Rushdie not to visit Jaipur Literature Festival

Booker Prize winner Salman Rushdie will not be in India on to participate the Jaipur Literature festival on 20th January due to a change in his schedule. Rushdie was scheduled to attend Jaipur Literature Festival beginning this week. The organizers of the festival reportedly ask Salman Rushdie to call off his visit. Muslim organizations have warned of protests in Jaipur if Rushdie is allowed to enter the city to attend the Literature Festival. As questions over author Salman Rushdie's proposed visit to India continue to linger, organizers of the Jaipur Literature festival confirm that the author will not be attending the literary festival on the 20th as scheduled. This even as the centre and state continue to pass the buck over the award winning author's visit.
Earlier Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday met Home Minister P Chidambaram over Rushdie’s proposed visit, setting the stage for a confrontation with the organisers of the Jaipur Literature Festival and artists. Gehlot’s move has also invited criticism from a cross section of writers and artists. Gehlot is understood to have expressed security concerns over the controversial writer’s visit to the four-day festival. “I do not have any official information about whether Rushdie is coming or not. There is no official communication to us. There is, however, a reaction among the locals. They do not want Salman Rushdie to visit Jaipur,” Gehlot said after the meeting. Gehlot also said no one could stop Rushdie from coming to the country as he enjoyed PIO (Persons of Indian Origin) status. “But as far as his visit to Jaipur is concerned, the Government would take a decision keeping in view the law and order problem in the State on this issue,” he said. Rushdie was earlier scheduled to speak on January 20, and 21, at different sessions at the literature festival. The author had incurred the wrath of Muslims worldwide due to the alleged blasphemous content in his novel The Satanic Verses which was published in 1988.