Important Dates about Salman Rushdie: Controversial British writer of Indian origin Salman Rushdie was attacked on Friday morning in New York, USA. The attacker attacked him with a knife in his neck. Rushdie had arrived at an event. There the attacker came on stage and attacked the person who interviewed him including Rushdie. Rushdie, covered in blood, was immediately taken by air ambulance to a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, where he is being treated. According to the news agency Reuters, Rushdie is undergoing surgery. New York Governor Kathy Hochul has said that Rushdie is being looked after as needed.
Rushdie first received death threats from Iran in the 1980s for his controversial book, The Sanetic Verses. The book was accused of blasphemy. The book was banned in Iran in 1988. The late Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a religious order to kill Rushdie. Iran had offered a reward of US$3 million to kill Rushdie. Although the Iranian government later distanced itself from Khomeini’s decree, Rushdie has since defended himself, using the pseudonym Joseph Anton to hide.
Timeline of Rushdie’s life so far
Salman Rushdie was born on 19 June 1947 in Bombay, India, now called Mumbai. In 1981 his second novel Midnight’s Children won the Booker Prize. His novel The Sanetic Verses was released in 1988 but soon it was banned in Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan, South Africa and other countries. India had also banned its import.
- In 1989, Iran issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie to be executed for insulting Islam in The Satanic Verses.
- In 1990, Newsweek published an essay by Rushdie. In this essay titled Good Faith, Rushdie tried to defend the novel.
- In 1993, Rushdie took part in the founding of the International Parliament of Writers to Protect Writers and Freedom of Expression. It was dissolved in 2003.
- In 1995, Rushdie made his first appearance in London in a previously announced public appearance after the Iranian fatwa was issued. Prior to this, he had lived in safe houses under the protection of the police for six years.
When Rushdie could not come to India
- In 1999, Rushdie was given a visa by the Indian government to visit the motherland, but this provoked protests from Muslims.
- In 2005, Rushdie’s book Shalimar the Clown was published, in which several narrative threads revolve around Indian-administered Kashmir.
- In 2007, Rushdie was awarded the title of Sir by Queen Elizabeth II of Britain for his contribution to literature. This provoked widespread protests among the Muslim community of Pakistan.
- In 2008, Rushdie’s novel Midnight’s Children was awarded the Booker Prize.
Iran said fatwa still valid
- In 2009, Iran said that the fatwa against Salman Rushdie was now valid.
- In January 2012, Salman Rushdie canceled his plans to attend the Jaipur Literature Festival after protests by some Muslim groups in India.
- In 2012, Rushdie published the memoir named Joseph Anton, which tells the story of his hiding.
- In 2014, Rushdie won the annual Pen/Pinter Prize for his support of freedom of expression, which judges called his generous support to writers.
- Another book by Rushdie, Two Years, Eight Months and Twenty Eight Nights, was released in 2015.
Rushdie becomes a US citizen
- In October 2015, Rushdie warned of new threats to freedom of expression in the West amid tight security at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The Iranian Ministry of Culture did not attend the fair due to Rushdie’s presence.
- Rushdie became a US citizen in 2016 after living in New York for 20 years.
- In 2020, Rushdie was shortlisted for the Booker Prize by Miguel de Cervantes for Quichote, a modernized version of the Spanish epic Don Quixote.
- In 2022, Rushdie was made a Companion of Honor at Britain’s Queen’s Annual Birthday Honours.