Salman Rushdie at Jaipur Literature Festival 2012

Yes, Salman Rushdie will be a part of the Jaipur Literature Festival - 2012 finally! Don't believe it? Believe it or not, this is what is true. True that Rushdie won't be physically present, But he will be addressing the festival through video conferencing at 3:34 pm IST on Tuesday; January 24, 2012. He has been venting out his anger through his tweets. He is outraged by the information that he received the death threat. He is believed to have learnt that the death alert was fake. He has also given a statement to the Press that the story was concocted by the Rajasthan Police. Earlier he was told that some Mumbai assassins from the underworld had been hired to kill him. But these reports were not owned by the Mumbai police as according to them they had received no such input. With the controversy refusing to die down, rather advancing with the leaving of the four authors,Hari Kunzru, Amitava Kumar, Jeet Thayil and Ruchir Joshi, who had read excerpts from Rushdie's book 'Satanic Verses' as a mark of protest; Rushdie has agreed for video linking from New York to the venue of the Festival.

Rushdie and Jaipur Literature Festival 2012 - an Afterword

Rushdie controversy instead of dying down, seems to be growing with each passing day. The latest development has been that the four authors (Hari Kunzru, Amitava Kumar, Jeet Thayil and Ruchir Joshi), who read excerpts from Salman Rushdie's controversial book 'Satanic Verses' as a mark of protest, have left the Jaipur Literature Festival - 2012 midway, with the organizers asking them to leave as an aftermath of a threat of arrest of those authors. William Dalrymple, one of the organizers of the Festival has confirmed this. With a view to clarify the organizers' stance, he said that they didn't know that reading from the book was an arrestable offence. Probably he had an undercurrent of satire too in saying that! Asaduddin Owaisi, a Member of Parliament and president of Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) has voiced his demand of arresting those four 'erring' authors. He has been quoted as saying, "Reading from a banned book is a deliberate provocation and proof that the festival is a forum for Islam bashing". Let's see how the events turn next!

Author of Controversial Gandhi Book in India

The controversy does not begin and end with Salman Rushdie this Jaipur Literature Festival (2012). We have another controversial author in India. He is Joseph Lelyveld, the author of 'Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India'. The book when published was received with opposing voices from some Hindu groups. They were outraged after a few reviews published about the book suggested that the author had hinted at Gandhi being a gay.
This is Lelyveld's first encounter with Indian audience and readers, and he says he has had a wonderful experience.

Rushdie and Jaipur Literature Festival 2012

Amitava Kumar and Hari Kunzru reading out from 'Satanic Verses'

Photo Courtesy: India Today

There was a clear cut proof of the protest of the authors over Salman Rushdie issue. The controversial author of 'Satanic Verses', Rushdie had announced that he won't be attending the Festival. The literary community had already been expressing their anger over the protests against Rushdie. But two of the authors attending the Jaipur Literature Festival 2012, Hari Kunzru and Amitava Kumar, had their ingenuous way of protesting. They read out portions of 'Satanic Verses' in their session. Kunzru clearly declared in a tweet that he was doing this to defy bigots and the shoe-throwers. They also quoted Rushdie's tweet in which he had thanked the two authors for showing such a gesture. A while later two more authors joined the stream, namely, Jeet Thayil and Ruchir Joshi. So we can say that Rushdie is present even while being absent for this literary extravaganza!

Latest Issue of 'The Literary Jewels'

'The Literary Jewels'  Issue: January-March, 2012

The latest issue of 'The Literary Jewels' - an online magazine of Art, Culture and Education is available now. You can access it here: The Literary Jewels


Cover Story
Chetan Bhagat: The Story 'Seller'

Book Review
Revolution 2020

Photo Essay
Faith and Nature

Special Features
Jaipur Literature Festival 2012

Other Columns:
Telling a Tale
In Philosophical Terms
Words' Worth
Poetic Pleasure
Art and Artifacts
Letters to the Editor

and much more...Read and enjoy
Most importantly, don't forget to give your feedback!

Salman Rushdie's India Visit Cancelled


The much talked about Salman Rushdie's visit to India during the Jaipur Literature Festival - 2012 is again in news. But now for the exactly opposite reasons, that is, the calling off of Rushdie's visit. The visit was cancelled after Rajasthan govermnent raised fears of security threat. Rajasthan police has confirmed that Rushdie's trip has been cancelled. They had persuaded the organisers of the Festival to ask Salman Rushdie to call off his visit. Rushdie was being believed to be the main draw at this annual Literature Festival held every year at Diggi Palace, Jaipur. Earlier it was scheduled that Rushdie would be a part of two sessions, namely, 'Midnight's Child' (20 January) and 'Inglish Amlish: The chutneyfication of English' (21 January), to be held at the Jaipur Literature Festival - 2012 (20-24 January, 2012).
Rushdie or no Rushdie the festival has already got its share of publicity. What remains to be seen is how much this cancellation would affect in numbers!

Salman Rushdie in India

Salman Rushdie
 Salman Rushdie, the famed author of 'Midnight's Children' has been in news ever since it was announced that he'll be visiting the Jaipur Literature Festival - 2012, to be held at Jaipur from 20 to 24 January this year. After that there were a few voices of protest on Rushdie being granted a visa to visit India. Now he has become an election issue too. Amused? It's true. According to a news item published the website of 'The Hindu', dated 11 January, 2012, Omar Abdullah (Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir) has said that visa being given to Salman Rushdie is unlikely to be a big election issue for Muslims, who are more concerned with their day-to-day affairs. Nevertheless, the name of Rushdie has to be discussed on whether that would become an election issue or not and that is what is important.
Rushdie himself has tried to brush aside the controversy surrounding a demand for denial of visa to him, by tweeting that he would be visiting India. He also posted a tweet mentioning: "Regarding my Indian visit, for the record, I don't need a visa."
It may be mentioned here that Rushdie has earned this wrath of the Muslim community all over the world with his controversial 'Satanic Verses' that was published in the year 1988. Earlier too Rushdie was in India to attend Commonwealth Writers Prize awards in 2000 and the Jaipur Literature Festival in 2007. With a view to silence the controversial opinions cropping up Sanjoy Roy, managing director of Teamworks Productions, the organizers of the Jaipur Literature Festival said (as quoted by Times of India (dated 11 January, 2012), "A literary platform like the Jaipur festival provides a space for free speech in India's best democratic traditions."