Modi-run govt will be a bullying one: Rushdie

During his address, Rushdie described Modi as a “highly divisive figure”, a “hardliner’s hardliner.”

New York | Updated: May 6, 2014 11:44 pm
During his address, Rushdie described Modi as a “highly divisive figure”, a “hardliner’s hardliner” and voiced concern that the attacks on freedom of expression and literary works could worsen. During his address, Rushdie described Modi as a “highly divisive figure”, a “hardliner’s hardliner” and voiced concern that the attacks on freedom of expression and literary works could worsen.

India-born author Salman Rushdie has expressed concern that under BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, India will have “a fairly bullying government” and attacks on the freedom of expression could worsen.

“I am pretty concerned about a Modi-run government. The indications that it would be a fairly bullying government are already there. We have already seen journalists and writers being bullied and (the BJP) has not taken power yet,” Rushdie said during a session on the importance of freedom of expression at the 10th annual PEN World Voices Festival in New York.

“You already see even more worryingly a kind of self-censorship setting in, people worry that they are going to be bullied and therefore try not to do anything that will attract the wrath of the ‘Modistas’,” he said. Rushdie said there has never been a politician “quite like Narendra Modi in India” and given the likelihood of Modi becoming prime minister, “we have to see whether the experience of office serves to moderate him”.

During his address, Rushdie described Modi as a “highly divisive figure”, a “hardliner’s hardliner” and voiced concern that the attacks on freedom of expression and literary works could worsen.

He said for India, democracy should not mean just conducting free and fair elections but also ensuring the right to free speech.

“If freedom of expression is under attack, if religious freedom is threatened and if substantial parts of society live in physical fear for their safety, then such a society cannot be said to be a true democracy,” he said. PTI

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    chahat thakkar
    May 7, 2014 at 10:04 am
    Mr. Rushdie, You may relish the critic in you by bludgeoning about India. Sorry to say, you have few takers in India. Go live in your western world and let us worry about the problems of India. World is a happy place in absence of your views about problems faced by Indians. You have criticized the faith of the 'SUBSTANTIAL' COMMUNITY in the past for which you show so much concern right now. You are now worried about Modista effect. in the past you were worried about Congress govt. and blamed Rahul hi for your problems. Truth is, you are an eternal critic who earns his bread through criticism. You criticize your religion, your wives, your govt. Live in peace and let others too !
    Reply
    1. G
      Guru
      May 7, 2014 at 10:27 am
      Rushdie has the freedom to criticize because it is a democratic India. Let him remember the only threat to his freedom and life was from a Mullah. He should be thankful that India tolerates his diatribe and still allows him to visit the country whenever and wherever he wishes to go. So, Mr. Rushdie we do not want to preached by a man who knows India only from the good ol' Blighty. If you are so concerned about democratic freedoms in India, please come and serve the people and know about India. On second thoughts, we can do without sermons from you.
      Reply
      1. H
        Harry
        May 7, 2014 at 11:31 am
        Why criticize sitting in London. Come down to INDIA, solve issues what you feel needs to be solved. Else pl keep out of this. We are happy here with out you.... and will be... It is easy to say something about other. Three fingers are at your end.
        Reply
        1. J
          Jaiho
          May 8, 2014 at 12:26 am
          Send Salman Rushdie to Iran and see how peaceful his muslim brothers are. Let him make the Indian history what AH Aurangzeb did to Hindus Bakwa kata raho.
          Reply
          1. R
            Ramesh
            May 8, 2014 at 5:47 am
            He has to fear a lot. His great friend Mallaya will not be able to loot people. His another friend Sheetal Malhar will be in trouble. His another friend Singhania cannot loot India. He and his great friends should expect more troubles in coming days. God Luck Rushide.
            Reply
            1. R
              rai
              May 7, 2014 at 11:01 am
              Rushdie, Its better to go after top models for you at your age than to comment upon what Indians will decide on the fate of their government.
              Reply
              1. J
                joseph stalin
                May 7, 2014 at 9:04 am
                Mr/ Rushdie, why waste your time and readers time by writing about things which never happened in reality, but only in your dreams? Is Indian Express a medium for discussing what Mr. Rushdie sees in his dreams and the visions he has and the occional voices he hears inside his head? Let the people decide, Mr. Rushdie...Its a democracy. If people select Modi, its because the people want him as their leader and they want his governement, may be its bullying or what other cacophony you use to describe it, let the people of India to decide it... afterall, thats the w idea of a democratic state, aint it?
                Reply
                1. V
                  Vinod Gupta
                  May 7, 2014 at 11:05 am
                  Just keep writing books about Muslims. Apparently you have not visited any Muslim country to experience the censorship imposed. just dream on.
                  Reply
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