Threat of Violence Quashes Even Virtual Rushdie Appearance
By NIKHILA GILL AND MALAVIKA VYAWAHARE - THE NEW YORK TIMES | INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE
Added: Wed, 25 Jan 2012 14:55:50 UTC
Indian Muslims shout slogans against Salman Rushdie in Jaipur, Rajasthan, during this year’s Jaipur Literature Festival.
Salman Rushdie’s virtual participation at the Jaipur Literature Festival was canceled at the last minute Tuesday, after Muslim groups attending the festival threatened violence if his image was shown.
Mr. Rushdie was scheduled to address thousands of Lit Fest attendees by video conference Tuesday afternoon, after cancelling an in-person appearance.
‘‘There are a large number of people adverse to this link in and around this property and they have threatened violence,’’ said Thakur Ram Pratap Singh of Diggi, the owner of Diggi Palace, the festival venue. ‘‘This decision is necessary to protect everyone here,’’ he said.
Mr. Rushdie’s plans to attend the literature festival stirred controversy in the days before it opened and he ultimately said on the first day that he would not attend, citing a risk to his personal safety.
Mr. Rushdie’s ‘‘The Satanic Verses’’ was banned in India in 1988 and he has been the target of criticism and a fatwa from Muslim groups. His life was threatened several times in the run up to the festival, Rajasthan officials told festival organizers.
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