Monday, September 27, 2010

Rushdie: UK royalty is ‘archaic, stupid’

Indian-born author Salman Rushdie, who is due to release a new book Luka and the Fire of Life, has courted controversy yet again by describing the British monarchy and its traditions as “archaic ... stupid ... a British oddity.”

Explaining his reason for accepting the knighthood, Sir Salman told the Sunday Times that he had received an honour from the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France. “It would be extraordinary to accept something from the French state and then refuse something from my own country,” said the writer, who is a British citizen.

The kinghood ceremony, according to the Booker Prize winner, was a bit ridiculous, “all structured around this furious archaic thing of queens and knights, all a bit stupid, but it’s what we do. You take it for the spirit of it, which is to be complimentary about your work. And I think, thanks. Ian McKellen got something, I got something, who cares? We got our medals and left.”

Sir Salman was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2007, and at the time had said that he was “thrilled and humbled” by the knighthood.

Rushdie, who spent many years in hiding after his novel The Satanic Verses, published in 1989, provoked violent reactions and an Iranian fatwa calling for his death, said he has observed an intolerance where “to disagree with someone is to offend them.”

Full report here Asian Age

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