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:
- A 2009 review of the book by Sunil Khilnani: When Shloka Speaks To Shloka
- A 2009 interview with Wendy Doniger: “Ram Was Happy With Sita...Indulging In Every Way...And Then He Threw Her Out”
- A 2009 critique of the book by Aditi Banerjee: Oh, But You Do Get It Wrong!
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.
Salil Tripathi in the Mint: Penguin’s disappointing surrender
Last night I asked Doniger what she thought about her publisher’s decision. Deeply concerned, she told me: “Penguin has indeed given up the lawsuit, and will no longer publish the book. Of course, anyone with a computer can get the Kindle edition from Penguin, NY, and it’s probably cheaper, too. It is simply no longer possible to ban books in the age of the Internet. For that, and for all the people who have expressed outrage over this, I am deeply grateful.”
I also asked Penguin for its response. At the time of writing, Chiki Sarkar, Penguin’s publisher, had not replied.
Some of the reactions and discussions on Twitter: