Rajasthan government to decide on Rushdie visit?

Jaipur, Jan 12 (IANS) The proposed visit of eminent author Salman Rushdie to the Jaipur Literature Festival seems to be running deeper into controversy. A Rajasthan police intelligence report has warned of the possibility of law and order problem in the city if Rushdie attends the literature festival, sources said Thursday.

Many leaders of the minority community in Rajasthan have opposed Rushdie’s visit, demanding that the government should not allow him entry into the country.

The state government has to take a final call on the matter, said sources.

After Darul Uloom Deoband’s demand that Rushdie be denied a visa, some leaders of BJP’s minority cell in the state and minority organizations including the All India Milli Council and Dr Zakir Hussain Welfare Society said Wednesday that they won’t let Salman Rushdie enter the city during the literature festival being organized at Diggi Palace here Jan 20-24.

The Vice Chairman of Darul Uloom, Maulana Abul Qasim Nomani had said Monday that the Indian government should cancel Rushdie’s visa as he had annoyed the religious sentiments of Muslims in the past.

However, Rushdie had posted on Twitter: ‘Regarding my Indian visit, for the record, I don’t need a visa.’ Rushdie, who holds a British passport, also has a PIO (Person of Indian Origin) card issued by the Indian government.

Rushdie had earned the wrath of Muslims globally due to the alleged blasphemous content of his novel ‘The Satanic Verses’ published in 1988.

BJP minority cell’s state president Ameen Khan told mediapersons here that Rushdie will not be allowed to enter Jaipur at any cost. Its general secretary, Munawar Khan also warned of dire consequences if Rushdie comes to Jaipur to take part in the literature festival.

However, the organizers of the event said the controversy was unwarranted.