Salman Rushdie's book The Satanic Verses was banned by India four months before Iran's supreme leader late Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa for his killing without any proper examination or a judicial process, writes the controversial author in his memoirs.
"The Satanic Verses was denied the ordinary life of a novel. It became something smaller and uglier: an insult. And he became the Insulter, not only in Muslim eyes but in the opinion of public at large," Rushdie writes in his memoirs Joseph Anton on his hiding days after the fatwa.
In excerpts from the book published in The New Yorker (read full extract), he said but for few weeks in the fall of 1988 the book was still "only a novel" and he was still himself.
The book was then shortlisted for the Booker Prize along with novels by Peter Carey, Bruce Chatwin, Marina Warner, David Lodge and Penelope Fitzgerald.
"Then on Thursday, October 6th, 1988 his friend Salman Haidar, who was Deputy High Commissioner of India in London, called to tell him formally, on behalf of his government, that The Satanic Verses' had been banned in India," he writes in a third person account. Haidar later became India's Foreign Secretary.
"The book had not been examined by any properly authorised body, nor had there been any semblance of judicial process. The ban came, improbably, from the Finance Ministry, under Section 11 of the Customs Act, which prevented the book from being imported.
"Weirdly, the Finance Ministry stated that the ban 'did not detract from the literary and artistic merit' of his work. Thanks a lot, he thought," Rushdie says.
The first death threat was received four days later on October ten at the London office of his publisher Viking Penguin and the day after that, a scheduled reading in Cambridge was cancelled by the venue because it, too, had received threats, he says.
Also read Outlook Blogs "Joseph Anton," He Told Himself, "You Must Live Till You Die."
India Banned Satanic Verses Without Scrutiny: Rushdie
AFP (From Outlook, April 02, 2012)
THE LATEST ISSUE
- BJP's Indispensable Man, A Raconteur And Mentor: Arun Jaitley Was All These And Much More
- 'Political Giant, Towering Intellectual, Legal Luminary': PM Modi's Tribute To Jaitley
- How Arun Jaitley Played A Key Role In Making Nitish Kumar The Bihar CM
- UAE's Highest Civilian Award For Modi, Egg On Pakistan's Face
- Spilling The Beans: How Murky Was Cafe Coffee Day Founder VG Siddartha's Death
- Kashmiris Are Angry, Yet They Are Calm. Why?
- Indian Armed Forces, Civilians Continue To Bleed In Internal Conflicts, But Do We Care?
- On India's 73rd Independence Day, A Letter to Pehlu Khan
- The Valley Has Fallen Into Rigor Mortis
- BBC, Northern Ireland, And Kashmir – Where Shekhar Kapur Got It Wrong
- Euphoria On Abrogation Of Article 370 Is Wearing Off, Only Time Will Tell Full Meaning Of This Move
- Naresh Goyal Created Tax Evading Schemes To Siphon Off Funds Abroad: ED
- PV Sindhu Progresses To Final At Badminton Worlds
- Rahul Gandhi-Led Opposition Team Not Allowed To Leave Srinagar Airport, Sent Back
- India Has Lost An Outstanding Parliamentarian: Ex-PM Manmohan Singh Condoles Arun Jaitley's Death
- Press Council Of India Moves SC To Back Communication Blackout In Jammu And Kashmir
- Durand Cup Final: Joseph-Inspired Gokulam Kerala Stun Mohun Bagan To Lift Trophy
- Why Is Part Of The Amazon Burning?
- PM Modi Defends Article 370 Move In UAE, Says It Ends 'Isolation' Of J&K Which Was Radicalising Youths