Will visit, won't be bullied, says author | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Will visit, won't be bullied, says author

Author Salman Rushdie Tuesday said that the cancellation of his video address was a personal disappointment, but more so for India, which has been committed to secularism and liberty.

delhi Updated: Jan 25, 2012 01:04 IST
HT Correspondent

Author Salman Rushdie Tuesday said that the cancellation of his video address was a personal disappointment, but more so for India, which has been committed to secularism and liberty. He also said that he felt like a "fool" to have believed intelligence reports that assassins were out to target him, following which he cancelled his visit to Jaipur.

He spoke to NDTV's Barkha Dutt from London after his video link was scrapped.

He blamed the opposition to his visit by what he considered to be hardline Muslims for dropping out of the trip. "Currently the leaders who claim to be leaders of Muslims are at fault. The fact that the political system wants to placate those leaders, that is the fault of the political system," he said.

On visiting India, he said, "The fact that the Indian government could not defend my desire to come there means the buck stops with the government. The Rajasthan government behaved as it did. I will come to India many times, do what I want and will not allow these religious gangsters and their cronies in the government to stop me." He said that the "real enemies of Islam are maulvis" and that most Muslims in India "wouldn't give a damn" if he visited the country.

On fellow writers reading from The Satanic Verses, at the festival, he said, "I'm very grateful to all writers who read from the book. The ban on Satanic Verses is under the Customs Act. Not a ban from reading from it in India."