they would put in place such precautions as might be necessary to allow me to come and address the Festival audience in circumstances that were comfortable and safe for all.

I have now been informed by intelligence sources in Maharashtra and Rajasthan that paid assassins from the Mumbai underworld may be on their way to Jaipur to “eliminate” me. While I have some doubts about the accuracy of this intelligence, it would be irresponsible of me to come to the Festival in such circumstances; irresponsible to my family, to the festival audience, and to my fellow writers. I will therefore not travel to Jaipur as planned.”

Following the announcement, writer Salil Tripathi, who wrote about the controversy surrounding Rushdie’s visit earlier this week, suggested all writers at the festival should read from The Satanic Verses:

Author Hari Kunzru agreed, and planned, alongside academic Amitava Kumar, to do just that.

Kumar tweeted:

Organisers apparently ended the protest, warning those that individuals could face police action for reading a banned book.

Tags: | | |

Challenge censorship. Stand up for free expression. Support Index.

10 Responses to Salman Rushdie pulls out of Indian literary festival amid assassination fears

  1. Pingback: Free speech in India? Not in 2012 | UNCUT

  2. Pingback: What reception will India give new Rusdhie film? | saurabhgurjar

  3. Pingback: Salman Rushdie has a new film, but is India up to its old tricks? | UNCUT

  4. Pingback: India’s face-off with internet freedom | UNCUT

  5. Pingback: Enemies of free speech | Index on Censorship

  6. Pingback: India: How to silence a nation | Index on Censorship

  7. Pingback: ‘WRITERS TAKE A STAND AGAINST RUSHDIE BAN’ by Salil Tripathi « Uddari Weblog

  8. Pingback: Law and Media Round Up – 23 January 2012 « Inforrm's Blog

  9. Pingback: Writers take a stand against Rushdie ban | Index on Censorship

  10. Pingback: India must choose to defend free speech | Index on Censorship

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

More in Excluded, News and Analysis
PAST EVENT: Nadine Gordimer at the Southbank Centre
Close