01 November, 2020

Zero Hour Intolerance

Rushdie hounded again, gives Calcutta Lit Fest a miss

Apoorva Salkade
Zero Hour Intolerance
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

It appears Salman Rushdie’s presence is a problem only at lit fests in India. Nobody had objections when he was in the TV studios and newspaper offices in Delhi promoting the film version of Midnight’s Children. But several Muslim groups gathered at the Calcutta airport the day he was to land to address a session at the Calcutta Lit Fest. Rushdie called off his visit at the last minute citing “security concerns”.

“Since I was hounded out of Calcutta I have not been allowed to step foot in the city again,” says writer Taslima Nasreen whose book Lajja too was banned for hurting Muslim sentiments. “Rushdie being stopped from attending the Calcutta meet brings back painful memories and I think it has given us another chance, another reminder, that we are treading on dangerous ground by allowing ourselves to be dictated to by irrational and regressive elements of society. Fundamentalists taking such a stand is understandable but when governments, especially a democracy like India, gives in to their...

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