Salman Rushdie: English writer Salman Rushdie, who came into controversy with his book Satanic Verses, allegedly wrote objectionable things about the verses of Quran in this book. Because of which many Islamic countries around the world were enraged. His full name is Ahmed Salman Rushdie and was born on 19 June 1947 in Mumbai. He was born in a Muslim family but called himself an atheist. He was awarded the prestigious ‘Booker Prize’ that year for his novel Midnight’s Children, published in 1981. Let us tell you that he also worked as an actor for some time. Later he entered the field of advertising and worked as a copywriter.
In the year 1988, he wrote another book named Satanic Verses. With this book, he became more famous all over the world. Actually, Muslim countries had objections regarding some things related to Prophet Mohammad in this book. Due to which he not only had to face negative reactions but many countries also banned this book. The biggest objection to these Islamic countries was regarding the two prostitute characters. Because both these characters were named after the two wives of Prophet Mohammad.
Iran had issued a fatwa
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa of death against Rushdie over The Satanic Verses. After Khomeini’s fatwa, a political and diplomatic crisis arose in the world. Around 59 people around the world were killed in the protests that followed the publication. After this, due to death threats, Salman Rushdie himself remained hidden for 9 years. When Salman Rushdie was once asked if he believed in religion, he said, “It’s like Grandfather, a character from Midnight’s Children, to me.” Salman Rushdie said that if I had to describe this novel in one word, I would say that it is about complete transformation. is about change. It is about the change that occurs when new ideas about a religion come into the world.
While in the midst of the looming shadow of his death, Salman Rushdie said that it was a very scary time and I was afraid for myself as well as my family. My attention was divided and I could not understand what to do?
Rajiv Gandhi was the first to ban the book
The situation had become such that Iran and Britain even broke off diplomatic relations. Actually, Salman Rushdie was getting support in western countries. India was the first country in the world to ban this novel. The book was banned in India within a month of its publication. Then the Prime Minister of India was Rajiv Gandhi. There was a big protest by Muslims in Mumbai against Rushdie. Twelve people were killed and more than 40 were injured in the police action on this demonstration. After this Pakistan and many other Islamic countries banned it. This book was also banned in South Africa.
Delhi’s Shahi Imam supported Iran
When the fatwa was issued on Salman Rushdie, Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid Abdullah Bukhari also supported the fatwa and incited people to kill Rushdie. Not only this, he had also announced a reward for this. However, during this time some of the world’s Muslim leaders were appealing for restraint, while others were in support of Iran’s Ayatollah. Salman had apologized expressing deep condolences for hurting the Muslims. Still, this had no effect on the Ayatollah and he again issued a fatwa to kill Salman Rushdie. Very few people know that the translator who translated this book into Japanese has also been murdered.
Deadly attack happened in 2022
Even today there is resentment against Salman Rushdie among extremist Muslims regarding this book. In fact, in 2017, Khomeini’s successor in Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said in a statement that the fatwa of Salman Rushdie’s death is still in effect. After which in August 2022, Salman Rushdie was fatally attacked with a knife in New York. While going towards the stage to deliver a speech in a literary program, he was fatally attacked by a youth. One of his eyes and liver were damaged in the attack.
A few days ago in May 2023, Salman Rushdie was seen in an event in America. During this he said that I am very happy that I am present among all of you. There was also a possibility of not coming back the way it happened to me, but I came. During the event, PEN America honored Salman with the PEN Centenary Courage Award.