Rushdie is poor, sub-standard writer: Katju

January 25th, 2012 - 9:40 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 25 (IANS) A day after Salman Rushdie’s video conference at Jaipur Literature Festival was cancelled, Press Council of India chairman Markandey Katju Wednesday said the author is a “poor” and “sub-standard writer” who would have remained largely unknown but for his controversial book “The Satanic Verses”.

“Salman Rushdie dominated the Jaipur Literature Festival. I do not wish to get into the controversy whether banning him was correct or not. I am raising a much more fundamental issue,” he said in a statement here.

“I have read some of Rushdie’s works and am of the opinion that he is a poor writer, and but for ‘Satanic Verses’ would have remained largely unknown. Even ‘Midnight’s Children’ is hardly great literature,” Katju said.

“I am not in favour of religious obscurantism. But neither do I wish to elevate a sub-standard writer into a hero.”

Katju, a former judge of the Supreme Court, decried the admirers of the India-born author now based in Britain, saying they suffered from “colonial inferiority complex” that a writer living abroad has to be great.

“The whole problem with the so-called educated Indians of today is that they still suffer from the colonial inferiority complex. So whoever lives in London and New York must be a great writer, while writers living in India are inferior.”

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