...Verses and Versions of Power
The author bemoans Bellow's remark on Rushdie trying, unsuccessfully, to do an Ulysses on the Islamic world as Orientalism but that does not take away from the truth of Bellow's assertion. By claiming that Rushdie's pariah-like status has something to do with the West's supposedly blinkered view of Islam, the author does great disservice to the right of free speech. Rushdie is very much an "Indian" writer in the themes that he explores. His exile in the West is a necessity borne out of the vicious and threatening tirade against him. And to compare the Rushdie affair with the situation in Kashmir is patently laughable. Here is s country where an Arundhati Roy can foster secession by urging Kashmiris to "get azaadi (freedom) from bhookey nangey (impoverished) Hindustan" in the heart of Delhi. Forget violence, not an iota of trouble visits her.