Why Salman Rushdie . . . A Footnote from The Killing of an Author

I was just going through "The Killing of an Author," one of the three books of my Freedom Trilogy, and one that often delights me when I reread it, and came upon this Footnote, which made me smile and I must, really must share this with my few readers (there are actually many such passages in this book and in "Impressing the Whites", but this struck me as a wee bit more exuberant--and non-pc-- than the rest):

1.      Why Rushdie, with his literary eminence and wealth, would want to do something so prosaic and academic and policeman-like as edit an anthology of Indian literature and function as doorkeeper, chowkidar, or San Pedro to the gates of his own profession, his own country as it were, beats me. Perhaps it is that Rushdie, even though he has one of the world’s biggest pies all to himself, more pie than he, his wives, his mistresses, their ex-boy friends, and all of their children put together could ever eat, still wants to poke his finger into everybody else’s pie. He wants more prizes (every prize in existence, including the Nobel Prize for Peace, and he’ll angrily thump the table if he’s denied even one). He wants more money, more posts (President of PEN America, U.S. Secretary of State and Chairman of the Arab League if they would give him that), more chelas, more girl friends and wives (and this we have in common: we were both born to have a harem). Such a hugely gifted writer, a writer for the ages perhaps, reportedly a scintillating conversationalist and wit, and yet this greed for power and fame and accolades somewhat diminishes him . . . I wish it hadn’t been so, I wish he hadn’t taken this opportunity to reward his friends and keep out those he perceived as threats. For in doing so, His Cambridgness helped The Constipated Intellectual Brahmins of India, who have always been uncomfortable with an obviously Christian-named subversive Indian writer who does not confine himself to his allotted caste turf, because it hampers their attempts to position, sell, and milk the notion of India the Hindu Exotic Vegetarian Spiritual Yogic Maharajic country—and not, as is the truth, a boisterously diverse country that includes 200 million beefeaters and at least five million dog-eaters. (Arundhati Roy, camouflaged by her more “native” name and desi focus, doesn’t face this problem.) Yes, exoticism sells, and like ghee or gold, fetches more if it is certified 100 percent pure. And the Islamic-Occidental-Agnostic Pope Rushdie’s encyclical (fatwah?) had absolved them from including, in the Indian canon, a writer who makes fun of quasi-Hindu shibboleths (as in “Yoni Goddess”) as well as Christian ones, though not as much as the latter.


This is the kind of  un-repressed, almost irrepressible writing that the Gatekeepers are frightened of, and do not wish to encourage. Yes, they are afraid of people like Salman Rushdie: I'll tell a story, in a future book, of how a rather pompous Indian journalist-cum-socialite was reprimanded for supporting a daringly subversive book of mine, quaked, turned tail, and ran! And this is why, dear reader, I need your help to publish on my own and survive.

I have self-censored many of my books, and many other books lie in wait for publication; but the three books of THE FREEDOM TRILOGY are my free-est books. Please support them (on sale on Kindle for 3 days)!

Please read THE KILLING OF AN AUTHOR, which is available on all these platforms:



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