Monday, June 25, 2007

Fatwa upon Fatwa, Is Rushdie to Blame for Knighthood?

Read what Sunny Singh has to say about the threat to Sir Salman following the bestowal of knighthood in her blog.

In the years since those heady days of university, things have changed. Mr. Rushdie’s pen seems to have grown blunt as his social appearances take precedence. Of course, I still rush out to pick up every new novel, only to be disappointed. And amongst certain Indian writers in English, it is now fashionable to run down both Mr. Rushdie’s skill as well as his contribution to all our writing trajectories. And that is indeed a shame – far greater perhaps than the illiterate religious fanatic fringe that threatens violence.

Salman Rushdie's greatest achievement was to blast open the hallowed portals of writing in English for a whole generation of writers from the former colonies. And he did that to the sound of joyous - albeit at times, sly - laughter, with luminous prose that thrilled and delighted. If he never puts down a single word on paper ever again, his oeuvre is worthy of respect. For that alone, his knighthood (and any other honour) is well deserved.


Most intellectuals and even writers in the sub-continent with literary aspirations have shied away from commenting on the Iranian foreign minister's comment. Are even the more vociferous of them afraid to come into the open because of invoking the ire of the fundamentalists? Somehow, the silence seems thick and uncomfortable, according to me.

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2 comments:

Sunny Singh said...

Hi John. A friend sent me the link to your blog. Thanks for picking up on my post. I am FURIOUS that bigger literary names from India are silent on the Rushdie fracas. Good luck with the writing.

John said...

Hi Sunny,

Yes, I too am disturbed. Sir Salman may be feeling all the more lonely because of this.

Keep writing :)

J