Authors Hari Kunzru, Amitava Kumar, Jeet Thayil and Ruchir Joshi read some passages from 'The Satanic Verses' on the first day of the festival, after Salman Rushdie pulled out of the event citing death threats.
What I hadn't realised - though it makes sense - is that The Satanic Verses is currently banned in India. Shame on India. How can it pretend to be a liberal democracy when it fails, in such a flagrant way, to protect freedom of speech? Shame on the organisers of the conference for (apparently) halting the readings. Shame on the parliamentarians in India who have protested at the readings and called for arrests of the readers.
This whole episode is yet another disgraceful example of bullying to shut people up. We need to protest against these events at every possible level. Add your voice however you can.