17.3.12

Two Men and Bloated Egos: Rushdie-Imran

Here's looking at me

Salman Rushdie and Imran Khan are birds of a feather. One ruffles the other’s; the other decides to wing his way based on that. They would both be rather comfortable in the same room with the same company. Both use their position to gain brownie points and sound holier-than-thou. And they both love martyrdom, of being the wronged.

It is not news that Salman Rushdie who milked the Jaipur Literary Festival for all it was worth because of a Deoband fatwa is very much in the country for the India Today Conclave. No protests, no one reading offensive verses to uphold freedom of speech. Where are all those yes-men/women? He was speaking on 'The Liberty Verses: I Am What I Am and That's All That I Am', which is a bit too cutesy for a seminar. It’s what you read starlets say when they drop their clothes.

Rushdie, for all his fame and acumen, has the mind of a starlet. He started by taking a dig at Imran Khan who backed out of the Conclave because, as a statement issued by his office said, “Imran could not be seen with a man who had immeasurably hurt the Muslims.”


I've got a headache
Imran is a full-fledged politician now and was always a covert politician. Despite my reservations about him, one has been aware about who his sympathies are with. When he realised he wanted to get into electoral politics, instead of appealing to the class of people who he belonged to, he decided to use the religion card. He knows that beneath the surface this is what works with the upwardly mobile middle class. With aspirations come guilt. Religion rushes to the rescue.

He would not take risks. And, why should he? He knows that even if he makes ‘fundamentalist’ type statements, he will still be quoted by the liberals. He has nothing to lose.

Rushdie, typically petulant, got himself a halo by speaking on behalf of the “Muslim world”, saying that immeasurable hurt is caused by terrorists based in Pakistan who attack countries like India. “Imran wants us to talk to the lashkar. Immeasurable hurt is caused by those who killed this young man's (Aatish Taseer) father.”

That was a shrewd move, especially the use of “us”. Is this the India that he claimed did not allow him to visit? Is this the India where he had said organisations like the Deoband “blackmail” the government? Is this the India where law-and-order issues force writers to run for manufactured cover and splash their ‘escape’ in every possible avenue?

Which India is he visiting and how does he assume anyone will talk to who Imran Khan wants us to, and I am talking about us who don’t have the time for him or Imran’s nautanki.

Imran has not yet responded, but Rushdie who has no argument to offer and is still basking in the glory of ‘Verses’, resorted to a personal attack:

“Back when he was a playboy in London, Imran Khan's nickname was 'Im the dim'. Now that intellect is in the service of his people.”

Obviously, he considers people like his masters in the west to be huge intellectuals, their playboy credentials notwithstanding. It only goes to show what stuff this man is made of that he needs to go back to college to produce sniggers.

I mean, why is Rushdie wasting his own intellect fighting the “dim”? What about the stunningly brilliant women hanging on his arm at socialite parties? That’s where Imran Khan too chills out during his visits to India.

And for one who has been pontificating about how all ideas must be allowed or else it would be authoritarian, he is being bloody authoritarian. If people are not interested in sharing space with him, it is their choice, their freedom. He should not act like a school master expecting full attendance.

It might help if he stopped banking on Islam to bail him out of his whining about being let down. Get over it. Did Narendra Modi attend the screening of Parzania, the film on the Gujarat riots? Perhaps, he could explore that as well.

As for Imran Khan, I am glad he is not Indian. Wish Salman Rushdie also wasn’t.

(c) Farzana Versey

11 comments:

  1. Salman Rushdie knows his audience very well, it is the white world .He has assumed the role of "progressive educated" muslim and what better hat to wear than Indian one. We are known to be subservient, non argumentative tribe to that world anyway. He sees Imran as a threat to his "position" , he had to pull him down. Imran will still have speaking assignments and sponsored buisness class trips, Salman has to keep earning that ...the man is just trying to keep his position , from where I see it .

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  2. Rushdie is a British citizen of Indian origin. about as Indian as Bobby Jindal .. (which is not at all) ...:D

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  3. tHE QUESTION TO BE ASKEED IS WHY IS Salman Rushdie , Rushing to Die for & In India ? That is the pertinent Koshchan. Indian Rupees & India is the onlu place , where Camembert Cheese & Caviar is still served. The Jew money bags are since broke, bankrupt and gone Bust. So.. Daal Roti dede baba, paapi pet ke liye 2 roti ik aata .. Allah bhali karega Ram Get it. The woprld is a stage & they all are Great Actors .Both Imran & Rushdie. Janta gai tel lene

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  4. JJ:

    You are right about Salman. But, he, more than Imran, gets his speaking assignments and the good life. He does not have to keep earning it, in the sense that even when he has no book up he will still remain literature's poster boy for 'that one' reason more than anything else. Imran, once he feels the heat of electoral politics, will not have much to do, unless the Taliban invite him for their seminars :)

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  5. Harini:

    Yes, yes. Don't spoil the party! Besides, we talk of Chatwal/Venky as our own. Rushdie is still called Bombay Boy.

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  6. Yen:

    Who told you India is the only place where Camembert cheese and caviar are still sold? Oh, you are saying our country is shining and the place for SR types to get their halos, are you? Okay, agreed. But, do not worry, he is not rushing to die in and for India. He has his armour on, and you won't see him on any sort of battlefield.

