How the Rushdie drama unfolded at JLFAbhishek Mande in Jaipur
The session was supposed to be the jewel in the crown of the Jaipur Literature Festival 2012 -- Salman Rushdie was to address the festival through a video link after weeks of anticipation and controversy.
However, as time passed the possibility of the session happening itself came under serious doubt. Ram Pratap Singh, the owner of the Diggi Palace, said he feared the safety of his family and his property.
Following this, Sanjoy Roy, the festival producer took the microphone and expressed his displeasure at the way the events had turned out. At the very end, Roy broke down and walked off the stage.
His colleague Namita Gokhale asked if William Dalrymple who was accompanying them if he wanted to speak. Dalrymple shook his head.
And just like that, it was over.
Image: Sanjoy Roy, the festival producer, breaks down as he announces that the Salman Rushdie video conference will not happen
How the Rushdie drama unfolded at JLF
Till as early as noon, the video conference was well underway. Sanjoy Roy who had addressed the media on the issue on Monday evening reiterated this earlier in the day.
Rushdie was to be in conversation with news anchor Barkha Dutt at a session in the front lawns of the Diggi Palace in Jaipur.
However as minutes ticked by, the session came under cloud as members of Muslim bodies made their way into the festival venue.
Finally, it was left to Ram Pratap Singh, the owner of Diggi Palace that has been the venue of the Jaipur Literature Festival to step up on the stage and speak up.
Reading out a statement from a paper Singh said he was concerned for his family as well as the property which is has been his family home.
The Singh we saw today was a very different man from the one many of us have known -- cheerful, warm and always smiling.
Tarun Tejpal and Javed Akhtar among others are now in session to 'discuss what just happened'
Image: Ram Pratap Singh, the owner of Diggi Palace, making his statement