Salman Rushdie cannot come to India because twenty years ago he wrote something against certain Gods. It’s different that most of these self appointed guardians of God haven’t read the book and those who had the patience to read 545 page volume need to be applauded for their endurance first . These people are very angry with Salman ( I mean Salman Rushdie and not our Sallu). They won’t allow him to enter mere desh ki dharti even if he says sorry. What is done can’t be undone. We Indians never forget and forgive, and we are overly sentimental and intolerant when anyone says anything bad against our Gods. Ours is a secular and tolerant society, we can tolerate anything but when someone speaks against our religion, our language, our caste, our God or our state then our blood boils.
I tried reading the book twice but could not read beyond chapter 2 but forget about me; I am not the intellectual type. Let’s not digress from the focal point of this piece.
We ban movies because some scenes and dialogues in the movie hurt our sentiments. We Indians are very sentimental you see! MF Hussain was forced to die in exile because he painted Gods’ pictures and some people didn’t like what he painted. We can ban books, issue fatwa against whoever we want , burn effigies, destroy anything and everything we can lay our hands on when we are angry and our government allows us to do it because ours is a true democracy… the largest democracy in the world. Article 19 -1 –a of the constitution gives us complete freedom of expression. Complete freedom you see … simply express madi ! It’s our right to express anger, disapproval, and disagreement and how we express, that is also our choice.
We also don’t shy away from showing our displeasure when outsiders want to settle down in our state or don’t speak our language, at least that they can do it. Why can’t they go back to the state of their forefathers and live and die there as if anyone cares. Article 19-1-e gives all Indians the freedom to reside and settle in any part of the territory of India but we don’t care because we have the privilege to express our displeasure the way we want to, how we want to and when I want to ; after all we live in a free democratic society.
Since Satanic Verses is in news again. I will make another attempt to read it. I hope this time I can go beyond Chapter 3.