Friday, March 12, 2010

India should protect Husain: Rushdie

Author Sir Salman Rushdie took the Indian government to task for not acting positively in the MF Husain case and said modern India was giving itself up to extremism, both Hindu and Muslim, and narrow sectarian thinking which was inimical to Gandhi's ideals. "This is increasing at a phenomenal rate lately," he added.

Delivering the keynote address on the first day of the India Today Conclave in New Delhi on Friday, Rushdie said, "Freedom is not a tea party. It has to be strongly argued. Disagreement with whoever wants to stifle your freedom has to be strongly fought. You have to shout at the frontier to protect your borders."

Rushdie, in his first comment on the Husain affair, said it was indeed sad that India was showing its closed mind."Tolerance is not an alien idea to us, Indians. If I am not allowed to write, I would rather not write."

He said it was strange that that the Indian government was allowing this to happen to Husain. "Britain helped me in 1989 though I was not a supporter of the party in power. That is what I would call a principled stand. Surrender in such cases only multiplies the problem. Politicians sadly need to develop the backbone which they lack. Even the media in India should say enough is enough."

Full report here India Today 

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