New Delhi: Hitting out at former union minister P. Chidambaram calling the decision to ban Salman Rushdie`s ‘The Satanic Verses’ by Rajiv Gandhi-led government in 1989 “wrong”, Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit on Sunday said that the minister could have corrected it at that time.
“If Chidambaram ji had thought banning these books was not correct, he could have corrected it at that time,” Dikshit said.
Chidambaram on Saturday said that the decision of the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi-led Congress Government to ban the book ‘The Satanic Verses’ by British Author Salman Rushdie in 1989 was wrong.
Related Read: Chidambaram says banning ‘Satanic Verses’ wrong, Rushdie asks how many years to correct ‘mistake’
Speaking at an event on Saturday he had said, “I have no hesitation in saying that the ban on Salman Rushdie’s book was wrong…Even 20 years back, I would have said the same thing.”
A major controversy had erupted in 1989 after the release of the book ‘Satanic Verses’ when several Muslims accused it of blasphemy and mocking their faith.
In 1989, the then Congress government had banned the book for its purported attacks on Islam. The same year, Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa against Rushdie and called for his death. This resulted in several failed assassination attempts on Rushdie, who was then placed under police protection.