Anti-climax at JLF as Rushdie cancels visit | books | Hindustan Times
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Anti-climax at JLF as Rushdie cancels visit

books Updated: Jan 20, 2012 09:51 IST

Hindustan Times
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In a statement issued by the festival organizers have confirmed that in the wake of recent developments, author Salman Rushdie would not be attending the DSC Jaipur literary Festival.

“For the last several days I have made no public comment about my proposed trip to the Jaipur Literary Festival at the request of the local authorities in Rajasthan, hoping that they would put in place such precautions as might be necessary to allow me to come and address the Festival audience in circumstances that were comfortable and safe for all", Rushdie said in a statement issued by the festival organizers.

“I have now been informed by intelligence sources in Maharashtra and Rajasthan that paid assassins from the Mumbai underworld may be on their way to Jaipur to "eliminate" me. While I have some doubts about the accuracy of this intelligence, it would be irresponsible of me to come to the Festival in such circumstances; irresponsible to my family, to the festival audience, and to my fellow writers. I will therefore not travel to Jaipur as planned.”

Sanjoy Roy, producer of Jaipur Litertaure Festival questioned why as a country we succumb to such pressures again and again, “We found this to be extremely sad news and we need to debate how a person’s individual ideas are blocked. Why art community continues to suffer?.”

“I’m quite sad that Rushdie isn’t coming, the government has showed once again that it succumbs to terrorist threats. It’s a defeat for the world of arts, said Arindam Saxena, an audience member.

While some expressed anger over the issues, the mood at the festival is still upbeat.  Most people are more interested in enjoying the festival.

William Dalrymple hit the nail on the head and said, “It is sad that Rushdie isn’t coming this year, but there are other 262 authors to look forward to.”

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