The Jaipur Literary Festival is done, dusted and put to bed. At least as far as the media is concerned for they have the elections to dissect now.
So how does it matter if literary enthusiasts were meted out with injustice? Or if the world watched the Indian political class mow down one of its citizens' fundamental rights?
Wonder if we should heave a sigh of relief that the Republic Day went about without untoward ado. Or should we wait for the elections to wind up?
Guess Rushdie's flight developed a Republic Day-cum-poll snag!
It was, nevertheless, interesting to see the fiasco unfold slowly and hit crescendo...Beginning with reports, clips, quotes and misquotes, the climax saw an organiser who wept on the dais and property owner who smiled; authors who read and fled and police who shouted threats... all this amid the Big 'O' effect!
Even when the charming duo (one who hogged the limelight in person and the other by his virtual presence) decided to get on with their routine, our mirch-masala writer bragged on.
Chetan Bhagat creeps into my solitude. He took on a twitter war with Rushdie, possibly after his media announcement of asking people not to treat authors of banned books as heroes carried no fizz.
I'm not even getting into the Freedom of Expression - we lost MF Hussain. Alas! the issue seems to have doused with the great artist. Now an author. The worst is when a fellow artist denounces another. Once, you pardon. Repeated onslaught is offensive. Repulsively offensive. Period.
And to think Chetan Bhagat taking on Salman Rushdie is like an irritating flea niggling atop a jumbo pachyderm! With all due respect to the writer, I believe Bollywood is no bonafide endorsement to a work of literature. Even as I staunchly believe each writer has a genre he or she specialises in, certain books are works of art. And the likes of Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth, Anita Desai, et all produce works of art.
Interestingly even Chetan Bhagat is turning in works of art - only that it’s the hot and erotic art. Checkout the YouTube advertisement for his books.
At least it’s rightly titled ' Do more books'!