NEW DELHI: Organisers of the much-coveted Jaipur Literature Festival have finally put an end to the deluge of rumours about the participation of author Salman Rushdie in the event.
The Booker Prize winning author will not be part of the book lovers jamboree.
Reports suggest Rushdie got intelligence information from Mumbai and Rajasthan police that assassins might attack him during his visit. In a statement on Friday, Rushdie said, “I take it as my responsibility to not cause any upheaval in the country and therefore have decided to not attend the festival. I also fear for my life and don’t want to get into a precarious situation.” However, festival director William Dalrymple said he would not completely disappoint his fans and would participate via a video-link. A planned protest by some Muslim leaders was rumoured to take place in the Pink City if the author had attended the event. Vice-chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband seminary said last week that Rushdie should be prevented from entering the country, as he had offended Muslim sentiments.
The author whose novel, Satanic Verses, is banned in India, was due to speak on the first day of the five-day Jaipur Literature Festival but organisers removed his name from the schedule and website after the row.