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A book controversy that ended with the death of around 60 people! Yes,you got it right.All  this just due to one book. So much bloodshed and so many controversies!  Bombs exploded in bookshops in the U.S. and the U.K.; the book’s Japanese translator was shot and killed, its Italian translator was stabbed, its Turkish translator was attacked,  its Norwegian publisher was shot,  and two clerics in Saudi Arabia and Tunisia who spoke out against the fatwa were shot and killed.

It was for writing this book called the Satanic Verses that a fatwa was issued against Salman Rushdie, who is known to keep  his mind in front of  his readers upfrontly and increadibly. The Satanic Verses was accused of being   “against Islam”, the Prophet and the Qu’ran”, the author went underground, living under police protection for almost  10 years.  Asked to choose an alias for police to call him by,  Rushdie plucked a name from the combination of the first names of two writers he loved:  Joseph Conrad and Anton Chekhov!

The prophetic and provocative book made its author a hunted man and unleashed a fury around the world.It was a fundamental fight which Rushdie survived through.  A number of bookstores announced that they won’t sell the book or they will remove it from their shelves. Stephen King went really far to intervene with people to sell the book on Rushdie’s behalf. The novel was said to insult some of the people’s deepest convictions.A number people threatening Salman that he would be condemned to death. So many sitauating leaving England’s best author in a fix.

One of the most controversial issues in the history of literature which it has been and the amount of drama it has unfolded is huge!   He has been hiding himself from these death threats and the author still feels ‘unsafe.’     Whether the novel has been hurting people’s convictions or has been a playful undertaking of free speech I believe it has been proved that one should fear a hostile piece of writing more then a hundred bayonets. The Pen is mightier  then the Sword truly proved!

-MISBAAH MANSURI

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Riya Lokhande

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