Pakistan-born author Tarek Fatah targeted at Delhi Urdu festival

Published: February 21, 2017


Pakistan-born writer Tarek Fatah, now a Canadian citizen, said on Monday he was heckled and attacked by a mob at an Urdu poetry festival in Delhi.

Fatah, 67, said even the police sided with the crowd of some 100 frenzied mainly young crowd until a deputy commissioner of police reached the scene and apologised.

Fatah, a liberal who is also the founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, said he had gone on Sunday to Jashn-e-Rekhta at Janpath as a visitor when he suddenly came under attack.

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“I am happy as a 67-year-old I was able to confront 20-year-old Urdu jihadists. Hundred howling hyenas let loose on me,” he tweeted.

He said the crowds dubbed him as a “kutta” (dog) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and kept screaming “Death to Tarek Fatah”. All the while, although he was ringed by a hostile mob, Fatah refused to leave.

Fatah said he was kicked and attacked from behind by the crowd.
The Canadian alleged that instead of protecting him, the police “manhandled me, claiming I was the reason why the crowd was upset and that I should leave the premises”.

Tarek Fatah thrashed by Indian students

He said when the policemen tried to drag him away, he stood his ground and sat on a chair for some two hours until a senior officer came and apologised for his colleagues’ conduct.

Fatah accused the organisers of abandoning him and said he suspected it were they who sent the mob after him.

A spokesperson for the organisers told new agency IANS: “Ours is an apolitical event. We have a small team and the volunteers were busy organising the lined-up events. When we saw that it was turning ugly we decided to call the police to provide him (Fatah) security.”

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Reader Comments (20)

  • Farouk Khan
    Feb 21, 2017 - 2:19PM

    Mr. Tariq Fateh is welcome to his views. His jeering and offensive persona aside, his views however liberal should stop where my nose starts .One is prepared for a sane and mannerly discussion but when one starts to abuse you in the face and expects applause in the name of liberalism, I am afraid Mr. Fateh has got it wrong. However, in the instant case, I do not know if Mr. Fateh was heckled with or without provocation.Recommend

  • Solat
    Feb 21, 2017 - 2:44PM

    After reading his views about Islam and pakistan i would say he deserve that.Recommend

  • Hamdani
    Feb 21, 2017 - 2:54PM

    Why would this guy be a guest at an Urdu poetry event?

    Why is he bent on attending such functions when his views and ideas reflect venom on the idea behind the very event he is so bent on attending.

    It is not about freedom of expression here, it is like a terrorist visiting the house of bereaved he murdered.Recommend

    Feb 21, 2017 - 3:15PM

    “He is most controversial personality these days , highly tagged as hatred fame on media.”Recommend

  • Sam
    Feb 21, 2017 - 4:25PM

    Attention craver.Recommend

  • Blunt
    Feb 21, 2017 - 4:36PM

    Tit for tat. As you sow, so shall you reap.Recommend

  • FAZ
    Feb 21, 2017 - 5:21PM

    But vibrant India is a liberal society?Recommend

  • M.S.
    Feb 21, 2017 - 6:25PM

    Counter his arguments. Violence proves him right. Recommend

  • sutapa
    Feb 21, 2017 - 7:01PM

    Salman Rushdie, Taslima Nasrin, Tarek Fateh and the next ???Recommend

  • Abdul Rahman Khan
    Feb 21, 2017 - 7:28PM

    By his very appearance he looks like a stinging wasp. Such persons are only publicity seekers. Better ignore them.Recommend

  • Freedom
    Feb 21, 2017 - 8:19PM

    This was India just imagine him walking in Lahore or Karachi streets. People like him are found all over the world. One cannot say anything against his/her motherland no matter how bad it is. I can only spit on his face not talk.Recommend

  • An Indian
    Feb 21, 2017 - 8:50PM

    Tarek Fatah is a great scholar and a very humble man. It’s a shame that he was attacked in India. But you forgot or didn’t read that it was a ‘Urdu’ festival. These animals will go to any extent. Indian government should provide him full security and anyone who threatens him should be arrested or shot.Recommend

  • Billoo
    Feb 21, 2017 - 9:15PM

    @An Indian:
    Why dont you take him and get enlightened with his writtingsRecommend

  • murtaza
    Feb 21, 2017 - 10:00PM

    By the title of news, I thought he was targeted( Killed) in Dehli. Recommend

  • An Indian
    Feb 21, 2017 - 11:31PM

    @Billoo: “Why dont you take him and get enlightened with his writtings”
    In case you didn’t read or cannot read- Mr Fateh is already in India. I also regularly read his writings and watch his shows/talks on TV or YouTube. India is lucky to have such an enlightened person.Recommend

  • Saad Rashid
    Feb 22, 2017 - 3:36PM

    Tarek Fatah unfortunately is an abrasive personality who has decided to gain income from abusing, generalizing and hurting peoples sentiments in the name of journalism. Long gone are the days of gentlemanly discourse and Tarek Fatah is a pioneer in this field.

    My advise to Tarek Fatah would be to focus more on looking for solutions rather then creating conflict between people. Or on the other hand apply for a job in Trump’s cabinet.Recommend

  • Freedom
    Feb 22, 2017 - 4:19PM

    @An Indian: this is the answer I expected from you. You have sheltered an anti Pakistan guy for reasons we all know.Recommend

  • JHJanjua
    Feb 22, 2017 - 4:46PM

    I never heard about him, in fact I saw him on youtube, sitting on a indian News Channel. I did some google about him, I found:
    1: He rarely come for debate, most of the time he likes monologue.
    2: He does not have any of his own ideas or research, most of things he says, will be find in indian history literature.
    3: He has his personal grudges towards Pakistan or Army.
    4: He has very limited knowledge about India, racism in india, Kashmir issue. He kind of single directed man .
    For me he is just like Malala, Salman Rushdi or anyone else. He has to say it what he is saying to earn bread and butter. For example, if you take out Pakistan and Islam from his books, articles etc, he is nothing, follow. He does not have any command on any topic except aforementioned topics.
    It would be better for him, if he thinks Pakistan has this, this, this problems, he should come back to Pakistan and strive to solve these issues. Pakistan has issues, so do India or any other country. If you left your motherland then you don’t have any rights to criticize it. Be the change you want to be.Recommend

  • MJ-Sid
    Feb 23, 2017 - 12:14AM

    Tarek Fatah is a pen for hire. Show him enough moolah and he will start writing and speaking against his current host country. Recommend

  • Mystique
    Feb 23, 2017 - 12:15AM

    Good. He deserve that.Recommend

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