The world of literature is shocked by the attack on renowned author Salman Rushdie. He was delivering a lecture at an event in New York, the US, when the attacker stabbed him in the neck. The details about his condition and the attacker are still not known. Rushdie, the Booker prize winner, received multiple threats for his literary work, most notably for the novel The Satanic Verses. Salman Rushdie was born in an Indian Kashmiri Muslim family in Bombay (now Mumbai) in June 1941. He grew up in Mumbai and then moved to England for further studies. After finishing his studies from Cambridge, he moved to Pakistan with his family and then went back again to the UK where he lives now.
Young Rushdie joined advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather where he wrote Booker Prize winner Midnight’s Children, before becoming a full-time writer. Rushdie’s most acclaimed literary work includes his first novel Grimus in 1975 followed by Midnight’s Children in 1981. Rushdie followed it with Shame in 1983 and then he came up with his non-fiction book about Nicaragua in 1987 called The Jaguar Smile.
Also Read – Salman Rushdie, acclaimed author of ‘The Satanic Verses’, stabbed on stage in New York
In 1988 came his most controversial work, The Satanic Verses, and it faced immediate backlash in many countries. Death threats were issued against him and the book got banned in 13 countries namely Iran, India, Bangladesh, Sudan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Thailand, Tanzania, Indonesia, Singapore, Venezuela, and Pakistan. Iran’s then Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini proclaimed a Fatwa against him on Radio Tehran in 1989. The controversy caused breaking of diplomatic relations between Britain and Iran.
He wrote many books after The Satanic Verses like East, West in 1994, The Ground Beneath Her Feet in 1999, Step Across This Line and then The Enchantress of Florence in 2008 and Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights and The Golden House, in 2017 but the controversy continued to overshadow his literature. There was a failed assassination’s attempt in 1989 when a book bomb loaded with RDX exploded prematurely in a London Hotel and killed the book’s carrier Mustafa Mahmoud Maze. He was in Al-Qaeda’s hit list along with speaker Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and cartoonist Lars Vilks. In 2012, Salman Rushdie was due to attend at the Jaipur Literature Festival in India but he cancelled his event appearance, and his tour of India citing a possible threat to his life.