The Maharashtra government’s home department is examining the possibility of initiating action against Indian-born writer Salman Rushdie who used “objectionable language” against Jnanpith Award winner Marathi litterateur Bhalchandra Nemade in a tweet. “It is necessary to take action against the tweet. The home department is considering it,” said Cultural Affairs Minister Vinod Tawde. The controversy started after Nemade raised questions about the literary merit of some of Rushdie’s works on February 6. A day later, an angry Rushdie tweeted: “Grumpy old b*****d. Just take your prize and say thank you nicely. I doubt you’ve even read the work you attack.” Tawde had said Monday the use of language in Rushdie’s tweet was unacceptable and condemnable. “All literature lovers must object to the use of language,” Tawde reiterated Tuesday. Besides Rushdie, Nemade had also dismissed the literary works of V S Naipaul. The Marathi writer had earlier stoked controversy by suggesting that English be eliminated from the education system, claiming that many other languages across the world were dying because of it.
Meanwhile, the state cabinet Tuesday also decided to felicitate Nemade for bagging India’s foremost literary award.