From The Hindu
Eminent author Salman Rushdie was on Sunday reported as likening the “secular” Congress to its Hindu nationalist opponents in the way it tended to exploit religion for political ends.
He believed the way the government agencies conspired with Muslim fanatics to keep him out of the Jaipur Literary Festival — preventing him from even addressing it through a video-link — showed the extent to which the party was prepared to sacrifice its own professed principles and appease communal groups in the hope of garnering votes.
In its attempt to “showcase” itself as the “caretaker of Muslim interests” ahead of the crucial Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, the Congress government of Rajasthan went to the extent of manufacturing a “massive threat perception” to deter him from attending the festival, Mr. Rushdie was quoted as saying in a conversation with The Observer writer and free speech campaigner Nick Cohen who has just published a book, You Can’t Read This Book, on the chilling effect of censorship on creative freedom.
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