‘The Hindu’, which had been hitherto a secular national daily, has morphed into a prejudiced outfit in recent years, especially after Praveen Swami started writing its editorials. The editorial “Stand up for Salman Rushdie” published on Jan 19 has concluded with the words: ”It is an insult to the intelligence and good sense of India’s 160 million-strong Muslim community to make out that it wants a prodigiously gifted writer, born in a Muslim family, to be treated as persona non grata in the land of his birth.”
Should the 160-million strong Muslim community in the country be proud of Salman Rushdie, just because he was born in a Muslim family? Salman Rushdie may be one of the world’s great novelists, but he should not have exercised his freedom of expression to hurt the religious feelings of an entire community.
Moreover, as though to make mountain out of a molehill, the editorial has castigated the appeal by the Darul Uloom Deoband to the Union Government not to allow Salman Rushdie as a “fatwa”. One hopes, good sense would prevail upon the sagacious editor of the “The Hindu”, before the prestigious daily slips into the hands of the communal forces!
Syed Sultan Mohiddin