Salman Rushdie is a poor and sub-standard writer who would have remained largely unknown but for his controversial book Satanic Verses,said former SC judge Markandey Katju.
Katju,who is now the Chairman of the Press Council of India,criticised the admirers of the India-born author based in Britain,saying they still suffer from colonial inferiority complex that whoever lives in London and New York must be a great writer,while writers living in India are inferior.
Kabir and Tulsidas are no good because they lived on the ghats of Benaras,whereas Rushdie is great because he lives on the ghats of the Thames. This is the mental level of our intellectuals and literati, the former SC judge said in a statement.
Stating that he did not wish to get into the controversy whether banning him (Rushdie) was correct or not,Katju said: I have read some of Rushdies works and am of the opinion that he is a poor writer,and but for Satanic Verses would have remained largely unknown. Even Midnights Children is hardly great literature.
Katju said he was not in favour of religious obscurantism,but did not wish to elevate a sub-standard writer into a hero. He said India was facing massive socio-economic problems and literature should address these.