Now Rushdie to address lit fest

Jaipur : Controversial author Salman Rushdie is all set to address the Jaipur Literature Festival via videolink Tuesday afternoon, with festival organiser Sanjoy Roy saying the issue had been resolved.

Roy said some clarifications had been sought by the authorities and these had been responded to. He was happy that the issue has been resolved.

Rushdie, who had called off his visit to Jaipur citing threats to his life from “paid assassins”, is expected to address the event on its last day via videoconferencing – in a session to be moderated by journalist Barkha Dutt.

Rushdie, the Mumbai-born author of the banned “The Satanic Verses”, had accused Rajasthan Police of hatching a plot about hitmen to keep him away from the festival where he was expected to be the star attraction. Some Muslim groups had also protested his proposed visit.

Until early Tuesday, there was speculation about whether he would have to call off his video address too.

While clarifying that Rushdie would be speaking, Roy said: “There should be a review of the laws that ban books. We are a progressive society. There should be a debate and a review of the issue.”

When asked whether he was anticipating protests against Rushdie’s address, Roy said: “People have a right to protest peacefully as long as it is within law.”

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