In 2004, the state had registered offences against Laine for inflammatory writing. Deputy CM R.R. Patil had even vowed to seek Interpol’s assistance to get the Minnesota-based professor of religious studies deported to India for legal action. In November ’05, lawyer P.N. Godge, representing Shivaji’s descendant Udayanraje Bhosale, had met Patil to secure a ban on The Epic.... Following an official scrutiny of the contents, the NCP-held home ministry clamped a ban without so much as a cabinet discussion.
Laine feels the use of the word ‘oedipal’, referring to father-son conflict in folklore accounts, may have provoked the ban. "In both books, my interest was not so much the historical Shivaji as the literary portrayal of Shivaji," he told Outlook. "Most of the controversy associated with the other book came because of the historical arguments I made... whereas I was really interested in the way the story was told." Laine seems fed up, Maharashtra is no longer in his ambit, he says. "But," he adds, "I have an abiding interest in India and will work on broader issues in the future."