The organisers have refused to hand over the tapes

The police are still policing the writers who read from The Satanic Verses at the Jaipur festival yesterday.

A day after author Salman Rushdie made it clear that he would not be coming to India, alleging that he was told that underworld hitmen were out to get him, the raging debate at the Jaipur Literature Festival is still on. The police have now asked for the tape recordings of author Amitava Kumar reading out excerpts from Mr Rushdie’s controversial book – Satanic Verses – which is illegal in India. The organisers of the event, however, have refused to hand over the tapes.

Authors Hari Kunzru and Amitava Kumar, as a mark of protest, used their session at the festival to read from Satanic Verses. Later, authors Jeet Thayil and Ruchir Joshi also read out from the banned book. “We asked organisers today to provide us details and video footage of a session in which the book was allegedly read,” Jaipur Police Additional Commissioner Biju George Joseph said.

“We will examine whether the alleged reading from the banned book was done. It is a suo motu action. After examining the matter, appropriate action would be taken against those who were found guilty,” he said.



  1. sailor1031 says

    “After examining the matter, appropriate action would be taken against those who were found guilty,””

    At least in the west we mostly still allow courts to determine guilt, rather than police. Still I should think the indian way is much quicker.

  2. says


    That’s not the problem (

    There is a law in India which allows for the prosecution of individuals under perceived insult to religious sentiments. AKA I can’t call the Sai Baba a charlatan and possible rapist… It’s illegal. There is a lot of religious bias for a secular country.

    And by law they cannot read the book because Muslims get butthurt about it. That’s the actual indian laws in place.

  3. Retired Prodigy Bill says

    I’m all for the Police Commissioner taking appropriate action in this case. The appropriate action, of course, is to thank the writers for their support of free speech.

  4. F says

    At first I was wondering why the fuzz wants documentation on the people reading from The Satanic Verses (WTF?), then I was reminded that the book was banned in India. (More WTF here, really.)

    Interesting how this wasn’t even mentioned by officials in anything I’d read when it was reported that the gov was warning off Rushdie, supposedly for his own safety.

  5. says

    Salman Rushdie’s other books are not banned. Just the Satanic Verses. And his life is in danger. He did leave the country the first time because his life was threatened.

    Let’s just say people can be incredibly stupid over a book most people haven’t read. No really… The Satanic Verses is like “mild mannered blasphemy”.

    To put it into perspective? I can buy a copy of God is Not Great and The God Delusion in India but not it. Why?

    Because lunacy that’s why.

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