Rushdie cancelling Kolkata trip unfortunate: Netaji’s daughter

Saying that religious intolerance was “unnecessary”, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s daughter Anita Bose Pfaff Thursday dubbed as “unfortunate” the circumstances that forced Booker prize-winning author Salman Rushdie to cancel his visit to the city.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of a CII-organised programme here, Pfaff said the Indian National Army founded by her father could be taken by the country as a model for co-existence of various communities and religious groups.

“It is unfortunate that something like Salman Rushdie being not allowed to come to India has happened. Religious intolerance is unnecessary,” she said.

“India can learn from the INA on how different communities and religious groups can co-exist,” she said.

The 65-year-old Rushdie, author of the controversial “The Satanic Verses”, was slated to visit Kolkata to promote Deepa Mehta’s film “Midnight’s Children”, based on his novel, but called off the trip at the last moment.

Hours before Rushdie’s scheduled arrival, Muslim groups under the banner of Milli Ittehad Parishad demonstrated Wednesday morning near the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport against his visit, and only relented after being told by the authorities that he was not coming.