Friday, February 01, 2013
Salman Rushdie abandons visit to Indian city amid protests
Several hundred Muslim demonstrators shouting anti-Rushdie slogans congregated at the airport in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) on Wednesday ahead of the controversial British author's planned arrival, triggering security fears and forcing him to summarily terminate his visit.
Rushdie, whose novel "The Satanic Verses" is considered blasphemous by some Muslims and over which the Iranian clergy placed a bounty on his head in 1989, also stayed away from India's biggest literature festival in Jaipur last year following threats to his life.
"We will not allow him here. He is hated by all Muslims in the world. I thank the state government for listening to us (and canceling his visit)" Idris Ali, chief of the fringe All India Minority Forum said from outside the city airport.
The decision to call off the trip was Rushdie's "personal call", Arun Nair, of PVR Cinema Group that is promoting and distributing "Midnight's Children" said.