Uncovered Not just the book, even the cover of Wendy Doniger’s Hindus has ‘hurt’ sentiment
books: banned authors
Banished From The Bookshelves
Six authors tell their stories about what it is like to see their life’s work go waste.
COMMENTS PRINT
banned authors
Banned book: The Polyester Prince: The Rise of Dhirubhai Ambani HarperCollins, 1998
Status: Injunction against the book in 1998
Hamish McDonald
banned authors
Banned book: Jayalalithaa: A Portrait, Penguin, 2012
Status: Permanent injunction against the book in 2012
Vaasanthi
banned authors
Banned book: The Descent of Air India Bloomsbury, 2013
Status: Book withdrawn because of defamation charges
Jitender Bhargava
banned authors
Banned book: Dwikhandita People’s Book Society, 2003
Status: Fatwa against her for her writings. Taslima is banned from entering West Bengal.
Taslima Nasreen
banned authors
Banned book: The Lives of Sri Aurobindo Penguin, 2008
Status: A temporary injunction against the book since 2008
Peter Heehs
banned authors
Banned book: Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India Oxford University Press, 2003
Status: Maharashtra cabinet takes decision to ban the book on January 14, 2004
James Laine

The World Book Fair on in Delhi’s Pragati Maidan was to be the protest ground against the “withdrawing and pulping” of Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus: An Alternative History. On the afternoon of Saturday, February 15, the day the fair opened, there were about a dozen people herded together by the Shiksha Bachao Andolan, the outfit that sought the banning of the book, outside Hall No. 11 where the Penguin stall is, shouting ‘Wendy Doniger Hai Hai’. Some members of the group were reportedly going around urging bystanders to join in their protest to swell up their numbers, pointing out the book is a blot on their religion. Only a bewildered few stayed, most others just walked away.

Across from the Shiksha Bachao Andolan camp, there was another protest group, of intellectuals, academics, liberal thinkers and students, raising slogans against the state and the publisher for ‘banning’ The Hindus, and bravely reading passages from it. Soon enough, as could be expected, the pro-ban group started hurling charges at them, calling them anti-national and traitors. A skirmish ensued, the cops descended and the crowd dispersed. Then the restless Saturday crowd barged into the hall and everything was business as usual.

But we will be poorer by one book less on the shelves.

The Wendy Doniger controversy got headline space and prime time because she was a celebrity writer, the publisher was one of the biggest, and India’s secularism was under attack. But books are mutilated, authors threatened and humiliated, libraries ransacked often enough and all across the country and the news barely makes it to the TV ticker. Nobody can pretty much write anything remotely critical of Hinduism, Islam, Lord Rama, Jesus Christ, the Prophet, Mahatma Gandhi, Chhatrapati Shivaji, Bhimrao Ambedkar, Subhas Chandra Bose, Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, Sonia Gandhi, Narendra Modi, Mamata Banerjee, Jayalalitha, Praful Patel, Dhirubhai Ambani, Subroto Roy and Arindam Chaudhuri.

Here, six authors whose books were banned, taken off the shelves or simply not allowed to print even a single copy due to court injunctions tell their stories about what it is like to see their life’s work go waste.

COMMENTS PRINT
banned authors
Banned book: The Polyester Prince: The Rise of Dhirubhai Ambani HarperCollins, 1998
Status: Injunction against the book in 1998
Hamish McDonald
banned authors
Banned book: Jayalalithaa: A Portrait, Penguin, 2012
Status: Permanent injunction against the book in 2012
Vaasanthi
banned authors
Banned book: The Descent of Air India Bloomsbury, 2013
Status: Book withdrawn because of defamation charges
Jitender Bhargava
banned authors
Banned book: Dwikhandita People’s Book Society, 2003
Status: Fatwa against her for her writings. Taslima is banned from entering West Bengal.
Taslima Nasreen
banned authors
Banned book: The Lives of Sri Aurobindo Penguin, 2008
Status: A temporary injunction against the book since 2008
Peter Heehs
banned authors
Banned book: Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India Oxford University Press, 2003
Status: Maharashtra cabinet takes decision to ban the book on January 14, 2004
James Laine
Follow us on Twitter for all updates, like us on Facebook for important and fun stuff

Translate into:
 


Post a Comment
You are not logged in, please log in or register
If you wish your letter to be considered for publication in the print magazine, we request you to use a proper name, with full postal address - you could still maintain your anonymity, but please desist from using unpublishable sobriquets and handles

PublishedDaily Mail
ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SUBSCRIBE | ADVERTISING RATES | COPYRIGHT & DISCLAIMER | COMMENTS POLICY

OUTLOOK TOPICS:    a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9   
Or just type in a few initial letters of a topic: