In what could further stoke the Salman Rushdie controversy,a few authors at the Jaipur Literature Festival Sunday launched a campaign demanding immediate lifting of the 23-year-old ban on his book The Satanic Verses.
We strongly urge the government to reconsider the ban… read a petition put forward by authors led by Nilanjana Roy. The book was banned in 1988 for its blasphemous content hurting the sentiments of Muslims.
The Satanic Verses has not incited violence anywhere. Others have used the novels existence to incite violence to suit their political ends, the petition said.
At one of the gatherings,publisher S Anand lashed out at the organisers for not supporting Rushdie. Pakistani author Mohd Haneef,too,backed Rushdie. I find it quite bizarre. This is the worlds biggest democracy,the most multi-cultural society you can have and I think its sad that Rushdie has not been able to come, he said.
A day after his comments on Rusdhies writings caused a stir,writer Chetan Bhagat sought to clarify that Rushdie was a hero for him as well but he does not believe in using literature to hurt peoples sentiments.