Kolkata litterateurs to protest ‘persecution’ of ‘Satanic Verses’ readersJanuary 24th, 2012 - 9:56 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Jan 24 (IANS) Describing as “shameful” the cases filed against writers who had read excerpts of banned book “The Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdie at the Jaipur Literature Festival, litterateurs in the city are mulling a protest against the move.
“It is a real shame to know that complaints against those writers have been registered. Literature is something which is sacred and can never hurt anyone’s feelings. Of course, we have planned to protest against the administrative move,” Sahitya Akademi Award-winning author Sunil Gangopadhyay told IANS.
Gangopadhyay, who is president of the Sahitya Akademi, said though the mode of protest was yet to be decided, he was not averse to the idea which authors embraced earlier at the Jaipur literary meet.
“I am not against the idea but nothing has been decided as of yet. But one thing is sure that we will protest not only against the proposed action against writers, but also the circumstances which forced Rushdie to cancel his visit,” said Gangopadhyay.
The author also said the protests will also be against the treatment meted out to another controversial writer Taslima Nasreen.
“Such happenings go against the image of India which is known all over the world as a tolerant country. M.F. Hussain (painter) had to breathe his last in a foreign country while Taslima had to flee Kolkata. Such things should always be condemned,” added Gangopadhyay.
Nasrin had to leave Kolkata in 2007 following violent protests over renewal of her visa.
Asaduddin Owaisi, the president of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen and a parliamentarian from Hyderabad had been demanding the arrest of Hari Kunzru, Ruchir Joshi, Amitava Kumar and Jeet Thayil who had read extracts from “The Satanic Verses”.
Cases were filed in Jaipur against these writers for reading from the banned book.
Jnanpith awardee and celebrated author Mahasweta Devi said she too would join the protests.
“Whatever has been happening over Rushdie at the Jaipur meet is shameful and unacceptable. I feel it is my duty to protest. I do not know whether I will read from ‘The Satanic Verses’ because I will go to the meet only if my health permits. If I am unable to go I will protest using my pen,” she told IANS.
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Tags: amitava kumar, awardee, celebrated author, circumstances, controversial writer, excerpts, extracts, feelings, jan 24, joshi, literature festival, m f hussain, parliamentarian, persecution, sahitya akademi, salman rushdie, satanic verses by salman rushdie, shame, violent protests, visa