The Ad Verse Effect
Well, it was on February 14, 1989 when the then Supreme Spiritual Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, had vociferated a fatwa or proclaimed a Death Sentence against him, calling for his assassination… that was a sensation ladyong for decades. The Iranian leader accused him of apostasy after Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie’s fourth novel – The Satanic Verses – triggered a major controversy, provoking protests from the Muslims in several countries! The Muslim world considered the novel blasphemous. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini passed away on June 3, 1989, but the fatwa is still there!
After spending decades in the shadow of death sentence, the British-Indian novelist and essayist recently said: “I don’t want to live hidden away.” Talking to the media in Paris, Rushdie also said that his life changed forever in 1989 after the Iranian spiritual leader ordered his execution. The novelist stressed that he had no other option, but to spend 13 years living under a false name and police protection! “I was 41 back then, now I am 71. Things are fine now,” he added.
Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
Rushdie left his pseudonym in September 2001, three years after Iran decided to withdraw the warrant issued against him. “We live in a world where the subject changes very fast. And this is a very old subject. Now, there are many other issues and events to be frightened about – and other people to kill,” stressed the author.
Rushdie has been living in New York for the last 20 years. While inaugurating a Literary Festival in eastern France, he said that he led a “completely normal life” in New York. However, the police guarded the office of a French publisher when the author met the press inside the building in Paris.
The Satanic Verses was his fifth book and now, Rushdie has concluded his 18th – The Golden House! His latest one is based on an Indian, who lives in Mumbai. Commenting on his latest publication, the author said that the main character of the story, who, much like Rushdie, reinvents himself in the Big Apple in an attempt to shake off his past…
Asked whether there are similarities between The Satanic Verses and The Golden House, he insisted: “Islam was not a thing. No one was thinking in that way when ‘The Satanic Verses’ was written. One of the things that has happened is that people in the West are more informed than they used to be.”
However, Rushdie still has a penance that the novel was greatly misunderstood. “Really it’s a novel about South Asian immigrants in London,” he was heard telling the media.
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