Soumitro Das in HT, in an article after my own heart:
It is clear that the ban on Satanic Verses was a turning point in the history of free speech and expression in this country. It established the principle that no one dare utter anything that our political masters dare not think. And, thus, other bans followed: James Laine, Taslima Nasreen, to name just two. It is now easier to ban a book or a film than it was 20 years ago.
The ruling class has understood there will be no mass protests; that no one will be willing to take on the mob; that free speech and expression do not constitute the core values of our democracy. On the other hand, lifting the ban on Rushdie now would be the equivalent of a cultural revolution.