Salman Rushdie skulle ha snakket til litteraturfestivalen i Rajasthan via video-link. Men da det kom til stykket sa eieren av lokalene nei av sikkerhetshensyn.

Det var folk til stede som hadde kommet bare for å protestere.

The owner of Diggi Palace, the hotel where the literary gathering was held, told festival attendees it ultimately was his decision to cancel Mr. Rushdie’s address, on the advice of police.

«As the owner of the venue I have taken a decision to not allow the video link to go ahead, on advice of Rajasthan police,» said Ram Pratap Singh. He said that a «large number of people» who opposed the video link were on the property and that others, threatening violence, were marching toward it. «It is unfortunate but necessary to avoid harm,» he said.

Festival organizers said they didn’t agree with the decision of the property owners to prevent the video link.

Mr. Rushdie attended the festival in 2007 and his presence is considered to have helped make the festival, one of Asia’s largest, popular in local literary circles.

Indias forhold til ytringsfrihet er ikke akkurat noe å skryte av. Ytringsfrihet er en frihet som kan ofres.

The government has asked Internet companies such as Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. to pre-screen content that users post to their sites that may be considered objectionable. Those two companies and others also face a criminal lawsuit related to their alleged hosting of user content that constitutes offensive material in contravention of Indian law.

The companies, which deny any wrongdoing, argue that pre-screening is impossible and that they already comply with relevant Indian laws by removing content that authorities ask them to, in accordance with legal guidelines.

Mr. Rushdie’s inability to address the literary gathering is seen as the failure of law enforcement authorities to put in place the necessary measures to help guarantee freedom of expression in the country, critics said.

Rushdie Video Talk Blocked From India Book Festival