Salman Rushdie, always controversial for his incisive criticism on the decadent approach of Islam to human life, in his latest novel Shalimar the Clown devoted entirely for a new awareness about religion.
This time too theme has been set against Indian back ground, though some characters are coming from nowhere, especially ambassador Max Ophallus whose origin has several things to do with history and human mobility during trying time of Second World War and the apocalypse followed it. His Jules Verne-journey for an asylum landed him in US .He clawed up to higher positions and his enthusiasm has earned him a coveted place in politics. He became ambassador to India.
Here started the inevitable twist his life in the form of a Kashmiri girl, a folk dancer.In his involvement in India Pak border issue brought him in touch with this girl.She became concubine to him, that would remind the reader how the US imperialistic policies turn nations in such a decrepit condition.She jilted her serenading-lover-turned husband, Shalimar, a burly youth from Kashimir , and moved with the ambassador. His interest in the girl did not last long but she was bearing his seed in her. This love lost youth turned into terrorism preached by Taliban. The terrorist outfits demanded woman to burry themselves in burqua and observe Islamist cannons. So music is banned and the social life in Kasmir was in disarray in its stead there came muslim community life which was a shell.
The seed of Ambassador was growing in Boony’s womb and by that time his lawful wife came to India only to know her pervert husband was mooching around the hips of and Indian girl. There followed pitched emotional fight among the three.Boony now wanted to deliver this misbegotten child.But the ambassador found it difficult to cop up with it for it may tarnish his name and fame In India .Soon media got the wind of it and flared up the nation. The Ambassador had to leave India but his wife got the child of her husband from Boony and named her India. The forlorn lover-turned-terrorist had one thing alone in his mind ,kill the ambassador. He did it in US. The novel is a must read.