PEN vs India

A lot of the bigwigs behind PEN, including The Peg and Rushhour, are putting their weight into this issue with the British/India author stripped of his citizenship because he was being “un-Indian”. I have to say, I’ve let my PEN membership lapse over the years in part because I find a lot of their activism lacks nuance and can occasionally work against social progress by clinging to outdated absolutes around expression and freedom of speech, but I can support this.

Rushdie, Pamuk and Atwood were joined by 260 other writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists, along with PEN America, English PEN, and PEN International, expressing their “grave concern” in a letter to Modi about the move. They are calling for the Indian government to reconsider and “ensure that Aatish Taseer has access to his childhood home and family, and that other writers are not similarly targeted”.

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