JAIPUR LITERARY FEST IN ANTHEM ROW
Sir V.S. Naipaul made a party in complaint against the event
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