Pune, India (PressExposure) May 11, 2012 -- Speaking at the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, New York, writer Salman Rushdie raised concern over the increasing intolerance in India over creative expression. Rushdie was of the opinion that creative work is now frequently becoming a target of religious attacks. As quoted by Kolkata's The Telegraph on May 7, Rushdie said, "India was a society in which, for a long time, ideas of free expression were very entrenched. When Independence came, there was an atmosphere of openness. I have the terrible feeling that things are going the other way (now)." The talk was a result of the question and answer session held at the festival. Rushdie cited the examples of other artists who faced intolerance in India - late painter M.F.Hussain, novelist Rohinton Mistry's novel Such a Long Journey and the removal of from Indian universities - Three Hundred Ramayanas, an essay by scholar A.K.Ramanujan.
Earlier this year, Rushdie was forced to cancel his trip to the Jaipur Literature Festival in the light of protests over his 1988 book - The Satanic Verses. BookChums is of the view that for any conflict, dialogue is a sensible step. Coercion and death threats are just not done. Things should not be dragged for years, but a resolution arrived at. It is clear now that whenever a controversy is fuelled and prolonged, the intention seems to gain political mileage out of the same, rather than arriving at a sane solution.
The Mumbai-born novelist first came into the limelight for his book 'Midnight's Children.' He ironically attained worldwide fame when his 1988 book 'The Satanic Verses' was banned and a price was put on his head by Islamic extremists. The book remains banned in India and several other countries. The 64 year-old author conveyed that protest over his book in India was becoming a trend. "People here are very largely asleep to what is going on, and you need to wake up," said Rushdie.
BookChums will be constantly reporting on any further developments in the literary world on Salman Rushdie.
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