Monday, September 25, 2006

SETH SHARES HIS SECRET; RUSHDIE REFUSES TO SHARE HIS STAGE

Vikram Seth is in news again. Leading a campaign for gay rights, Seth, along with other luminaries (Amartya Sen, Soli Sorabjee, Jhumpa Lahiri, Shobha De among others) signed an open letter (titled Same Sex love in India, Section 377) urging the Indian Legal system to do away with section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

This obsolete piece of legislation that criminalizes same sax or gay activity came into being in 1862, when it was introduced by the British to replace the Hindu laws of the time (incidentally consensual sex by same sex people was never an offence under Hindu criminal laws). Over the last few years activists have been appealing to the government and to the judiciary to overturn these century old laws. These laws are creating a major impediment in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
In his interview in Outlook, Seth talks about how he took years to come to terms with himself. Go read the piece. The same issue also has Amartya Sen adding his voice.

While Seth was busy sharing his secret, Salman Rushdie refused to share his stage. Rushdie was invited to Vassar College to deliver a lecture, where Amitava Kumar (of Husband of a Fanatic, Passport Photos fame) was to have introduced him. According to Kumar, Rushdie apparently did not like the idea and threatened to withdraw. Says Kumar

Mr Rushdie and I have never met, although I have heard him speak several times. I presume his dislike of me has to do with essays like this that I have written about him in the past. I cannot say whether he has read my Passport Photos but it’d be fair to say that the book takes its cues from Rushdie. It was from him that we really learned to show some attitude. When I say “we” I’m talking of many contemporary Indian writers in English. But we have also sought our own paths, and in doing so we’ve also sometimes sought to renounce our past, the past in which Mr Rushdie looms so monumentally. For the rest of the article read his blog.

Now either Rushdie or someone claiming to be him has a response on Kumar's blog. It reads:
Dear Mr Kumar,

My attention has been drawn to your website, where you claim that I threatened to cancel my visit to Vassar if you were involved with it. This is inaccurate. At no time did I threaten anything of the sort. I did indeed tell the organizer, Joanne Long, that I was unwilling to share a stage with you, and, after she had read what you have written about me in the past, she understood why I would have that view, and asked you to stand down. It might have been more dignified of you to leave this matter private, but as you have chosen not to do so, you ought at least to strive for accuracy in your reporting of it.

It is not for me to comment on your many disparaging remarks about my work, but allow me to make one other correction of fact. You write:

>

If you had done the most minimal amount of homework, you would have known that my “concern for Indian democracy,” far from being “entirely absent,” had led me to make a feature-length tv documentary film, The Riddle of Midnight, whose long climactic sequence, centered around a moving testimony by a Sikh widow of the massacres, resulted in the Indian government pressurising Channel 4 in Britain not to run the programme — pressure which, I’m happy to say, they resisted. It is odd, to put it mildly, to be accused of indifference to a cause which one has, in fact, passionately taken up.

Yours sincerely,

Salman Rushdie.


One fails to understand why a writer of Rushdie's stature, would bear a grudge against so junior an author and critic. Surely more is expected of a man considered as the architect of post colonial literature and an inspiration for a whole generation of writers. Ironically he who had this to say once on the fatwa against him,

In my view, the best one can do is to show, by writing books, by continuing, that it didn't work. That even this colossal threat did not work. The Satanic Verses was not suppressed, the author of The Satanic Verses went on writing. Life goes on.

could not even share the stage with his critic.

4 Comments:

Blogger oakleyses said...

oakley sunglasses, cheap ugg boots outlet, louis vuitton handbags, burberry outlet online, christian louboutin outlet, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, christian louboutin, jordan shoes, nike outlet, louis vuitton, ray ban sunglasses, polo ralph lauren, michael kors outlet online, longchamp handbags, louis vuitton outlet online, michael kors outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, tiffany and co, ugg australia, nike air max, christian louboutin shoes, longchamp outlet, michael kors handbags, michael kors outlet store, louis vuitton outlet, oakley vault, michael kors outlet online sale, kate spade outlet online, burberry outlet online, nike free, ugg boots clearance, oakley sunglasses, red bottom shoes, louis vuitton outlet, chanel handbags, cheap oakley sunglasses, longchamp outlet online, gucci handbags, ray ban outlet, cheap ugg boots, polo ralph lauren outlet, replica watches

11:17 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

north face pas cher, coach outlet store online, coach purses, ralph lauren uk, true religion outlet, burberry pas cher, north face, hollister uk, longchamp pas cher, coach outlet, mulberry uk, oakley pas cher, nike free, air max, air max pas cher, tn pas cher, kate spade outlet, ralph lauren pas cher, scarpe hogan, nike roshe run, nike free pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, lacoste pas cher, timberland pas cher, nike air max, louboutin, true religion jeans, ray ban uk, nike roshe, converse pas cher, air jordan, ray ban pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, hollister, hermes pas cher, nike air max, nike air force, michael kors uk, michael kors canada, guess pas cher, michael kors, new balance pas cher, coach outlet, longchamp, true religion outlet, true religion, lululemon outlet online, sac vanessa bruno, vans pas cher, michael kors outlet online

11:19 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

north face jackets, hollister clothing store, iphone 6s plus cases, insanity workout, iphone cases, nike air huarache, ghd, north face jackets, valentino shoes, vans outlet, soccer jerseys, birkin bag, wedding dresses, hollister, nike roshe, s6 cases, ralph lauren, abercrombie and fitch, iphone 5s cases, iphone 6 plus cases, oakley, herve leger, louboutin, lululemon outlet, reebok shoes, iphone 6 cases, new balance outlet, iphone 6s cases, jimmy choo shoes, bottega veneta, nike trainers, nfl jerseys, soccer shoes, nike air max, babyliss, timberland boots, mont blanc pens, asics shoes, celine handbags, longchamp, ferragamo shoes, ipad cases, beats headphones, mac cosmetics, baseball bats, p90x workout, instyler ionic styler, giuseppe zanotti, chi flat iron, mcm handbags

11:21 PM  
Blogger oakleyses said...

hollister canada, wedding dress, barbour, pandora jewelry, gucci, ugg, moncler, converse shoes, thomas sabo uk, montre femme, abercrombie, canada goose outlet, canada goose pas cher, air max, moncler, louis vuitton uk, juicy couture, swarovski jewelry, canada goose outlet, coach outlet, replica watches, supra shoes, louis vuitton pas cher, pandora jewelry, moncler outlet, barbour jackets, moncler, louis vuitton, marc jacobs handbags, moncler outlet, canada goose, ugg soldes, canada goose, canada goose, pandora charms, converse, moncler, canada goose, moncler, vans, pandora uk, sac louis vuitton, swarovski uk, karen millen, ray ban, doke gabbana outlet, canada goose outlet, ugg boots, uggs canada, links of london uk

11:22 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home