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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, January 23, 2012
Left wing cultural organisation, Sahmat on Monday invited Salman Rushdie to speak from its platform in the capital on any date convenient to him. Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust, commonly known as Sahmat charged the central and Rajasthan governments with having exhibited a “cowardly unwillingness” in standing up to communal forces.

“Sahmat is issuing an open invitation to Salman Rushdie to come to Delhi to deliver a lecture or participate in a discussion on literature at any time of his choosing,” it said in a statement.

“We will host him (Rushdie) under any circumstances along with an exhibition of the works of the late MF Hussain, driven into forced exile by the similar retreat by the state in it's cowardly unwillingness to stand up against communal politics,” Sahmat said.

"We strongly disapprove the threats -- real or concocted -- issued against Rushdie's participation,” the organisation stated.