So, there’s this uproarious debate once again with controversy’s favorite child – Salman Rushdie. He says he was stopped from coming to the Jaipur Lit. Fest. by the government on the pretext of ‘danger to his life’ even though there was no concrete evidence of any threat against him. Government on the other hand is running around like a 4 year old caught pushing another child in kindergarten – ‘I didn’t do it! I didn’t do it! He pushed me first! He pushed me first!’ It’s fuckin’ hilarious!
We can’t catch a Dawood Ibrahim who has sold the country and run away. We can’t hang Kasab. But bring out an artist who dares to ‘express’ himself and we sure can ostracize him. Same for Hussain saab, same for Salman Rushdie. (Ek to artist, oopar se Musssalmaan? Get out of India! We’ll cry when you die, but don’t even think of getting a decent life here!)
If the government response is funny, even funnier are the desperate attempts of people like Chetan Bhagat, who are trying to lick the government’s ass and getting their own sweet 15 minutes of borrowed fame by saying that Rushdie is no big deal as a writer. OH PUHLEEESEE! GIVE ME A FUCKING BREAK!!
Salman Rushdie is the biggest deal that happened to Indian Writing in English. EVER.
Let’s rewind a few decades and find out who is this Salman Rushdie?
Ok, so he’s that guy who wrote that book ‘SATANIC VERSES’.
Wasn’t that banned in India?
Because India is run by moronic leaders, who don’t read books but enjoy banning them. No one in India has read Satanic Verses but everyone hates it. Muslims, obviously hate it because it’s supposedly against their faith and Hindus hate it because they are fucking scared of rubbing Muslims the wrong way. (They got all the bombs and the Bhais… Boo… Hooo!!) The other minorities are just irritated with anything that disturbs peace and they don’t matter anyway. So the book is banned in India. EVEN TODAY!!! We can read the KAMASUTRA… Our tourism departments will promote temples with orgies sculpted on their walls in children’s magazines… but a book that mocks a religion… NOOOOOOOOO! Because our kids can understand Khajuraho is artistic but our grown ups can’t understand that SATANIC VERSES IS JUST A FUCKING BOOK!! (Sorry, it’s not just a ‘fucking book’. That would be Kamasutra again.)
Anyway, for the blasphemous task of having an opinion and creatively expressing it, Salman Rushdie was slapped by a ‘FATWA’ against him by some Islamic leadership.
What is ‘Fatwa’? No, it’s not a fat Chinese guy, however it sounds.
No one knows what is the true meaning of FATWA these days. Originally, it must have meant something crucial and necessary in the Islamic world but today it only means – ‘You got a bigger cock than me and I can’t stand it! So I’ll tell my people to kill you and then I’ll make a dildo of your penis to pleasure my 4 wives with’. Of course, I’m kidding! ‘FATWA’ loosely means – I hate your guts. And I’m keeping the dildo for myself.
Jokes apart, Rushdie has flirted with disaster for a major part of his life. Personally, I’m not a fan of all his books but I love how tenaciously he has shown a middle finger to the middle-east mentality all his life. Yes, he had the balls to live under a ‘FATWA’ when the very word itself made people pee in their pants across the world. He also had the charisma and the flair to date supermodels. (I guess that is what irks other writers more. ‘Uski godi mein Padma aur meri godi mein Sadma?’)
Yesterday a politician type intellectual was saying on TV that Rushdie is not a great writer at all. ‘I couldn’t get through the first 100 pages of Midnight’s Children’ – he waved his hands, dismissing a book that won a Booker of Bookers – the biggest fucking honor a writer can have after the Nobel prize. (Rushdie may never get a Nobel… he’s too controversial for that). Yes, my dear idiot, you couldn’t get through the 100 pages because you need an IQ in 3 digits to… Hey, why are you reading this post? Didn’t I warn you in the title already?
Now, I’ve some friends who have the IQ in 3 digits but still are going to be upset with me for writing this note and defending Rushdie. These are the people who have ‘rediscovered’ their Islamic roots recently. They weren’t so religious earlier but now, since ‘Islam Khatarey mein Hai’ they have become ‘Maan na maan, main tera mussalmaan.’ I can only tell them one thing: Buddy, Islaam is too big as an idea and a way of life… It cannot be in danger because of a book or two. You should rather focus on spreading literacy in the Islamic world first. Then worry about what people write.
Coming back to Rushdie. I don’t know him personally and I have not even read all his books. I’ve never met him, nor am I dying to. But I am a fairly educated person and I’m not gonna close down my eyes to the fact that it was him who opened the gates of publishing for Indian writing. He is the most researched writer in contemporary Indian writing. He brought in the fame, the money, the glamor and the glitz to Indian writers (or the writers of Indian origin). The entire genre of ‘INDIAN WRITING’ got a huge impetus because of him. Because of his extremely interesting writing and life. Novel as a form of literature was almost dead when Rushdie came in and fuelled it with his ‘magic realism’ – a gift of narration that is now a part of our lives in such a huge way. Just think of it. Films are written with unreliable narrators now but who did it first? If there would be no Salim Sinai, of Midnight’s Children, there would possibly no role for Kevin Sapcey in ‘The Usual Suspects’ – Hell, there would be no Ususal Suspects! And if there was no ‘Usual Suspects’, there would be no hindi film ‘loosely inspired’ by it called ‘Chocolate’. Oh shit, I just remembered, ‘Chocolate’ was my first film as a lyricist!!
I knew there was a connection!!