New Delhi: Salman Rushdie is a "poor" and "sub-standard writer" who would have remained largely unknown but for his controversial book 'Satanic Verses', according to Markandey Katju, till recently a judge of the Supreme Court.
Katju, who is now the Chairman of Press Council of India, criticised the admirers of India-born author based in Britain, saying they suffered from "colonial inferiority complex" that a writer living abroad has to be great.
"Salman Rushdie dominated the Jaipur Literature Festival. I do not wish to get into the controversy whether banning him was correct or not. I am raising a much more fundamental issue," he said in a statement here.
"I have read some of Rushdie's works and am of the opinion that he is a poor writer, and but for 'Satanic Verses' would have remained largely unknown. Even 'Midnight's Children' is hardly great literature," Katju contended.
He went on to add that the "whole problem with the so-called educated Indians of today is that they still suffer from the colonial inferiority complex. So whoever lives in London and New York must be a great writer, while writers living in India are inferior."
On the controversy surrounding Rushdie during the festival which ended yesterday, he said, "I am not in favour of religious obscurantism. But neither do I wish to elevate a sub-standard writer into a hero."