The Hindus controversy: ‘Angry’ Wendy Doniger says Indian law true villain

If legal means of publication fail, Internet has other ways of keeping books in circulation: Doniger.

Washington | Published:February 12, 2014 1:43 pm
I am deeply troubled by what it foretells for free speech in India: Wendy Doniger I am deeply troubled by what it foretells for free speech in India: Wendy Doniger

American Indologist Wendy Doniger whose book “The Hindus: An Alternative History” was withdrawn following objections that it hurt sentiments of Hindus is “angry and disappointed” over the development and says the “true villain” is the Indian law.

“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,” Doniger said in her email reaction.

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Penguin India Books Pvt Ltd has informed a Delhi court, which was hearing a case filed against it, that it had reached an out of court settlement with the petitioners and would recall and destroy all copies of “The Hindus: An Alternative History”.

“I am glad that, in the age of the Internet, it is no longer possible to suppress a book. The Hindus is available on Kindle; and if legal means of publication fail, the Internet has other ways of keeping books in circulation,” Doniger said.

“People in India will always be able to read books of all sorts, including some that may offend some Hindus,” said the author who added she “intends to write a longer article” on the issue.

Doniger, currently a Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago said she does not blame the publisher Penguin Books India for the decision to recall and withdraw all copies of her book, published in 2009.

“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,” she said.

She stated that other publishers have just quietly withdrawn other books without making the effort that Penguin made to save her book.

“Penguin, India, took this book on knowing that it would stir anger in the Hindutva ranks, and they defended it in the courts for four years, both as a civil and as a criminal suit,” she said.

“They were finally defeated by the true villain of this piece — the Indian law that makes it a criminal rather than civil offence 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,” Doniger said.

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  1. A
    AK
    Feb 14, 2014 at 9:14 am
    f***ker.. why you pulling islam here.. bloody bramhan.... people like you should be eradicated from this world..
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      AK
      Feb 14, 2014 at 9:14 am
      f***ker.. why you pulling islam here.. bloody bramhan.... people like you should be eradicated from this world..
      Reply
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        Alkesh
        Feb 13, 2014 at 4:27 pm
        If it is the case, then don't you think there are ancient texts about all religions? Is she dare about them? No, because she know Hindus will never do any harm to her, but others will...
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          Alkesh
          Feb 13, 2014 at 4:27 pm
          If it is the case, then don't you think there are ancient texts about all religions? Is she dare about them? No, because she know Hindus will never do any harm to her, but others will...
          Reply
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            Alkesh
            Feb 12, 2014 at 9:16 am
            So, it means that you are not ready to respect the beliefs and faith of over one billion people.. Very Sad.. :-(
            Reply
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              Alkesh
              Feb 12, 2014 at 9:00 am
              So, it means that you are not ready to respect the beliefs over one billion people... Sad.. :-(
              Reply
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                Alkesh
                Feb 12, 2014 at 9:00 am
                So, it means that you are not ready to respect the beliefs over one billion people... Sad.. :-(
                Reply
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                  Anirudha
                  Feb 12, 2014 at 9:24 am
                  Excuse us Wendy!!!!!!!! Its the book house who decided to pull it!! Also, It's stupid paid Indian media that's giving you so much space!! You are a worthless piece of human being who has no idea about anything and based on your history, it's evident that you had a troubled childhood that has culminated in this disgraceful state of your mind!. May be one of your neighbor was a Hindu when your daddy was a8using you and the neighbor didn't help you, hence your current state of mind and tr8sh thinking level.
                  Reply
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                    Anirudha
                    Feb 12, 2014 at 9:24 am
                    Excuse us Wendy!!!!!!!! Its the book house who decided to pull it!! Also, It's stupid paid Indian media that's giving you so much space!! You are a worthless piece of human being who has no idea about anything and based on your history, it's evident that you had a troubled childhood that has culminated in this disgraceful state of your mind!. May be one of your neighbor was a Hindu when your daddy was a8using you and the neighbor didn't help you, hence your current state of mind and tr8sh thinking level.
                    Reply
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                      Anirudha
                      Feb 12, 2014 at 9:23 am
                      Excuse us Wendy!!!!!!!! Its the book house who decided to pull it!! Also, It's stupid paid Indian media that's giving you so much space!! You are a worthless piece of human being who has no idea about anything and based on your history, it's evident that you had a troubled childhood that has culminated in this disgraceful state of your mind!. May be one of your neighbor was a Hindu when your daddy was a8using you and the neighbor didn't help you, hence your current state of mind and trash thinking level.
                      Reply
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                        Anirudha
                        Feb 12, 2014 at 9:23 am
                        Excuse us Wendy!!!!!!!! Its the book house who decided to pull it!! Also, It's stupid paid Indian media that's giving you so much space!! You are a worthless piece of human being who has no idea about anything and based on your history, it's evident that you had a troubled childhood that has culminated in this disgraceful state of your mind!. May be one of your neighbor was a Hindu when your daddy was a8using you and the neighbor didn't help you, hence your current state of mind and trash thinking level.
                        Reply
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                          Anup Mukherjee
                          Feb 12, 2014 at 3:35 pm
                          Let these so called liberal people write against Christianity, and Islam
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                            Brijkhanna
                            Feb 12, 2014 at 12:06 pm
                            Considering Hindus as most tolerant, Peoples like M.F. Hussain, Wendy Doniger are painting objectionable paintings and writing a derogatory, insulting book cannot expect us to remain silent. Had they written book about islam in bad lights they would have seek shelter in safe houses surrounding by US Security Forces. How dare she can write this rubbish book about Hindu Religion. May God give her good sense that she should withdraw this book from E. Book web site, failing that she shall bear the worst consequences.
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                              Brijkhanna
                              Feb 13, 2014 at 8:07 pm
                              My friend you are mistaken, it is my prejudice but a glaring fact. Almost about thirty years back a Danish give a name "MOHAMED" to his dog. There were lots of hue and cry all over the Muslim World, so much so more than a dozen FATWAS were issued against that man from many Countries including India. We are tolerant, we simply raise our voices or do peaceful some times mild violent demonstrations but not self centered Muslim clergy.
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                                Brijkhanna
                                Feb 13, 2014 at 8:07 pm
                                My friend you are mistaken, it is my prejudice but a glaring fact. Almost about thirty years back a Danish give a name "MOHAMED" to his dog. There were lots of hue and cry all over the Muslim World, so much so more than a dozen FATWAS were issued against that man from many Countries including India. We are tolerant, we simply raise our voices or do peaceful some times mild violent demonstrations but not self centered Muslim clergy.
                                Reply
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                                  Bharat
                                  Feb 14, 2014 at 1:53 am
                                  Excellent. This women writes filthy books on Hinduism with minimum understanding of the greatest religion on earth.BTW, No one tried to ban her book. People only went to court peacefully & lawfully to correct certain sentences in the book.Lefties have no problems with ban on Rushdie or Tasleema or other such authors. They go and sit in their deepest dog when the real time to show their liberalism comes around. These cowards are not liberals. They are racist anti-hindus.
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                                    Bharat
                                    Feb 14, 2014 at 1:53 am
                                    Excellent. This women writes filthy books on Hinduism with minimum understanding of the greatest religion on earth.BTW, No one tried to ban her book. People only went to court peacefully & lawfully to correct certain sentences in the book.Lefties have no problems with ban on Rushdie or Tasleema or other such authors. They go and sit in their deepest dog when the real time to show their liberalism comes around. These cowards are not liberals. They are racist anti-hindus.
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                                      bharat
                                      Feb 12, 2014 at 9:55 am
                                      ask her to write such nonsense about Islam and see the reaction of people and media - you do not have guts because you will be hiding for your life then, Hindus are rising and will realise their true position of Vishwa guru. What about Taslima nasrin why media does not brings out her opinion in public - afraid of consequences ?
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                                        Raj
                                        Feb 12, 2014 at 9:51 am
                                        Did you read the book ??Do you think such Taliban like behavior of banning books does not "malign" Hindus ??Hindus malign themselves with such actions and also such comments as yours.
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                                          Raj
                                          Feb 12, 2014 at 9:51 am
                                          Did you read the book ??Do you think such Taliban like behavior of banning books does not "malign" Hindus ??Hindus malign themselves with such actions and also such comments as yours.
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                                            Raj
                                            Feb 12, 2014 at 9:49 am
                                            Those people who actually "READ" the book know that Wendy Doniger has a deep respect for Hinduism but is also a scholar with a respect for truth- not what the ignorant and closed minded people have claimed.She was trying to present an accurate presentation of the facts - both good and ugly so that Hindus today would KNOW the TRUTH and stop following barbaric Taliban like ideals where women are abused, and love are condemned and Taliban like "Hindu police" beat and attack people for expressing love in public.The rights of one person is just as important as the rights of 1 billion people combined. The day we crush the rights of one person or group to "protect" the majority is the day we crush ALL our rights collectively. Trying to force and intimidate people into silence and crushing free speech to protect our collective egos is the worst form of moral cowardice there is.Every person has a right to publish their thoughts, publish their opinions and free speech. Everything and anything can "hurt sentiments" of somebody or the other, should we live in silence ? Democracy doesn't mean the "tyranny of the majority" where no single person can say anything bad about any group and honest debate is illegal and books are burned for "offending" ignorant and closed minded people.
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