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Rushdie may speak at Jaipur fest - via video

Monday January 23, 2012 02:55:12 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: Salman Rushdie, author of the controversial "The Satanic Verses", is likely to address the Jaipur Literature Festival via video-link Tuesday, the organisers said, days after he cancelled his visit over security fears.

"We are trying to arrange a video address tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon. But we are yet to decide on the exact time," Sanjoy Roy, organiser of the festival and managing director of Teamwork Production, said Monday.

Rushdie, who accused Rajasthan Police of inventing terror theories to keep him away from the festival, was keen to take part in the festival, but dropped his plans at the last moment fearing for security. He had been tweeting since then to express his anguish.

Rushdie is likely to address the festival to coincide with an aborted session, "Midnight's Child", which was to host the writer. But the session was dropped from the festival roster.

Earlier, a police complaint was filed against poet Jeet Thayil, writer Amitava Kumar, novelist Hari Kunzru and writer Ruchir Joshi for reading out from the banned "The Satanic Verses", after which they reportedly left the festival. The organisers refused to comment further, saying "the four were not told to leave".

Reacting to "The Satanic Verses" reading fiasco, Swami Agnivesh, who was at the festival to address a literary session, said: "The government should act in a responsible manner."

"An investigative agency should probe who had sent Rushdie the hoax message that paid assassins could kill him," Agnivesh said in an informal chat.

Not only did Rushdie receive threats from Islamic hardliners, but police said that paid assassins of the Mumbai underworld were out to kill him.




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