August 03, 2021
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If I Were Honest...

If I Were Honest...

At the Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF), Amitava Kumar had read small passages from The Satanic Verses, along with Hari Kunzru, as a mark of protest against Salman Rushdie not being allowed to participate. Following which, he was advised to leave the festival. He shares a series of tweets that he says he, like Gibreel Farishta in the banned book, dreamed he had written:

I had to leave India to be safe. A realization filled with surpassing loss. #JLF

But did I need to leave India to be brave? The truth was that I was afraid. #JLF

As in countless films, when the man pleads with his killer, “I have small children.” #JLF


I read from “The Satanic Verses” because it was, in that time and place, a bold and imaginative act. #JLF

If I were honest, that would be the only claim I submit to the Indian authorities in my defense. #JLF

Read the full piece at NYT's IndiaInk


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