Sir V.S. Naipaul made a party in com­plaint against the event

Deccan Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - SAN­JAY BOHRA | DC JAIPUR, JAN. 24

It seems con­tro­versy and Jaipur Lit­er­a­ture Fes­ti­val (JLF) can’t re­main sep­a­rate for long. Whether it was au­thor Vikram Seth’s sip­ping wine dur­ing his book read­ing, so­ci­ol­o­gist Ashish Nandi’s remark on cor­rup­tion and Dalit lead­ers or Sal­man Rushdie’s par­tic­i­pa­tion, the fes­ti­val has al­ways been in news for the wrong rea­sons.

This year, the lo­cal me­dia tried to rake up a con­tro­versy by re­port­ing that the na­tional an­them was played for a longer du­ra­tion at the open­ing cer­e­mony of the fes­ti­val. On Fri­day, based on the news re­ports, some ac­tivists filed a case against the or­gan­is­ers for dis­re­spect­ing the na­tional an­them. A lo­cal court on Satur­day di­rected the po­lice to probe the is­sue.

The com­plaint against the fes­ti­val or­gan­is­ers — San­joy Roy and oth­ers — also names Nobel lau­re­ate Sir V.S. Naipaul.

“The na­tional an­them must be com­pleted in ap­prox­i­mately 52 seconds but it did not hap­pen at the JLF. It could be be­cause of ig­no­rance and not in­ten­tional but it was dis­re­spect to the na­tional an­them and the or­gan­is­ers should ten- der an apol­ogy so that a clear mes­sage can be com­mu­ni­cated to the peo­ple,” pe­ti­tioner Mad­husu­dan Rathore said.

He al­leged that the na­tional an­them be­ing sung beyond its pre­scribed limit of 52 seconds con­sti­tuted an of­fence un­der the Preven­tion of In­sult to Na­tional Hon­our Act, 1971.

“The court has recorded the state­ment of the com­plainant and di­rected the SHO of Ashok Na­gar po­lice sta­tion to probe the mat­ter and sub­mit a re­port,” the com­plainant’s coun­sel Nem Singh Rathore said.

V.S. Naipaul in con­ver­sa­tion with Far­rukh Dhondy dur­ing the lit­er­ary fes­ti­val in Jaipur on Satur­day. — PTI

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