BookChums reports on Salman Rushdie Visit by NandaNikam


									BookChums reports on Salman Rushdie Visit

March 19th 2012, Pune: Team BookChums was witness to the drama that unfolded at the 2012 Jaipur
Literature Festival due to writer Salman Rushdie’s coerced absence. Cut to this month, as Rushdie was in
New Delhi on March 17h for the India Today Conclave and he certainly didn’t mince his words. Rushdie
hinted in his address that it was a Congress party strategy to block his entry to the Jaipur festival. He
said that this approach was responsible for the party’s poor performance in the UP state elections.

The renowned and much-criticized author said that India needs better leaders. He mentioned that how
the voting population was smarter than the politicians, and said that 95% of neither Muslims nor Hindus
were interested in violence. Rushdie was speaking on one the themes of the conclave: 'Liberty versus: I
am what I am and that's all that I am'. Recalling the opposition of MF Hussian and other artists and
writers, he expressed concern on increased bullying and silencing of voices. “Freedom is not tea party,
freedom is a war. Freedom is not absolute; it is something which somebody is there to take away. If you
don't defend, you will lose it," were Rushdie’s definite words.

The Mumbai-born novelist first came into the limelight for his book ‘Midnight’s Children.’ He ironically
attained worldwide fame when his 1988 book ‘The Satanic Verses’ was banned and a price was put on
his head by Islamic extremists. The book remains banned in India and several other countries. The 64
year-old author conveyed that protest over his book in India was becoming a trend. “People here are
very largely asleep to what is going on, and you need to wake up,” said Rushdie.

BookChums will be constantly reporting on any further developments in the literary world on Salman

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