Penguin blames 'intolerant' Indian laws for pulping of book

Publisher says it was forced to withdraw Wendy Doniger's book The Hindus because of law threatening jail for insults to religionPenguin India has said "intolerant and restrictive" Indian laws forced it to remove a book from sale after it tried to defend an American author's religious history against objections from a conservative Hindu group.The publisher's decision this week to withdraw and pulp all copies of the historian Wendy Doniger's The Hindus: An Alternative History shocked writers and intellectuals in India, with some worrying it was a sign of rising intolerance against dissent in the country.Doniger defended Penguin India in a statement, saying the publisher had battled for four years against a lawsuit filed by the Hindu group Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti (Save Education Movement).The group objected to the book's description of mythological texts as fictional and said it hurt "the religious feelings of millions of Hindus", according to the lawsuit, which also named Doniger and the New-York-based arm of the publisher Penguin Group Inc as defendants.Penguin India said it "believes, and has always believed, in every individual's right to freedom of thought and expression, a right explicitly codified in the Indian constitution", according to a statement from the company released on Friday.It warned, however, that India's penal code would "make it increasingly difficult for any Indian publisher to uphold international standards of free expression".The code,... Continue reading at 'The Guardian'

[ The Guardian | 2014-02-14 00:00:00 UTC ]
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