Salman Rushdie ‘Satanic Verses’ row: Congress must not become intolerant, says BJP

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Published: November 29, 2015 9:42:40 PM

A day after former union minister P Chidambaram dubbed the decision to ban Salman Rushdie's book 'The Satanic Verses' by Rajiv Gandhi-led government in 1989 as 'wrong', the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday said the Congress must not become intolerant to every comment in country.

A day after former union minister P Chidambaram dubbed the decision to ban Salman Rushdie’s book ‘The Satanic Verses’ by Rajiv Gandhi-led government in 1989 as ‘wrong’, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday said the Congress must not become intolerant to every comment in the country.

“We need to bear in mind that there are reasonable restrictions. We have to keep in mind religious, social, cultural issues so that one’s expression of speech does not become a matter of concern for another person. It’s a larger debate. I hope the Congress Party takes some lessons from it and does not constantly become intolerant to every comment in the country,” said BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli.

“Chidambaram has said it’s his personal view. Of course, there has to be tolerance in the society. Everyone has a point of view and the Constitution gives that guarantee under freedom of expression and speech,” he added.

Speaking at Times Lit Fest here yesterday, Chidambaram had said, “I have no hesitation in saying that the ban on Salman Rushdie’s book was wrong…Even 20 years back, I would have said the same thing.”

The author later asked how many more years it would take to correct the ‘mistake’.

“This admission just took 27 years. How many more before the “mistake” is corrected?” Rushdie tweeted.

A major controversy had erupted in 1989 after the release of the book ‘satanic verses’ when several Muslims accused it of blasphemy and mocking their faith

In 1989, the then Congress government had banned the book for its purported attacks on Islam.

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