"There are many rights for which we should fight, but the right to protection from offense is not one of them."
January 23, 2012 9:10 AM   Subscribe

Hari Kunzru: Reading The Satanic Verses in Jaipur: Why the novelist read from Salman Rushdie’s banned book The Satanic Verses to protest against the cancellation of Rushdie’s visit to the Jaipur Literature Festival.
posted by Fizz (8 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Also in related news: Jaipur Literature Festival organisers are going ahead with author Salman Rushdie's video conference, though the Rajasthan govt has categorically said, the address cannot take place without its prior permission.
posted by Fizz at 9:21 AM on January 23, 2012

This is the original piece that broke the story of the Rajasthan government inventing these ridiculous boogeyman tales to scare Rushdie away.

It's cowardly, craven and pathetic that the Rajasthan government continues to play fucking gulli-danda on this. Any more football on this, and I fear the attraction of the Jaipur Literature Festival is itself at stake, just as it was getting to be the premiere venue for Indian-English authors / thought, if it hasn't already.

Then again, this comment from Tarun Tejpal (of Operation West End fame, their tale later covered in this fascinating book) is downright chilling:
Earlier, writer and journalist Tarun Tejpal said the four writers who read from The Satanic Verses had “placed in jeopardy a festival we all love and celebrate. I have experience of attending three or four [legal] hearings each month. It is a painful and difficult process. The decision to read was impulsive and not thought through. When the lumbering machinery of the state gears into action it can hound you for years and I am speaking from experience. This affair is not going to stop here, it will carry on for a long time yet. (emphasis mine)
If Tejpal himself feels defeated by the system, and implores others to not rebel against it, then I think it's safe to say that we can all throw our hands in the air and agree that Article 19 is already dead and that any further jujitsu is mere grandiose chess-scheming as the invaders take over the kingdom.

The only consolation I can draw from this is that at least the central government seems to have the decency to respect Rushdie's legal right to enter the fucking country in the first place, or that would have cast an even worse light on the Person of Indian Origin (PIO) / Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) scheme.
posted by the cydonian at 10:01 AM on January 23, 2012 [4 favorites]

posted by the cydonian at 10:04 AM on January 23, 2012

So ... tell me how you really feel about this, el cyd?
posted by infini at 11:00 AM on January 23, 2012

Mobs formed outside the Diggi Palace bullying the patron of the Jaipur Literature Festival into not allowing a video link between Salman Rushdie and the event. The police was said to have been supportive, but could not rule out potential violence. Welcome to the world's largest mobocracy.
posted by the cydonian at 12:02 PM on January 24, 2012

The emptiness of literary protest.
posted by vanar sena at 4:53 AM on January 26, 2012

Priyamvada Gopal writes in Outlook on "The Jaipur litfest’s flowchart of cravenness and commerce".
posted by vanar sena at 5:47 AM on January 31, 2012

« Older The end of direct download file sharing?   |   Ghostery Research Graphs Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments