Publishers Orient Blackswan (OBS), recently received a notice from Dinanath Batra, the convener of Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti (SBAS), for the textbook, Plassey to Partition: A History of Modern India by Sekhar Bandopadhyay, a history professor at the Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, was defamatory and derogatory to the RSS.
Salman Rushdie spoke on India: Religious Freedom and Personal Safety on April 28, 2014 at the 2014 PEN World Voices Festival.
When news first broke of Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti (SBAS) also targeting Wendy Doniger's On Hinduism published by the Aleph Book Company, after its success with getting Penguin Books India to withdraw her The Hindus: An Alternative History, Atul Kothari, co-convenor of SBAS, was quoted by The Sunday Express as saying, “We have been given an oral assurance by the publishers that the sales of the book will be stalled. The publishers have been given a week’s time to provide an assurance in writing, failing which, SBAS would move the judiciary.” He had said that they would wait for a written assurance for a week, failing which the Samiti may take its next “democratic step” to ensure the book is withdrawn.
For those who came in late:
The legal notice sent by Dina Nath Batra to Wendy Doniger, Penguin Group (USA) Inc. and Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd:
Read from Outlook archives:
This is not a case of a ban, or censorship or overt or covert governmental or judicial censorship, this is a case instead of moral policing and an abject surrender by Penguin India, in abdication of their responsibility to stand by their author and fight the legal battle.
Finally, 15 years after the literary feud between Salman Rushdie and John Le Carré erupted in the letters pages of the Guardian in 1997, the latter has told the London Times "that their mutual loathing has finally come to an end."
Back in 1997, Rushdie had accused Le Carré of promoting censorship and had gone on to characterise him as a "dunce" and a " pompous ass.'' Christopher Hitchens too had jumped in the exchange and said that Mr Le Carré 's conduct reminded him " that of a man who, having relieved himself in his own hat, makes haste to clamp the brimming chapeau on his head."
"Two rabid ayatollahs could not have done a better job. But will the friendship last?" Mr Le Carré had countered, pointing out that he was more concerned about saving lives than about Mr Rushdie's royalties, and that Mr Rushdie was ''self-canonizing'' and ''arrogant.''
Mr Rushdie was allowed the last word by the newspaper, and had gone on to say about Mr Le Carré: It's true I did call him a pompous ass, which I thought pretty mild in the circumstances. "Ignorant" and "semi-literate" are dunces' caps he has skilfully fitted on his own head.