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'Rushdie incident has demeaned Kolkata's prestige'

January 31, 2013 14:41 IST

Condemning the West Bengal government for failing to provide security to writer Salman Rushdie, octogenarian Magsaysay award winning author Mahasweta Devi on Thursday said the fiasco had demeaned the prestige of the city.

"I have heard about the incident. I condemn it. The state government should have welcomed Rushdie and should have made all arrangements for his stay. But what happened had actually demeaned the city's cultural heritage and Kolkata's prestige in the world forum," Mahasweta Devi, once close to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, told PTI.

A visit by controversial author Salman Rushdie to the metropolis to promote Deepa Mehta's film 'Midnight's Children', based on his novel, was called off at the last minute due to security concerns today evoking strong reactions from cultural and literary circles.

Rushdie who travelled to Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai without any problem in the last few days, was to attend promotionals for the film with Deepa Mehta and actor Rahul Bose and hold a press conference.

The author later cancelled his trip following security issues.

Veteran actor and Dadasaheb Phalke awardee Soumitra Chatterjee also condemned the incident.

"It is really a sad incident. I condemn it. I feel that nobody should interfere in freedom of expression," Chatterjee told PTI.

Actor Rahul Bose, who is one of the actors in Deepa Mehta's film, also condemned the incident.

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