Salman Rushdie, whose novel ‘The Satanic Verses’ drew death threats from Iran’s leader in the 1980s, was stabbed in the neck and abdomen Friday by a man who rushed the stage as the author was about to give a lecture in western New York. A bloodied Rushdie, 75, was flown to a hospital and underwent surgery. His agent, Andrew Wylie, said the writer was on a ventilator, with a damaged liver, severed nerves in an arm and an eye he was likely to lose. Police identified the attacker as Hadi Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey. Since the publication of The Satanic Verses in September 1988, Rushdie has faced innumerable threats to his life. A look at the controversy around the book, Rushdie’s life in hiding, and re-emergence in public life.
The Himachal Pradesh Assembly today passed a bill forbidding “mass conversion” and enhancing the maximum punishment to 10 years imprisonment in its 2019 law against any change of religion through force or allurement.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi has tested positive for Covid-19, party’s general secretary in-charge of communications Jairam Ramesh said today, adding that she will remain in isolation as per government protocol. Gandhi had tested positive for coronavirus in June as well.
Kashmiri IAS officer Shah Faesal, who had resigned from bureaucracy in 2019 to float his political party only to quit politics later, has been appointed as deputy secretary in the Ministry of Culture. Sources said that the decision to appoint him in the ministry was approved by the Centre on Thursday.
The ban on The Satanic Verses by the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1988 followed its decision to circumvent the Shah Bano judgment and to allow shilanyas at Babri Masjid, all seen as measures taken to placate different sectarian groups. Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, a staunch advocate of reforms in Muslim personal laws, had quit the Rajiv government over its actions following the Shah Bano order. In an interview with The Indian Express, Khan talks about the attack on Salman Rushdie and the growing trend of violence in the name of blasphemy. Edited excerpts here.
Since March this year, when the Centre was forced to scrap the Par Tapi Narmada river linking project following the tribals’ protests, the ruling BJP has been making intense efforts to woo tribals in Gujarat. With the Gujarat Assembly elections barely four months away, all major political parties including the relatively new player, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), have intensified their bids to reach out to the tribal communities, which make up nearly 14 per cent of the state’s voters. Aditi Raja reports.
Never have Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand experienced such poor monsoon rainfall in the last 122 years. As farmers in the two states await a good spell to take up sowing, the administration is finalising contingency plans. Food and water scarcity are going to be the real issues in the country’s major rice producing states, with a potential to affect India’s kharif produce this year. But what are the reasons for the rain deficit and what should farmers do? We explain.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at an event on August 10 that there was “an attempt to spread black magic mentality”, but for the people attempting to do so, the “period of despair” would not end despite the black clothes. Modi named no one, but was generally understood to have been referring to Congress leaders and supporters who had protested against inflation and unemployment on August 5, wearing black clothes. Why is black seen as a marker for things that seem negative? How has ‘black’ been used in modern culture and language? Read here.
ICYMI: Here’s a list of best news reports, Opinion, Explained, and features from The Indian Express this week.