In this post I wrote about Elton John’s birthday and it’s time to write about another iconic figure’s birthday – this time one of my favorite authors.
Today June 19, 2007 is Salman Rushdie’s (Or, is it Sir Salman’s?) 60th birthday. What a happy coincidence that he also received knighthood at the hands of Queen Elizabeth just recently. Though certainly not an Indian writer anymore he has been identified with Indian English Literature by default, as he writes mostly about incidents in the subcontinent.
Born and brought up in Bombay, around the posh Pedder Road area of Bombay he migrated to the United Kingdoms and his novel Midnight’s Children (1981) won him the Booker Prize and brought with it international fame. However, when his controversial novel The Satanic Verses was published, Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa decreeing death for Rushdie’s, claiming that the book was blasphemous.
Rushdie went into hiding and was provided the highest category of security; the Japanese translator of his book was murdered and two other translators escaped assassination attempts. In 1998, the Iranian government relented and declared that the decree would not be carried out, and only then did Rushdie come out of hiding.