The BBC reports on Penguin’s decision to destroy all remaining hard copies of Wendy Doniger’s book The Hindus: an Alternative History.
Penguin India has agreed to recall and destroy all remaining copies of a book on Hinduism by a leading American academic, according to reports.
Wendy Doniger’s book The Hindus: An Alternative History had been the subject of a legal challenge claiming the text was offensive to Hindus.
Details of an apparent agreement between the Hindu campaign group Shiksha Bachao Andolan and Penguin India have been circulated online.
Penguin India has not yet commented.
Shiksha Bachao Andolan brought a civil case in 2011 against Penguin India arguing that the book was insulting to Hindus, containing what they described as “heresies”.
Since when do courts entertain lawsuits of that kind? Since when does a Hinduist campaign group in India have standing to pulp a book by an American academic on the grounds that it’s “offensive”?
Shiksha Bachao Andolan said it was happy with the settlement but Indian cabinet minister Jairam Ramesh told the Press Trust of India the decision was “atrocious”, adding the book was “not blasphemous by any means”.
The reports have prompted widespread criticism on social media, amid growing concern that religious groups are stifling free speech and artistic expression in India.