Rushdie videochat called off to ‘save our children,everyone’

Salman Rushdie’s video conference at Jaipur Literature Festival was cancelled today due to “security concerns”.

Written by Express News Service | Jaipur | Published:January 25, 2012 12:45 am

Salman Rushdie’s video conference at Jaipur Literature Festival was cancelled today due to “security concerns”. Organisers said they were “pushed to the wall”.

The owner of Diggi Palace,the festival venue,said they had decided not to allow the conference “on the advice of the police”. “The police have informed that there are people inside the venue ready to create trouble,” Ram Pratap Singh said.

“Three weeks after this idiotic situation,we had to step down from the fight,” said Sanjoy Roy,the festival producer. “This is a sad day for freedom of expression and freedom of writing… We had no other way but to listen to save the people here,our children and everyone.”

He added that while they could not support this decision,they had been “pushed to the wall”. Roy,however,lauded the Jaipur police who,he said,were ready to provide security. “We are hurt and this is a matter of shame but I thank the police.”

Uncertainty over the video conference began early Tuesday after leaders of Muslim organisations turned up at the JLF venue. “The very face of Salman Rushdie offends us and we will not allow this video conference to happen,” said Sajid Mohammad,a leader of the Muslim Manch. “We will not be responsible for what happens if this continues.”

The police said they were ready to handle any untoward incident but could not predict the measures they would have to use if violence broke out.

I believe in India,not in those at top

The ban on The Satanic Verses is… against importing book,not… against discussing (it),reading from it.’

FANTASTICALLY FISHY… the way Congress… and other party officials (opposed)… I felt (sure) some way would be found to prevent me coming.’

I was sent,by the festival organizers,an email on which very senior Rajasthan govt officials were cc’d… sent at their request,with their knowledge and approval… I (was) told a mafia don,who turned out not to be (so),had given money and weapons to people who (did) not exist.’

I will come to India as many times as I choose to… not allow religious gangsters and their cronies in govt to prevent me. (Interview to NDTV)

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