Demanding a ban on visit of Salman Rushdie to India is outrageous: PUCL

This release comes from the PEOPLE”S UNION FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) views it with deep concern that some organizations have demanded ban on entry of Salman Rushdie in the country. The present call is illogical, preposterous and untenable as the writer has visited the country for several times after the Satanic Verses book controversy.

Those who have called for banning his entry must know that Rushdie being person of Indian origin does not need permission from the government – a visa – to visit his home country. To demand an unconstitutional measure to be invoked against some one, one might not agree with is as  condemnable as when some lunatic groups would demand that certain book be taken off the shelf or some painting exhibition be not held or that the  majortarian way of life should be standard for all in the country.

PUCL believes that the present demand is self defeating and is against the interest of the community in the name of which such demands are made. Above all demands such as these run counter to the values of a democratic society that the India is. Those who are misguiding gullible people are indulging in politics of symbolism based on emotional exploitation of the people thereby damaging our shared constitutional values.  PUCL appeals to people to see through such moves and ignore such calls.

Pushkar Raj
General Secretary

9 thoughts on “Demanding a ban on visit of Salman Rushdie to India is outrageous: PUCL”

  1. how come these organizations never demand affirmative actions or implemenaion of sachar report…bec then muslims will get out of their cluches…the only way they can hold on to them is by making them ‘Islam is in danger’ by making threats out of attention seeking people like rushdie!!

  2. this is not acceptable at all. if i understand it right it is the same people/ organisations who threw taslima nasreen out of this country too. no people/organisations can really grow, if any self critiqe is disallowed. and i want us to grow, learn from each other’s experiences and be prepared to change. salman rushdie is of course welcome to India!

  3. Idea to ban freedom of expression and movement of anybody is wrong itself. There may be diverse views and all should be allowed to be expressed freely and peacefully.

  4. I have read this kind of comment about Rusdi. It is very funny that the man or community which has the previlage to speak out such thing in Secular India, he/they think that no other person or community has that right to speak what he/they strongly feel about it.

  5. Rushdie’s SV was a classic case of mockery happening in the garb of the ‘right to free expression’. There is a fine line that divides ‘the right to expression of views’ and ‘mockery’. Societies and nations that are sensitive enough to locate this divide, automatically deserve the right to the freedom of expression. Those which cannot locate it, do not need any ‘freedom of expression’.

  6. So we have every Tom,Dick and Harry pounding on the mullahs/muslims as if T,D & H are perfect. Neither i defend the clerics nor Rush-die. But the fact is, the fire being extinguished and issue in back burner for 20 years being re-ignited, what can the poor clerics do if a provocative journalist(was he/she?) questioned their opinion about the writer’s visit. Surely knowing it will be an Aye, what better way to provide a lease of life for wretched politicians in crucial election time and for media to increase the TRP ratings as if India doesn’t have other pressing issues. I think, the renowned PUCL would have been wise in not jumping in to this bandwagon. After all, the writer is PIO, nothing can stop his entry except a court order.

    1. “what can the poor clerics do if a provocative journalist(was he/she?) questioned their opinion about the writer’s visit”
      and you write that you do not defend the clerics!? please make up your mind, tariq!
      it is very important that we are clear about whether we should be defending the clerics in these times, when most of their own doings/ sayings have created havoc for Islam and the world.

      1. Dear, if you still want to hound the clerics, its your prerogative. But lets analyze, who brought the issue from 20 years oblivion to the centre-stage and whipping up this campaign. The writer has been visiting the country every now and then including the famed JLF, no mullahs cried foul. And about charge of them “creating havoc for Islam”, they are also human beings prone to error just like a Brahmin swami’s doing/action create havoc for his religion or a pastor bringing bad name for his faith. You don’t judge a religion by actions of any person instead of the texts, do you?

  7. I think the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has done well to publicly criticize Deoband’s call to the Indian Government to ban Salman Rushdie’s entry. By doing so, the PUCL has not only defended a Constitutional right, it has also forestalled the Hindu Right’s self-interested welcome to Rushdie.

    I also think that this is not the first time in post-Independence India’s history that the clerics of Deoband have dishonoured their own legacy and contribution to India’s struggle for political freedom from English colonialism. This regressive call to ban Rushdie’s (re)entry into India bespeaks the wider parochialism and, thus, self-trivialization of India’s ulema.

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