The reason is quite obvious that Muslim organizations are still annoyed about The Satanic Verses; 20-plus years after its publication and some of them had been stirring violence against the famous writer. But at social networking sites, people have expressed their disappointment and anger on the reports of Rushdie not attending the festival. For many readers and authors, he was the main reason for participating in festival.
“We do respect freedom of speech but where is freedom? Is Mullah-maulvi politics above than Salman Rushdie’s visit,” asked an avid reader of Rushdie’s books. “I think it is just for Muslim conciliation and forthcoming elections in Uttar Pradesh, where some districts are dominated by this community,” added other reader.
In my view, Salman Rushdie has every right to engrave anything and express whatever he wants and at the same time Muslim opponents have an equal right to say whatever against him. But they do not have any right to stop him from landing in India or ban him from festivals. However, Indian government’s role at both state and central level shows that they are buckling to distrustful politics and appear as cowards. All political parties are banking on Muslim votes as it is more important than one famous author’s visit. India can never step forward on idea of discussing his banned book and still accepting Mullah-Maulvi versions blindly and without much argument.