New Delhi: The Jaipur Literature Festival turned out to be nothing less a nightmare for writer Salman Rushdie, whose participation in the literary event was hugely debated and who was subsequently denied permission to address the gathering through a video conference.
The controversial writer took to Twitter to express deep resentment over the government’s involvement in not letting him take part in this year’s Jaipur Lit Fest following protests from activists over his banned book ‘The Satanic Verses’.
Rushdie wrote, “#JLF Threat of violence by Muslim groups stifled free speech today. In a true democracy all get to speak, not just the ones making threats.”
He also wrote, "#JLF Videolink cancellation: awful.(sic)".
Announcing the cancellation of Rushdie`s address, one of the organisers Sanjay Roy said police had told them that people had got inside the venue to "disrupt proceedings" and cause violence.
"Some organisations have threatened violence. This is unfortunate, but necessary to avoid violence. It is a fairly idiotic situation. We are once again stepping down from the fight for freedom of expression. We have been pushed to the wall again," Roy said.
"It is unfortunate that we are being bullied again and we had to step down...We had no other way but to listen to save the people here, our children and everyone here," he added.