- Sunil Rajguru
India is a master of digging up dead issues and converting them into blazing controversies.
The recent one involving Salman Rushdie and the Jaipur Literature Festival is no different.
A look at its many contradictions…
Hardly anyone has read the book.
The biggest irony is that hardly anyone, from those protesting the book to those defending it, has read The Satanic Verses in the first place. In India, Chetan Bhagat is probably far more influential than Salman Rushdie.
For all practical purposes, it could be called ''The Unread Verses''. Every controversy usually has a large constituency of people affected. For example in the Lokpal issue, every Indian is sick of corruption. In the Mandal Commission agitation, more than a quarter of India benefited.
This current controversy is about an issue that affects no-one about a book read by no-one.
Image: Picture dated 19 July 1989 of the book of Salman Rushdie, "The Satanic Verses", translated in French, on sale in a bookshop in Rennes, western France.