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Nilanjana Roy to move court against ‘Satanic Verses’ ban


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Jaipur: Editor and writer Nilanjana Roy plans to move court against the ban on Salman Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses”, said a source in the committee that petitioned the Jaipur Literature Festival authorities for revocation of the ban Monday.

Roy has drafted the petition and is to move court, the source said here.

In a petition to the co-director of the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival William Dalrymple Sunday, a group of writers and artists led by Nilanjana Roy sought to support the right of all artists and writers to freedom of expression and revocation of the ban on “The Satanic Verses”.

The petition Sunday said: “We strongly urge the government to reconsider the 23-year-old ban on the Satanic Verses.”

“The Satanic Verses has not incited violence anywhere; others have used the novel’s existence to incite violence to suit their political ends,” thne petition said.

“Within India, in the 23 years since the ban, we have witnessed an erosion of respect for freedom of expression, as artists like M.F. Husain, Chandramuhun Srimantula, Jatin Das, and Balbir Krishan have been intimidated, and works of writers like Rohinton Mistry and A.K. Ramanujan have been withdrawn because of threats by groups claiming to be offended,” the petition added.

India is one of the very few countries in the world where the ban stands, placing the country alongside Egypt, Pakistan, Iran, Malaysia, Liberia and Papua New Guinea, among others, the petition said.

“We submit with respect that there is a democratic need to review and re-examine the circumstances that led to the original ban of the Verses in 1988, which have changed greatly over time,” the petition said.

William Dalrymple was not available for comment.

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