Organisers of the Jaipur Literature Festival tonight distanced themselves from the authors who read out portions of the Satanic Verses authored by Salman Rushdie, who skipped the event citing threats to his life.
In a late night statement, the organisers said that the actions of the authors were their own and not at the behest of the event managers.
"The festival organisers are fully committed to ensuring compliance of all prevailing laws and will continue to offer their fullest cooperation to prevent any legal violation of any kind. Any action by any delegate or anyone else involved with the Festival that in any manner falls foul of the law will not be tolerated and all necessary, consequential action will be taken," the statement read.
Earlier, Hari Kunzru and Amitava Kumar used their session at the festival to read from Satanic Verses. The controversial book was banned in the country shortly after it was published in 1988, for allegedly hurting the sentiments of Muslims.
The two authors referred to the book during their own readings and discussions and actually went on to read out portions from the book.
In fact just before his reading, Kunzru tweeted: "About to defy bigots and shoe throwers, reading @SalmanRushdie Satanic Verses on stage with @amitavakumar at #jaipur #jlf (sic)."
They also read out Rushdie’s tweet to the audience in which he had thanked the two for reading from his work to a loud applause.
The organisers later asked Kumar not to go ahead with his reading. Kumar initially agreed to the suggestion but later continued reading from Rushdie's work.
Authors Read 'Satanic Verses' on Their Own: Organisers
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