West indian literature

Head of Hyderabad Literary Festival – The New Indian Express

Express press service

The attack on Booker Prize-winning author Salman Rushdie onstage at New York’s Chautauqua Institution on August 12 sent shockwaves through the literary fraternity. “The attack is likely to be remembered as the 9/11 moment in literature,” said Professor T Vijay Kumar, visiting professor at BITS Pilani and director of the Hyderabad Literary Festival.

Stressing that Rushdie had always written about being “handcuffed to history” and identified with the modern, secular and pluralistic idea of ​​India, he believes the assault has symbolic significance for India. India as it celebrates 75 years of independence. “Let’s not forget our own Dabholkar, Pansare, Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh. The fact that they were killed in India and that Rushdie was attacked in the West shows that freedom of expression is under threat everywhere.

Professor Vijay Kumar, who has translated Telugu literary works into English and whose research interests include postcolonial literature and Indian writing in English, had the opportunity to interact with Salman Rushdie in 1983. “I was just a researcher and he was already a famous author The interview was taken in the lobby of what was called the Ritz Hotel (Hill Fort Palace) What was supposed to be a 15-20 minute conversation lasted over an hour,” he recalls.

Rushdie, the author, was very much like his book – witty, anecdotal, insightful, full of digressions and witticisms. “The first thing that struck me were his very arched eyebrows, which make him look amused all the time! The other thing I remember from this episode is plainclothes officers visiting my department to check my background! one of the founding editors of the electronic literary journal Muse India recalled in an interview with TIN.

As a critic and literary figure himself, what does he think of the impact the attack on Rushdie will have on writers’ freedom of expression? “Freedom is all in the mind. Remember Tagore’s ‘Where the mind is fearless’. True art can only be created by a free spirit. Whether or not that creation is allowed in the realm audience is another matter.

True art does not appease you. It shakes you from your smugness. It unmasks the tyrants and shows the Emperor has no clothes,” he replies, adding that he doesn’t think the attack will stop the writers from writing, but that “they will just find roundabout ways to speak.

From his knowledge of Rushdie, the professor is confident that the provocative author will bounce back. “After all, his whole life he wrote the only way he could, with passion and honesty. Riling the mighty and calling their bluff.

When Rushdie was forced into hiding by fatwa in 1989, he responded with the brilliant allegory Haroun and the Sea of ​​Stories. The TEDx speaker says: “Although it may seem perverse, if he overcomes the current crisis, and Inshallah he will, I wonder what the one-eyed Salman with a punctured liver would find!”

To the relief of his admirers, Rushdie is on the road to recovery. His son Zafar Rushdie said: “Although his life-changing injuries are severe, his usual fiery and defiant sense of humor remains intact.”
The 75-year-old novelist’s next book is Victory City, due out early next year. And, it is said to be based on a South Indian epic.

ironic moment
Look at the cruel irony – when the attack took place, the Indian-born British-American novelist was about to give a lecture on artistic freedom in the United States!

The attack on Booker Prize-winning author Salman Rushdie onstage at New York’s Chautauqua Institution on August 12 sent shockwaves through the literary fraternity. “The attack is likely to be remembered as the 9/11 moment in literature,” said Professor T Vijay Kumar, visiting professor at BITS Pilani and director of the Hyderabad Literary Festival. Stressing that Rushdie had always written about being “handcuffed to history” and identified with the modern, secular and pluralistic idea of ​​India, he believes the assault has symbolic significance for India. India as it celebrates 75 years of independence. “Let’s not forget our own Dabholkar, Pansare, Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh. The fact that they were killed in India and that Rushdie was attacked in the West shows that freedom of expression is under threat everywhere. Professor Vijay Kumar, who has translated Telugu literary works into English and whose research interests include postcolonial literature and Indian writing in English, had the opportunity to interact with Salman Rushdie in 1983. “I was just a researcher and he was already a famous author The interview was taken in the lobby of what was called the Ritz Hotel (Hill Fort Palace) What was supposed to be a 15-20 minute conversation lasted over an hour,” he recalls. Rushdie, the author, sounded a lot like his book – witty, anecdotal, insightful, full of digressions and witticisms. “The first thing that struck me, “It’s his very arched eyebrows, which make him look amused all the time! The other thing I remember from this episode is the visit of undercover agents to my department to check my background!” one of the founding editors of electronic literary journal Muse India in an interview with TN IE. As a critic and literary figure himself, what does he think of the impact the attack on Rushdie will have on writers’ freedom of expression? “Freedom is all in the mind. Remember Tagore’s ‘Where the mind is fearless’. True art can only be created by a free spirit. Whether or not that creation is allowed in the realm audience is another matter. True art does not appease you. It shakes you from your smugness. It unmasks the tyrants and shows that the Emperor has no clothes,” he replies, adding that he doesn’t think not that the attack will stop the writers from writing, but that “they will simply find roundabout ways to express themselves. From his knowledge of Rushdie, the professor is confident that the provocative author will bounce back.” After all, any his life, he wrote the only way he could, with passion and honesty. Riling the mighty and calling their bluff. When Rushdie was forced into hiding by fatwa in 1989, he responded with the brilliant allegory Haroun and the Sea of ​​Stories. The TEDx speaker says: “Although it may seem perverse, if he overcomes the current crisis, and Inshallah he will, I wonder what the one-eyed Salman with a punctured liver would find!” To the relief of his admirers, Rushdie is on the road to recovery. His son Zafar Rushdie said: “Although his life-changing injuries are severe, his usual fiery and defiant sense of humor remains intact.” The 75-year-old novelist’s next book is Victory City, due out early next year. And, it is said to be based on a South Indian epic. Moment of irony Look at the cruel irony – when the attack took place, the Indian-born British-American novelist was about to give a lecture on artistic freedom in the United States!


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