Sunday, 16 February 2014

Book banning – freedom of speech in India

The book in question is Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus: An Alternative History. The Shiksha Bachao Aandolan [Save Education Movement], a small Hindu group, claimed in its lawsuit that the book’s focus was sexual and “denigrated Hindus and show[s] their religion in poor light.” …
In a statement, Doniger said she did not blame Penguin Books, India, for yanking her book. She said the publisher had defended it in courts for four years. She added:
“They were finally defeated by the true villain of this piece—the Indian law that makes it a criminal rather than civil offense to publish a book that offends any Hindu, a law that jeopardizes the physical safety of any publisher, no matter how ludicrous the accusation brought against a book.”
The author also told NPR’s Robert Siegel on Friday that while she thinks the law should be changed, she is gratified by the reaction to the withdrawal of the book.”If the purpose of these gentlemen was to keep people from buying my book and reading it, it has backfired quite wonderfully,” she told Robert.
“The book is much more popular than it ever would have been before. … Copies are circulating in India and Kindle is available in India.”There’s just all sorts of ways that one can get a book. It’s not like the bad, old days when you had to smuggle a copy of Ulysses from Paris. One can read this book in all sorts of ways.”
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