Row over Rushdie and Indian Democracy: Some questions

Nesar Ahmad, Development for People

The row over Salman Rushdie’s visit and later his conversation with Ms. Barkha Dutt through video conferencing at Jaipur Literature Festival, neither of which could take place, has raised some interesting (to me) questions in my mind. Presenting some of these here:

Rushdie has every right to visit India (or JLF, sponsored by Rio Tinto and Tata Steel – how liberal they are?)

What liberty are we talking about? In this country a journalist is arrested just for possessing some documents from internet and remains in jail for years. Army/paramilitary can kill anybody by law (AFSPA) in Manipur and Kashmir.

Free speech? Prashant Bhushan spoke in favour of plebiscite in Kashmir and got beaten up in his office in the Supreme Court.

You believe in free speech? Go and speak against mining and displacement in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Orissa.

The governments seem to accept any demands made by any Muslim group now (till the UP elections are over). Why don’t the idiots come together and demand a judicial inquiry into the Batla House ‘encounter’?

The row over Rushdie has given a golden opportunity to Ashok Gehlot whose police killed 12 innocent meow Muslims in Gopalgarh last year. Has not he also got a chance to wash his sins in so called Maha Kumbh of JLF?

Do you know a book written on Birlas titled ‘Mystery of Birla House’ is not available and another book written on the god of Indian middle classes named Dhirubhai Ambani, titled ‘The Polyester Prince’ is banned in India? I did not know. Would media like to highlight the ban on these books written about the greatest corporate houses/families of India?