Destroy all the books

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. [Read more…]

Wendy Doniger’s statement

Via Salil Tripathi, who shared it via PEN Delhi, Wendy Doniger’s statement on Penguin’s decision.

Statement from Wendy Doniger:

I was thrilled and moved by the great number of messages of support that I received, not merely from friends and colleagues but from people in India that I have never met, who had read and loved The Hindus, and by news and media people, all of whom expressed their outrage and sadness and their wish to help me in any way they could. I was, of course, angry and disappointed to see this happen, and I am deeply troubled by what it foretells for free speech in India in the present, and steadily worsening, political climate. And as a publisher’s daughter, I particularly wince at the knowledge that the existing books (unless they are bought out quickly by people intrigued by all the brouhaha) will be pulped. But I do not blame Penguin Books, India. [Read more…]

Penguin agreed to destroy all the hard copies

This again – Hindu nationalists going after the scholar of mythology Wendy Doniger. They’ve been doing it for years. I did an article/resource stash on Hinduists attacking scholarship and scholars such as Doniger more than ten years ago.

Ill-founded claims are the ones that get backed up with sticks, car antennas, guns, threats, petitions, calls for silencing, fatwas. There is a lot of that sort of thing around. The anger at the American scholar of mythology James Laine and his book about the Hindu king Shivaji is one example. A mob attacked and vandalized the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute in January, destroying books and irreplaceable manuscripts. Scholars sat in tears among the wreckage afterward. In March the state of Maharashtra where the BORI is located sought the help of Interpol in arresting and extraditing James Laine. Other scholars of mythology such as Wendy Doniger and Paul Courtright are the object of threats and worse. [Read more…]