Salman Rushdie: India wishes author a 'speedy recovery' two weeks after stabbing

The author was attacked by Hadi Matar on stage at a literary event in New York

People gather at the steps of the New York Public Library in a show of support for Salman Rushdie in New York. Getty
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

India broke its silence on Salman Rushdie and wished him a “speedy recovery”, two weeks after he was attacked in the US.

The Indian-born author was scheduled to speak at the Chautauqua Institution in New York when he was stabbed several times on stage on August 12.

“India has always stood against violence and extremism,” Foreign Ministry representative Arindam Bagchi said on Thursday.

“We condemn this horrific attack on Salman Rushdie and we wish him speedy recovery.”

Mr Bagchi’s comments came days after External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar had given an evasive reaction on the attack on August 15.

“I have also read about the attack,” Mr Jaishankar had said during an interactive session.

“I was busy in my own programme. I also saw that and I think obviously that is something which the whole world has noted. Any attack like this, obviously, the entire world has reacted.”

Rushdie, 75, was stabbed in the neck and torso by Hadi Matar, 24.

He was airlifted to a hospital in Pennsylvania, where he was put on a ventilator and underwent surgery.

While the incident, which was condemned worldwide, led to an outpouring of support for Rushdie, India remained silent.

Rushdie was born in Mumbai to Kashmiri Muslim parents before moving to England.

He became a target after the release of his controversial book, The Satanic Verses, in 1988.

India was the first country to ban the book after widespread protests erupted around the world, resulting in the death of at least 45 people, including 12 in Mumbai.

A Japanese translator of the book was stabbed to death while its Norwegian publisher was shot three times in 1993, but survived.

Rushdie spent years in hiding after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Iran’s supreme leader at the time, issued a decree in 1989, ordering his execution after accusing the author of blasphemy.

Updated: August 26, 2022, 8:01 AM