I was shocked and aghast to read the comments of author Wendy Doniger calling Indian Judiciary as the main villain in this case. Equally shocking was the article of Ramachandra Guha carried by the Times of India stating that courts have failed to protect artistic rights. Equally stunning was the letter of Arundhati Roy calling us "Hindu fanatic outfit", "fly-by-night-outfit" and "fascists" on the one hand and threatening Penguin with protests outside their office on the other hand. All these three reactions displayed the same mindset which is an anti-Hindu mindset that holds: "We will obey the law, if it suits us otherwise damn it."
Wendy Doniger wrote in her ill famed book that Swami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi advised people to eat beef. Mangal Pandey hero of 1st Independence Movement was under influence of bhang, opium, alcohol; Rani Laxmibai was loyal to the British. Shivalinga is a representation of the male sexual organ in erection. Lord Rama said only an idiot like father would give up a good son like him for the sake of pretty women. The map of India is shown without Kashmir.
The objectionable passages are per-se defamatory, objectionable and insulting to our freedom fighters and the Hindu gods. Eminent personalities including former ambassadors, historians, educationists, freedom fighters approached the court of law for deletion of such passages. After four years of legal battle, Penguin agreed to withdraw this book and gave an undertaking to the court to this effect. Hence the withdrawal of this book is an outcome of a valid, legal battle fought by people of eminence in this vibrant democracy.
Further, this lynch mob, and intolerant pseudo-secularists, in the name of freedom of expression, are crying from rooftops and demanding freedom of defamation.
India is governed by Rule of Law which states that law is Supreme and governs the whole country and its people. Article 19 of the Constitution of India states the fundamental Right of freedom of expression which comes with reasonable restrictions in public order, morality, unity and integrity.
But the likes of Arundhati Roy are alien to the concept of Rule of Law. She has been more in the news for being on the wrong side of law and was even held guilty for Contempt of Court. Criminal cases were lodged against her for sharing a platform with separatists and preaching the separation of Kashmir from India. She has questioned the use of the word 'Bharat' for India by Penguin, not realizing that Article 1 of the Constitution of India calls "India, that is Bharat shall be a union of states."
Hence the aforementioned people are damning the Indian Courts, damning the publishing house which stated that it respected all religions and damning the group of eminent, educated people who out of their conviction did not resort to any violence but adopted purely legal, civilized means to approach the Court of law for a legal remedy for their legitimate legal grievances. But these champions of freedom of expressions have taken upon themselves their favourite agenda to attack all those who do not agree with them and who dare to talk in favour of Hindus or the freedom fighters of this country. They are the likes of the American President who openly declared 'Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.' Similarly they declare that either you are with us or you are fascists, extremists and fanatics. This intolerant section has one motto: Damn everyone who does not agree with them in the name of freedom of expression.
I most humbly state that merely getting an International award does not make you Ms Wendy Doniger and Ms Arundhati Roy above the Indian Law and does not give you a right to damn the Indian Courts, Judiciary and all these voices who disagree with you. Further it does not give you freedom to defame the freedom fighters and any religion in the name of freedom of expression.
Advocate Monika Arora
Advocate for Dinanath Batra