Salman Rushdie for Jaipur Lit Fest Jan 20-22
New Delhi: Breaking a minor jinx in India which began with last September`a failed Harud Festival in Kashmir, celebrated writer Salman Rushdie will attend the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival Jan 20-24, the organisers said Tuesday.
The writer, who was reportedly scheduled to attend the festival last year, had whipped up a storm among the local Kashmiri people who opposed his visit. However, the organisers denied inviting Rushdie, terming it media speculation.
Rushdie will address a literary session, "Midnight`s Children" named after his landmark Man Booker Prize winning 1981 novel, anchored by noted writer Hari Kunzru at the Diggi Palace in Jaipur, the schedule posted on the festival`s website said.
On Jan 21, Rushdie will participate in a group discussion, "Inglish, Amlish, Hinglish: The Chutneyfication of English", featuring Rita Kothari, Tarun Tejpal and Ira Pande.
The following day, the 65-year-old Rushdie will address "Shehar aur Sapna: The City as a Dream" with Pakistani author Mohammed Hanif, writers Aman Sethi, Meenal Bhagel and Uday Prakash. The discussion will be moderated by poet and writer Ashok Vajpayee.
Last year, a media report that the organisers of the Jaipur Literature Festival, Teamworks Production, had reportedly invited Salman Rushdie to a festival in Srinagar had triggered resentment among people in the Valley, leading to a war in the social media.
A source in the organising panel of the festival said it "was a pleasure to have Rushdie on the panel of speakers".
Born in 1947 in Mumbai, Rushdie courted controversy with his book "The Satanic Verses" published in 1988.
The book was banned in many countries and in 1999, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a "fatwa" (death sentence) against the writer for his alleged "blasphemous portrayal of Islam".
Sources said US television celebrity host Oprah Winfrey will also attend the festival.