Petr Roesel asks if the pronunciation of Salman Rushdie that I gave as the “correct” one is an accurate reflexion of the pronunciation in Urdu.
All words borrowed from one language into another, whether names or not, have to be adapted in order to fit the phonology of the borrowing language. Sometimes, when the borrowing language is a well-established literary language and has its own writing system, it prefers to adopt a pronunciation that reflects the spelling as interpreted by the borrowing language. For instance, the word football has been borrowed by French with the English spelling, but with the second syllable pronounced ‘bal’ (as in ballet), whereas Spanish has borrowed a close approximation to the English pronunciation, changing the spelling to fit: f˙tbol.
In the special case of names, the BBC always aimed to make a recommendation that was as close to the native pronunciation as was possible while using mainly English sounds. I am not a speaker of Urdu, but I think I am safe in saying that in Salman Rushdie’s name, the two vowels of the first name are both open, that the second is long while the first is short, and that stress falls on the second syllable. In the family name, the first vowel is back and close rather than open, the second front and close, and the stress is on the first syllable. I would expect a French or German speaker to use a uvular R at the beginning of the family name, a dental L, N and D, and a clear L in the first name, where English speakers would have an approximant R, alveolar L, N, and D, and a dark L. While the French speaker would have no trouble with the initial voiceless S, a German might substitute a voiced sound, although Austrians would find the voiceless sound natural to their dialect of German.
As a reminder, the pronunciation recommended to the BBC by friends of the author is salMAAN ROOSHdi (-al as in “pal”, -oo as in “book”, and the stressed syllables in capitals). It is what you might call “Urdu with an English accent”.