Karnad says no chance of apology to Naipaul


MUMBAI –  Noted playwright Girish Karnad, who delivered a scathing attack on Sir Vidia S. Naipaul for his views on Muslims in India at the Tata LitFest on Friday, calling the Nobel laureate ‘stone deaf’ and an ‘unreliable’ writer of non-fiction as far as India is concerned, on Saturday stood by his remarks and ruled out an apology.

“I completely stand by my statement. I haven’t made any mistake, rather I came prepared for it,” Karnad said.

Karnad, who on Friday was invited to speak about his life as a theatre artiste, threw the audience off guard when he came out guns blazing at Sir Vidia.

The writer questioned the decision of the festival organisers to honour the Nobel laureate with the award.

Farrukh Dhondy, a close friend of Sir Vidia, said, “Firstly, Naipaul is not anti-Muslim, unlike what Karnad said. He also said that the Nobel Prize was given to him because he was anti-Muslim. And that, since it was right after the 9/11 attacks, the Swedish committee wanted to express their anti-Muslim sentiments by honouring him. It’s absurd; not the kind of remark one expects of a distinguished playwright like him.”

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