Banning Salman Rushdie’s Book Was A Mistake Says P Chidambaram

Twenty-seven years after the then Rajiv Gandhi government banned Salman Rushdie’s controversial novel ‘The Satanic Verses’, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Sunday (November 29) said it was “wrong.” Chidambaram, who was a Minister of State for Home Affairs under Rajiv Gandhi from 1986-89, also said Indira Gandhi had in 1980 admitted imposing Emergency was a mistake. “I have no hesitation in saying that the ban on Salman Rushdie’s book was wrong,” Chidambaram, who was MoS Home Affairs when the ban was imposed in October 1988, said. “If you had asked me 20 years ago, I would have told you the same thing,” he said when asked why it took him so many years to reach such a conclusion. Asked if the Emergency imposed by Indira Gandhi was also wrong, the senior Congress leader said, “Indira Gandhi herself admitted in 1980 that the Emergency was wrong and, if elected to power, she would never impose the Emergency. People believed her and elected her to power again.

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