NL Interviews Salman Rushdie

Salman Rushdie speaks to Madhu Trehan about Midnight's Children, the “comic idea” of Saleem, the sense of family being at the centre of life in India, being handcuffed to history, optimism being a disease, the ending of the film, and pickles and indirect kisses.

Salman Rushdie speaks to Madhu Trehan about Midnight’s Children, the “comic idea” of Saleem, the sense of family being at the centre of life in India, being handcuffed to history, optimism being a disease, the ending of the film, and pickles and indirect kisses.

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  • Don’t get excited. Madhu is quoting from Rajiv Malhotra’s book “BEING DIFFERENT”.Everybody should read this book.Many post colonial intellects(i don’t consider them intellects) are using ideas from Rajiv’s book.

    • Madhu

      I would be happy to credit Rajiv Malhotra with what I said except I haven’t read his book. What I said was neither new nor innovative. It is common post-colonial thinking. Incidentally, I don’t know which point you are talking about.

  • Manish

    Very nice interview. It’s always great to hear Salman Rushdie.

  • Aware Indian

    Good interview! Salman Rushdie is a cerebral intellectual and a true ambassador of India. I’d say the opportunity of getting to interview Rushdie was not fully exploited by limiting the entire discussion merely to a movie based on one of his novels! Interestingly, Rushdie was an invitee to successive Jaipur Literature Festivals over the years till last year. This year too he is currently in New Delhi and only a four hour drive away from Jaipur. Why has he been banned from the JLF this time as well? I thought the UP elections had ended and Congress had no more reason to appease and ingratiate itself with the radical minority community for their votes? In any case, their favourite target these days is Kamal Haasan (and his evil film “Vishwaroopam” that must be banned and prevented from being screened!) so the heat is off Rushdie, hmm? 😀 😛 William Dalrymple could at least have tried sneaking in Rushdie for some time this year…. I see the Pakistani delegation proudly and openly strutting around in spite of the protests by patriots. Then again, this is India, and we have a penchant for appeasing and fawning over our own outright enemies even as we persecute and ignore our friends!

    • Madhu

      All the other interviews done on TV covered all that you have written about. Why would anyone want to hear the same trite questions only to hear Rushdie give the same answers? He has dealt with JLF repeatedly for a year now. I took a deliberate call obviously to only focus on the book and film.

  • Very Good Interview! I feel helpless when we talk about partition of india when we talk about kashmir issue in 1990s when we talk about new India. I think it’s unchangeable. but I want to take a side and My intellectual level is not come that far that I can draw a line between right and wrong between fair and unfair. I love to observe different point of view of the people and the situation there were and infact they ‘re now. I hope that one day I’ll get there. But Salman Rushdie is very clear in his words and I love this. I haven’t had the privilege to read midnight children but defiantly I’m looking forward for the movie.
    Finally for the Madhu di- Thank you very much for providing me such a wonderful interview.

  • Chetan Sanghi

    Madhu when i see you conducting an interview i think ths how an interviewer should be.

  • Arjun

    Comment Policy: We encourage discussion and debate in our comments,
    among viewers and writers. However comments that are abusive or personal
    in nature, will be deleted.

    Once I had commented at one of the Times Now Newshour online archived shows and the comment did not show up. I was criticizing and a bit aggressively but without a single abusive word. They never showed the comment. Should I trust these “comment policies”? Do these policies simply mean that “we would show those comments which look comfortable to us”?

  • Roark

    Nice interview…..But I think Mrs Trehan should have widen her horizons to different topics….He is indeed an “irrestible intellectual” for woman….I can see that excitement in Mrs Trehan’s face when she talks about books and authors….I now can believe Mr Trehan’s claim that she packs more books than clothes in her bags while travelling..:)

  • Pallavi

    Its interesting that the book seems like it has liberated us from post colonial writing. But I certainly do not think salman rushdie has liberated us from post colonialism in any way. In fact, to me he seems like the post colonial figure par excellence. Carrying western civilisation in a non-white body. The controversy over satanic verses is actually a fact of the politics of the post colonial world where the values of western civilisation are being seen as legitimate whereas the objections from the non-white countries are being constructed as those that need to be trained into a white-liberal way of thinking. I would suggest a reading of Talal Asad’s work on this controversy for a more rounded view on Rushdie as a figure in the post colonial world.

  • Watching Madhu I regret leaving journalism for architecture… She is just amazing at it…!