London, Aug. 11 (ANI): Salman Rushdie, the author who lived under a fatwa for a decade after the publication of The Satanic Verses in 1988, spoke about his take on the present day 'culture of offendedness' and said that people have started to define themselves by 'hate'.
The Booker Prize winner novelist on the opening day of the Edinburgh International Book Festival said that one of the characteristics of the present age is people identifying themselves with what they hate which is largely associated with identity politics, where one is invited to define their identity quite narrowly like Western, Islamic, etc.
According to the Independent, Rushdie said that classically people defined themselves with what they love, the place which is home, by family or friends, but today what defines one is what pisses them off.
Rushdie who has had a personal experience of being a hate figure because of his controversial book The Satanic Verses ascribed the rise of hatred to fall of Communism and rise of religious fanaticism leading to people having their own tribalism.
The preposterous response that his book garnered back then, Rushdie said that he did not believe if a book had the power to offend adding that if someone doesn't like something, there is always the option to shut the book.
He said that many of those involved in protests over the book, in which copies were burned in the streets of Bradford, now regretted it, the report added. (ANI)