Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pranab Mukherjee, Imran Khan, Akhikesh Yadav afraid of Salman Rushdie?

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Salman Rushdie. Any tweet above or below this on your timeline won't be re-tweeted by Imran Khan or Akhilesh Yadav.


Hire Salman Rushdie to go on the pitch. Wait for Pakistani team refuse to play and leave field. Win."

If they ever make a movie, I want Salman Khan to play Salman Rushdie. Only he can do justice to the 'character'

I wish Imran Khan was as allergic to people like Hafiz Saeed as he is of people like Salman Rushdie.

Imran Khan a ‘better-looking’ version of Gaddafi: Salman Rushdie

Omar Abdullah:: Plus Salman Rushdie doesn't even know I exist so do you really think he gives a toss whether I was there or not?? Get real :-)

In India two months after being forced to skip the Jaipur Literature Festival, the novelist Salman Rushdie hit out at the Congress on Saturday, suggesting that his presence there was blocked because of "useless electoral calculations" and told Rahul Gandhi that "it did not work".

The renowned author, who has been castigated by fundamentalist Muslim groups for his book 'The Satanic Verses', observed that blocking his presence in Jaipur "led the Congress party down the road" in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.



Participating in the India Today Conclave, he said India "deserves to be led by better leaders than is being now". Referring to the controversy which surrounded the Jaipur festival in January and forced him to skip the event, he said, "What happened there is not Deobandi bigotry... It was pretty useless electoral calculations. It did not work, Rahul (Gandhi)."

"Indian electorate is smarter than these politicians... People can be whipped as in Jaipur Literature Festival," Rushdie said, adding that 95% of Muslims were not interested in violence and that that would be true for Hindus too.

Rushdie, who spoke at a session with the theme 'Liberty versus: I am what I am and that's all that I am', said the culture of "offendedness is growing" in India. Citing the opposition by fundamentalists to the late MF Hussain and other artists and writers, he said, "It seems every day there is a piece of bullying by groups of Muslims, Hindus... voices are being silenced... the chilling effect of violence is telling and it is growing in this country."

Regretting the public apathy against such measures to silence free expression, the author contended, "People are asleep. You need to wake up." He said that "freedom is not a tea party, freedom is a war... Freedom is not absolute, it is something which somebody is there to take away. If you don't defend it, you will lose it." On his presence in India again as promised by him two months ago, he said: "This seems normal that a writer of Indian birth who loves this country turns up to speak. This is normal. But it is abnormal that he is prevented. That danger is growing." Talking about the stiff opposition by some fundamentalists to 'The Satanic Verses' written 24 years ago, the London-based writer said: "Who gives the people the right to attack me?"

He said he was extremely shocked that the writers who read from 'The Satanic Verses' at the Jaipur festival to express solidarity with him were not defended and were still in the danger of being prosecuted. He took a dig at the chief ministers of Jammu & Kashmir Omar Abdullah and UP Akhilesh Yadav, besides Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan for not turning up at the event reportedly because of his presence.

"Some politicians suddenly discovered that they had ridiculously overcrowded schedules," he said.

Rushdie hits out at Imran Khan

Salman Rushdie hit out at Imran Khan, describing him as a "dictator in waiting". The former Pakistan cricketer-turned-founder of the political outfit Tehreek-e-Insaf withdrew from the conclave two days ago, saying "he did not dream of being seen with Rushdie for the immeasurable hurt he has caused to Muslims".

"A British writer described Imran Khan as a dictator in waiting. I am happy that nobody else is protesting this time than Imran Khan. Imran is afraid of facing my bouncers. Imran knew that he would share the stage with me," the Booker prize-winning writer said.

"Imran never read 'The Satanic Verses'. Imran is not a liberal," Rushdie said.

Rushdie, who returned two months after he vowed on Indian television that he would come back to India after being stopped from the Jaipur Literature Festival in January, said he had "not caused immeasurable harm to Mulsims".

"Fanatics cause biggest harm to Islam. Immeasurable harm has been caused to Muslims by terrorists," he said.

Rushdie said common people were more sensible than their leaders and 95% of Muslims in India were not in favour of violence and the things being said in their name.

Freedom of speech is a casualty of bigotry, Rushdie said.

"India always had tradition of accepting free speech. Every day there is a price for hooliganism by bigots," he said, taking a dig at the "disgraceful vote-bank politics taking place in India".

Rushdie said the ban on the import of 'The Satanic Verses' in the age of the internet was useless.

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