Jaipur: Noted authors like Amitava Kumar and Hari Kunzru protested against Salman Rushdie’s absence at the much talked about Jaipur Literature Festival.
To mark their protest against the exclusion of Rushdie from the lit fest and to protest against the threat to the author, the novelists’ community read out portions of Rushdie’s controversial novel, ‘Satanic Verses’. Writer Hari Kunzru tweeted, “About to defy bigots and shoe throwers, reading @SalmanRushdie Satanic Verses on stage with @amitavakumar at #jaipur #jlf(sic).”
But while reading the book out, the organizers asked the authors to stop, perhaps to avoid any kind of controversy.
Soon Rushdie tweeted, “@amitavakumar says organizers asked him not to continue reading from Satanic Verses." Willie, Sanjoy: why did this happen?(sic)”
Speaking to a news channel, theatre personality and author Girish Karnad said, “The state government is suddenly looking for ways to keep him away. His book has been banned a long time back, he has attended the lit fest in the past, so why this uproar now? Why is he suddenly dangerous now?”
The author also stated that the govt. did not want to take any kind of risk as the elections were round the corner.
Meanwhile, Rushdie thanked the writer community for showing support and tweeted, “Much support and sympathy: thanks,everyone. Some say I let people down: sorry you feel that. Some Muslim hate tweets: pathetic. #Jaipur #JLF(sic).”