James Laine tenders apology for remarks on Shivaji

James Laine tenders apology for remarks on Shivaji
Mumbai, Apr 27 (PTI) US-based author James Laine today tendered a written apology to the Bombay High Court for making alleged derogatory references to the Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji in his book "Shivaji : Hindu King in Islamic India" even as publishers, Oxford Printing Press, gave an undertaking that the book had been withdrawn from circulation in India.

Laine said that in writing the book he had no intention to denigrate Shivaji or outrage sentiments of any of the legion of his admirers in India and abroad. He also admitted that he had no doubt that Shahji was Shivaji's biological father.

Hearing a petition filed by Oxford Printing Press, Justice S Radhakrishna and R S Mohite, accepted the affidavits of Laine and Oxford Printing Press and deferred the matter till April 29 on the Maharashtra government's plea.

Senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalani and Pranav Badheka, appearing for Oxford Printing Press, filed affidavits before Justice S Radhakrishna and Justice R S Mohite who adjourned the matter to April 29 as the state sought time to consider withdrawal of prosecution against Laine and the publishers.

Expressing regrets, Oxford Printing Press assured the court that the alleged derogatory reference to Shivaji would not be published in all the future editions of the book and informed that book had been withdrawn from circulation all over India since November 21 last year.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Oxford Printing Press and its India representative Mazhar Khan urging for a direction to the Pune police to quash the FIR registered against them.

Laine said "In hindsight, the statement at page 93 of the book which has created a controversy in India is unfortunate but I emphasise that I did not intend or forsee the extent to which his admirers in India would be distressed." The affidavit signed by Laine further said it was obvious that there can be no historical basis for jokes. Thus there is no historical evidence to suggest that Shahji was not the biological father of Shivaji.

"On the contrary, historical evidence suggests that Shahji was Shivaji's biological father and this is also my view which is evidenced by the fact that at several other pages in the book where I have dealt with Shivaji's relationship with his father there has not been slightest innuendo concerning the legitimacy of the relationship," he said while tendering an apology.

Laine said he had directed the publishers to delete the controversial paragraph at page 93 beginning with "the repressed awareness..... and ending with revived Hindu kingdom from all future publications of the book worldwide, as also those still available with the publishers in India.


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