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  7. FV,

    You leave me spellbound with the myriad ways in which you make Modi a part of your arguments on issues with which lesser mortals like us would find impossible to connect to him!
    --
    QUOTE: "If people are not interested in sharing space with him, it is their choice, their freedom."

    The issue arises out of the death Fatwa. I need not point that out to you. Rushdie's personal ego or halo or other traits are absolutely not relevant here.

    But as they say, a sleeping person can be woken up, not one who is pretending to be asleep. Remember Jaipur. The ogres offering namaz in the festival precincts did not leave the venue in protest. They threatened bloodshed if Rushdie showed up - even on a screen. To qafirs like me, the threat seems absolutely and menacingly real.

    Would be happy to be proven wrong. If you stand guarantee, I would be happy to visit Deoband office with my personal copy of the novel. Shall we take an appointment?

    Any expert haqim in the vicinity there who can put humpty dumpty together again?
    ---
    Rushdie did not proclaim himself to be an enemy of Islam. The position was thrust on him by a bunch of bloodthirsty Mullahs and a meekly compliant (terrified??) ummah. To date, no Muslim majority country or Islamic body has called for calm and opened a debate on the issue. Not even for public consumption. What signals does this send to us qafirs?

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  8. "Islamism and Democracy" - an essay in the latest issue of Frontline magazine
    http://www.frontlineonnet.com/stories/20120406290604300.htm

    QUOTE: "(Islamism and democracy) are inherently incompatible with each other at their core... Islamism as a political ideology is premised upon the total negation of all the fundamentals of pluralist democracy, most importantly the idea of equal citizenship."

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  9. F&F:

    QUOTE: "If people are not interested in sharing space with him, it is their choice, their freedom."

    The issue arises out of the death Fatwa. I need not point that out to you. Rushdie's personal ego or halo or other traits are absolutely not relevant here.


    There was no death fatwa this time, and btw Iran had taken it off in 2000. What I said and you quote is based on the freedom of expression he holds dear. If he can, then so can others choose not to share the same space with him. he has no bloody business to belittle them.

    There were several versions by him about the "ogres". The festival went on. Why did the aam junta not shit in their pants and leave? Wouldn't you do that if this huge crowd of blood thirsty fellows fell on their knees? Who has gained mileage out of this? The Deoband or Sir Salman?


    Would be happy to be proven wrong. If you stand guarantee, I would be happy to visit Deoband office with my personal copy of the novel. Shall we take an appointment?

    I hate the Deoband and their silly fatwas on every darned issue to do with people who live ordinary lives. I am glad you have a copy of the novel and assume you have read it. Why should I stand guarantee for you? Why don't you do it on your own? If Muslims who were killed in the Gujarat riots can live in the same place and are showcased by Modi in his development plan, then this should be a cakewalk for you. because, the Deoband will not bother about a non-Muslim. Unlike our 'democratic' leaders who use/abuse minorities.

    It does not matter what Rushdie proclaims himself to be.

    To date, no Muslim majority country or Islamic body has called for calm and opened a debate on the issue. Not even for public consumption. What signals does this send to us qafirs?

    1. Islamic countries had not all banned the book first.

    2. There are other issues to deal with, and Mr. Rushdie has to grow up and out of his own obsession with a fatwa that is no more valid, and a fatwa is, I repeat, an opinion by a group of clerics. NOT BINDING. So, let him act out his martyrdom again and again.

    3. It is a pity you use this to highlight being 'kafir'. Join the bandwagon. You know, you can think what you want and take your thoughts into whatever pure river you want. And if you want a signal, do visit Gujarat with copies of all the cases that are against Modi. Go there. Find out who will stand guarantee for you then. Do it. Then come and whine here.

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  10. FV,

    That India banned the book before any Islamic country is true and a crying shame. This was the extent to which the wetpants sekulaar govt of the day could go - and went - to appease the fanatics. The one positive fallout of the Ramjanmabhumi agitation has been that govts now think twice before giving in to such blatantly communal demands.

    By the way, the ban still remains in place.
    --
    QUOTE : "... copies of all the cases that are against Modi"

    There is none so far, your honour.
    --
    I know that fatwa is non-binding individual opinion. I only wish the community in question (Won't tarnish the name by, well, naming them) realizes it.
    --
    QUOTE: "If Muslims who were killed in the Gujarat riots can live in the same place.."

    Uh-oh! Did I read that right??

    Guess you wrote this while the residual froth of the Obama article was still foaming! Happens!
    --
    QUOTE : "Deoband will not bother about a non-Muslim"

    How I wish this was true. Unfortunately, they have proved this wrong a number of times. They make no difference between Muslims and non-Muslims when it comes to their own weird outlook on Prophet and affiliated core concerns!
    --
    I have indeed read my copy. I hope you will allow me to post a link here

    MY TAKE ON THE SATANIC VERSES
    http://chalatmusafir.wordpress.com/2009/04/25/my-take-on-the-satanic-verses/

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  11. That was a gaffe, although the tone you use would suggest some major error. I do know that people who are killed cannot continue to live in the same place (although their ghosts haunt).

    Re Deoband, I repeat they are not interested in non Muslims, unless I get examples. I am interested in their puerile attitude towards Muslims, but that obviously does not excite you.

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