Delhi court forces Penguin Books to withdraw Doniger’s controversial book
Dinanath Batra to move court again on Doniger’s another book, On Hinduism
Shri Dinanath Batra, veteran educationist and convener of the Shiksha Bachalo Andolan Samiti, has achieved another milestone. At the ‘young’ age of 84, he forced the Penguin Books India to withdraw all editions of the US writer Wendy Doniger’s controversial book, The Hindus: An Alternative History.
The publisher entered into an agreement before the Additional District Judge Shri Balwant Rai Bansal at Saket Districts Court in Delhi on February 10 to destroy all copies of the book at its own cost within six months.
The agreement, signed between the petitioner Shri Dinanath Batra and others (OP Gupta, Shravan Kumar, Samley Prasad, Mahesh Chander Sharma, Dr Satish Mittal) and the Penguin Books India, made it clear that the said book would not be printed in any form again. Shri Batra had filed this case on March 19, 2011 through his counsel Monika Arora.
Wendy Doniger analysed revered Hindu Gods and Goddess using her widely discredited psychosexual Freudian theories that modern, humanistic psychology has deemed limiting. These interpretations are presented as hard facts and not as speculations. In the process, the beliefs, traditions and interpretations of practicing Hindus are simply ignored or bypassed without the unsuspecting reader knowing this to be the case. Even cover page of the book showed ‘Lord Krishna…sitting on buttocks of a naked woman surrounded by other naked women…in a vulgar, base perverse manner to outrage religious feelings of Hindus.
Doniger’s book has been receiving protest ever since it was published in 2009 with several scholars saying her assertions were ‘unreliable’ and ‘idiosyncratic’ both in India and abroad. This withdrawal of the book clearly signals a rising awareness among the Hindus against the perceived slurs on Hinduism by foreign Indologists.
Commenting over the court ruling the author Wendy Doniger termed the Indian judiciary itself as the main villain. In a statement she said: “They (Penguin) were finally defeated by the true villain of this piece—the Indian law that makes it a criminal rather than civil offense to publish a book that offends any Hindu, a law that jeopardises the physical safety of any publisher, no matter how ludicrous the accusation brought against a book.” She threatened that in the age of Internet, it is no longer possible to suppress a book and the people in India will always be able to read her books of all sorts, including some that may offend some Hindus.
The court ruling shook the secularists so deeply that they are making unending hue and cry in defence of Doniger. But the majority of Hindus are happy. “Wendy must now be exposed in the academic world for motivated research under the garb of intellectual activism. Wendy and likes of her need to be psychoanalysed for their perverted approach in religious studies and declared bias against anything that challenges the Western thought,” said Prof BK Kuthiala, Vice Chancellor of Makhanlal Chaturvedi National Journalism University, Bhopal.
Undeterred over any criticism, Shri Batra and Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti said they would continue to campaign against the author’s other works still on sale in the country.
(1)Delhi High Court ordered the removal of 75 objectionable portions from the history books for classes 6-12 published by the NCERT.
(2)The Union HRD Minister ordered IGNOU to delete all the passages insulting Hindu Gods.
(3)A portion insulting women in the name of Rig Veda was deleted from BA (Pass Course) Sociology Part-I book in Delhi University.
(4)Oxford University Press withdrew the book, Many Ramayanas, an article by AK Ramanajuan, prescribed for Delhi University’s BA (Hons) History students.
(5)Forced the Government of India to withdraw sex education in schools.
(6)Won a case regarding the qualification of Sanskrit teachers in 2011.
And distortion continues in DU
Canard against RSS in BA third year history book
The battle of Shri Dinanath Batra and Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti against distortion of history books seems to be getting longer. Several books being taught in Delhi University have already been withdrawn or banned, but the University seems to have taken no lesson. In history book for BA third year, From Plassey to Partition: A History of Modern India, written by Sekhar Bandyopadhyay, published by Orient BlackSwan, a kind of hate is being developed among the students against Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). See just two passages:
“…Muslim mobilization under the banner of Khilafat generated a sense of inferiority and insecurity among the Hindus, who in emulation of their aggressive Other now started counter-mobilisation. The Arya Samaj started a militant suddhi campaign in Punjab and UP and the Hindu Mahasabha launched its drive towards Hindu sangathan (organization) in 1924; the Rastriya Swayam Sevak Sangh, an overtly aggressive Hindu organization, was also born in the same year. The inevitable result of such mobilization along community lines was the outbreak of a series of riots between the Hindus and Muslims in the 1920s, affecting practically all parts of India.” (Page 335)
“…If the Muslim minorities organized themselves around the rallying symbol of Pakistan and were raising disciplined paramilitary volunteer organizations as the Muslim National Guard,the Hindus did not fall behind in organizing and simultaneously stigmatizing their “threatening Others”. This can be gauged from the growing popularity of the overtly Hindu nationalist organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which focused primarily on the social and psychological construction of the Hindu nation. The number of its volunteers (swayamsevaks) rose from forty thousand in 1938 to seventy-six thousand in 1943 to six hundred thousand by the beginning of 1948. More interesting is the regional distribution of this disciplined and well-drilled volunteer corp. The RSS was most strong in Bihar, the Bombay region, the Central Provinces, Greater Punjab (including Delhi and Himachal Pradesh) and UP. Here the RSS appealed to the students and youth, who were attracted to paramilitary training, were distrustful of Gandhian methods, and nurtured deep anti-Muslim feelings. And the organization was generously patronized by the Hindu Mahasabha leaders, the Arya Samajis and the maharajas of certain princely states where Muslim minorities had of late become articulate and militant.” (Page 452)
There are also some references about RSS on page numbers 422, 428, 452-53, 460 and 463.
Intolerance in the name of freedom of expression
I was shocked and aghast to read the comments of author Wendy Doniger calling Indian Judiciary as the main villainin this case. Equally shocking was the article of Ram Chandra Guha in a newspaper stating that courts have failed to protect artistic rights. Equally stunning was the letter of Arundhati Roy calling usHindu 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 anti-Hindu mindset and holds“we will obey the law, if it suits us otherwise damn it”.
Wendy Doniger wrote in her ill famed book thatSwami Vivekananda and Mahatma Gandhi advised people to eat beef. Mangal Pandey, hero of first war of Independence, 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. 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 Rights 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.
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.
(The writer was advocate for the petitioners in this case)