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Ban on Salman Rushdie's 'The Satanic Verses' by Rajiv Gandhi govt was a mistake: P Chidambaram

The Rajiv Gandhi government had banned 'Satanic Verses' in October 1988. India was the first country to ban the book.


Ban on Salman Rushdie's 'The Satanic Verses' by Rajiv Gandhi govt was a mistake: P Chidambaram

New Delhi: Former Union home minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said the ban on Salman Rushdie's book 'The Satanic Verses' by the then Rajiv Gandhi government was a mistake.

"I have no hesitation in saying that the ban on Salman Rushdie's book was a mistake," the Congress leader said while addressing a session at a literary festival.

The Rajiv Gandhi government had banned 'Satanic Verses' in October 1988. India was the first country to ban the book.

Also Read: Sonia attacks govt over intolerance issue, says basic ideals of Constitution under threat

Saying the major threat to India's democracy was "majoritarianism", Chidambaram added: "I am worried about rising intolerance in the country. Scholars have been killed."

The Congress leader also said there was no exaggeration of the debate on intolerance by the media as it was just doing its job.

"The media is just acting as a mirror and more and more people are looking at the mirror," he said, adding that banning things was not the answer to problems.

Also Read: Return of awards triggered debate on intolerance: President

While addressing a session on "Is India a liberal republic?", Chidambaram said that those "who believe in liberty and democracy must protest against the rising intolerance in the country".

Also Read: Here's what PM Narendra Modi said on 'intolerance' in Parliament

Banning cow slaughter was against the law as one could eat or sell it well within the law, he said.

The former minister also expressed regret over the Supreme Court's view on section 377 of the Indian Penal Code which criminalises sexual activity "against the order of nature".

"The Supreme Court has been illiberal on this. It (section 377) has no place in a liberal society," he added.

Also Read: Intolerance row: Writers withdraw names from Bangalore Literature Festival

From Zee News

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