'In India, it has become easy to attack cultural artefacts'
“In India, it has become easy to attack cultural artefacts. People believe their identity is not defined by what you love, but by what you hate or are offended by. It is a spreading problem,” Rushdie said.
The writer, along with filmmaker Deepa Mehta, who recently brought the author’s 1981 Booker-prize winning novel to life on the big screen, was a guest at The Indian Express’s Idea Exchange programme.
When asked about whether his being in town coincided with the JLF, Rushdie replied in jest: “Yes, I think of the Jaipur Literature Festival all the time.”
Rushdie’s visit to the 2012 JLF was put off after protests by Muslim organisations.
“Last year, the organisers of the festival had to give an undertaking that they would in no way offend religious sensibilities. So the fact that you’re having a literature festival in India, where religion is such an important aspect of life, and the one thing you cannot talk about is religion is a shame in my opinion.”
He, however, had a good word for the four authors — Hari Kunzru, Jeet Thayil, Amitava Kumar, Ruchir Joshi — who read out excerpts from The Satanic Verses at last year’s festival, creating a furore. “I
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