Maybe they will, maybe they won’t

In newer news – the Jaipur Literary Festival says it has not decided not to invite Taslima in future. It’s hedging. It hasn’t decided not to, it hasn’t decided not to not to – it hasn’t decided. Good that it hasn’t, I suppose, but really it shouldn’t be hedging. It should have told the “protesters” to take a hike.

Late on Monday evening, Festival producer Sanjoy Roy said in a statement: “They expressed their anger… I heard them out. Explained we supported minorities in every way. Underscored that we are a platform for all points of view. Agreed that we should consider their request not to reinvite them (Taslima Nasrin and Salman Rushdie).”

This led to speculation on the social media that the popular literary event will not be inviting Nasrin again.

So they put out a statement.

The organisers stepped in to defuse the situation. A tweet from the official Twitter handle of the event said: “Reports of us ‘banning’ @taslimanasreen from future editions of the festival are not true. No statement to this effect has been made.”

On Wednesday morning, Roy tweeted: ” @PTI_News an erroneous statement saying JLF has banned Taslima has been issued by PTI. We have not said this. @taslimanasreen.”

In another tweet, quoting what the organisers said, Nasrin wrote: “Why did @PTI_News publish false news that #jlf has banned me? So good to hear #jlf believes in freedom of expression.”

Festival insiders told IANS that Sanjoy Roy met with the protesters and assured them that their demand will be considered.

“It was done to control the situation and does not mean that we will never invite her again. JLF continues to be an open platform for all kinds of voices,” said an insider.

Nasrin had appeared on the concluding day of the festival in an impromptu session, not disclosed by the organisers earlier.

The session was themed around her latest memoir “Exile”, a cumulative chronicle of her days in Kolkata and the circumstances under which she was, in her own words, “hurriedly shifted, first to Jaipur and then to Delhi, confined to an obscure safe houses, and faced incessant pressure from senior officials and politicians to leave India” and is replete with dark imageries and repeated provocations.

I guess it’s nice of the organizers to give her new material…?

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