4 authors in Satanic cross-fire; Rushdie to link via video?


Salman Rushdie
Jaipur, Jan 23: With the Salman Rushdie row bringing in a lot of negative publicity to the prestigious Jaipur Literary Festival, reports have now emerged that the authors who mustered courage to read excerpts from the 'Satanic Verses' have been asked to leave the festival venue. There are also speculation that they might be arrested if they stayed on.

Sources have claimed that the festival organisers unofficially asked the four authors Hari Kunzru, Amitava Kumar, Jeet Thayil and Ruchir Joshi to leave the venue. Rushdie had earlier called oof his visit to the festival citing threats to his life by hardline extremists who were irked by the portrayal of Islam in his book, 'The Satanic Verses'.

Meanwhile, other high profile celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra rendered their support to Rushdie. The author community seem to be divided on the treatment meted out to Rushdie after news came that he was to attend the Literary fest.

Reports have also come out that said that Rushdie will address the Jaipur Literature Festival via video conference at 3:45pm on Tuesday. He had called off his visit after intelligence inputs from Mumbai and Rajasthan police claimed that hitmen from the Mumbai underworld was planning to eliminate him. There are also unconfirmed reports that the government may deny him permission to video conference at the festival as well.

The Rajasthan Home Ministry is understood to have warned the authors not to read excerpts of the controversial book. The Ministry also stated that no permission have been sought from them on Rushdie's plans to use video conferencing to address the festival. The government has stated that a decision on the issue will only be taken, if the organizers assure them that Rushdie will not mention anything about 'The Satanic Verses'.

OneIndia News

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