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Salman Rushdie to attend Jaipur Lit Fest

books Updated: Jan 04, 2012 06:25 IST

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Novelist Salman Rushdie will attend the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival Jan 20-24, breaking a minor jinx in India which began with last September's failed Harud Festival in Kashmir.

Rushdie was reportedly scheduled to attend the Kashmir festival last year, but people there opposed it and the organisers denied he had been invited. This time he is certainly coming to Jaipur, the literature festival’s organizers announced on Tuesday

Rushdie will address a literary session called "Midnight's Children" -- named after his Man Booker Prize winning 1981 novel – which will be anchored by novelist Hari Kunzru at the Diggi Palace, the schedule posted on the festival's website said.

On January 21, Rushdie will participate in a group discussion, "Inglish, Amlish, Hinglish: The Chutneyfication of English", featuring Rita Kothari, Tarun Tejpal and Ira Pande.

The next day, Rushdie will address a discussion on "Shehar aur Sapna: The City as a Dream" along with Pakistani author Mohammed Hanif, writers Aman Sethi, Meenal Bhagel and Uday Prakash. The discussion will be moderated by poet and writer Ashok Vajpayee.

Last year, a media report said that the organisers of the Jaipur Literature Festival, Teamworks Production, had reportedly invited Salman Rushdie to a festival in Srinagar had triggered resentment among people in the Valley, leading to a war in the social media.

A source in the organising panel of the festival said it "was a pleasure to have Rushdie on the panel of speakers".

Born in 1947 in Mumbai, Rushdie courted controversy with his book "The Satanic Verses" published in 1988.

The book was banned in many countries and in 1999, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a "fatwa" (death sentence) against the writer for his alleged "blasphemous portrayal of Islam".

Sources said US television celebrity host Oprah Winfrey will also attend the festival