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  #1  
Old February 12th, 2014, 07:08 AM
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Book to be pulped. Free speech curbed??

This court backed settlement to destroy copies of what many (including me) think is an outrageous book, is being termed as free speech being curbed by Liberals and writers in India.

This author, Wendy Doniger, has a history of degrading the Hindu religion. This particular book was challenged on facts and that it hurts religious sentiment.

What do you think about it?

Quote:
Penguin to destroy copies of Wendy Doniger's book 'The Hindus'



All copies of American scholar Wendy Doniger's "The Hindus: An Alternative History", published by Penguin, will be recalled within six months and destroyed as part of a court-backed settlement with a group that called the 2009 book "insulting to Hindus."

Penguin India reportedly agreed to pulp all remaining copies of the book in a pact signed in a Delhi court with the "Shiksha Bachao Andolan." The contents of that agreement, reportedly signed earlier this month, have been leaked on social media and have provoked outrage.

Penguin has reportedly agreed to stop publishing or distributing the book, described in some reviews as a "vivid reinterpretation of Hinduism."

"I am deeply troubled by what it foretells for free speech in India in the present, and steadily worsening, political climate," Wendy Doniger said in a statement. (Read statement)

The capitulation is being linked to mounting legal costs, but many have found it "disturbing" that the global publishing company caved in instead of continuing the fight. While accepting the settlement, Penguin said it "respects all religions worldwide".

Ms Doniger however defended the publishing house, saying, "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."

Historian Ramachandra Guha tweeted, "This is deeply disappointing. Penguin should have appealed in a higher court."

Political commentator Swapan Dasgupta shared that the decision made him "very uneasy", that "ideas & academic studies, however contentious, cannot be handled by censorship."

The Shiksha Bachao Andolan moved court in 2011 arguing that Ms Doniger's book insults Indians, especially Hindus, and is full of factual errors. The fringe group slammed the book as a "shallow, distorted, non-serious presentation of Hinduism filled with heresies and charged that the author's approach was "that of a woman hungry for sex."

In an earlier interview, Ms Doniger had said, "I have a double disadvantage among the Hindutva (pro-Hindu) types. I'm not a Hindu and I am not a male...it's considered unseemly for a woman to talk about sex."

The 800-page book, which was priced at over Rs. 700, is already out of stock in popular online shops but downloadable copies are being circulated on Twitter.
LINK
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  #2  
Old February 12th, 2014, 07:12 AM
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Re: Book to be pulped. Free speech curbed??

Here is the petition against the book.. Please read.


Quote:
SCANDALOUS cover jacket of the book - copy for ready reference at http://www.scribd.com/doc/26565460/Scan-0002

To: Ms. Susan Peterson Kennedy
President ,
Penguin Group (USA)
375 Hudson St,
New York,
NY 10014,
USA

Mr. Mike Bryan,
CEO & President,
Penguin Books Pvt Ltd.
11 Community Centre,
Panchsheel Park,
New Delhi 110 017
India

Dear Ms. Peterson Kennedy,
Mr. Mike Bryan,

The following is a petition from concerned signatories to the Penguin Group asking for an apology for the publication of the factually incorrect and offensive book The Hindus-An Alternative History by Wendy Doniger. We expect Penguin Group to withdraw the book immediately.

The Hindus: An Alternative History is rife with numerous errors in its historical facts and Sanskrit translations. These errors and misrepresentations are bound and perhaps intended to mislead students of Indian and Hindu history.

Throughout the book, Doniger analyzes 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. Doniger makes various faulty assumptions about the tradition in order to arrive at her particular spin. 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. This kind of Western scholarship has been criticized as Orientalism and Eurocentrism. The non Judeo-Christian faith gets used to dish out voyeurism and the tradition gets eroticized.

A. FACTUAL ERRORS

The following are a just a SMALL SAMPLING of examples of the factual errors that run rampant through this disgusting book. By due diligence that is badly overdue from your editors, you can either find for yourself, or we will be glad to direct you to, scholarly references so that you can verify these errors yourself and withdraw this obscenity. [Page number precedes a reference to inaccurate statements in the book.
LINK to read the whole petition
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  #3  
Old February 12th, 2014, 07:26 AM
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Re: Book to be pulped. Free speech curbed??

Some more details from the petitioner..

Quote:
Quoting the excerpts from the book, the petition stated that the author incorrectly stated that "Hindu organizations began holding rallies at the site of Babur's Mosque, campaigning for the rebuilding of the temple despite the absence of any evidence to confirm either the existence of the temple or even the identification of the modern town of Ayodhya".

They also claimed that Doniger, in her book, had maliciously and mischievously written that "the monkey was presumed to be Hanuman, who has become the mascot of the RSS, the militant wing of the BJP".

The petitioners also alleged that Doniger's claim on Mahatama Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda eating "beef" and Jhansi Ki Rani having loyalty for Britishers was equivalent to "defaming the Indian freedom fighters in general".

"That the author and publisher have wantonly indulged in unlawful act by showing photographs of Hindu god namely Lord Krishna sitting on the lap of a naked woman and surrounded by other naked women and thereby have tried to provoke people intending and knowing that it is likely to cause the offence of rioting," the petition added.
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  #4  
Old February 12th, 2014, 07:53 AM
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Re: Book to be pulped. Free speech curbed??

Do you also have any link to the actual book? Unless we read it, how will we know for sure this deserves to be pulped?
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  #5  
Old February 12th, 2014, 08:01 AM
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Re: Book to be pulped. Free speech curbed??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakhi View Post
Do you also have any link to the actual book? Unless we read it, how will we know for sure this deserves to be pulped?
Read the outrageous things she has written, plenty of examples stated by the petitioners. I'm against the book as a Hindu, so I'm not going to be a party to distributing it over the net.
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Old February 12th, 2014, 08:03 AM
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Re: Book to be pulped. Free speech curbed??

Now, literally 'Pulp Fiction' i saw that only a week back.

It is following a familiar debate on whatever little i saw on NDTV ( i do not have usual access to it now). Again we could hear the same arguments one side claiming the Freedom of speech, etc. and the other side claiming, "OK, didnt Satanic Verses get banned in India".

Me says following -
1. First of all the petitioner followed the right way, by using legal remedy rather than threaten to kill the Author or burn bookshops etc.
2. Penguin was smart to do the out of court settlement.
3. Probably the book was not selling, so this has actually aroused interest in the book and we could see copies of it selling in the 'black market'
4. I actually found the topic of the book which has to do with Sex as interesting. Now, recreating a dialog from our ragging -
Senior - Do you know which part of Shiva is Shiva linga?
Me - No*.
Senior - It is his Dick. Imagine, a whole country worshipping one dick. THis shows how sexually open India was, until the peaceful guys came and spoilt the Fun.
Now, if this book follows a similar tone, it would be interesting. again, till this news came out, i did not even know about this book.

* i know, the current generation would find me ignorant, but thats what we were, thouse days
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Last edited by sgars; February 12th, 2014 at 08:06 AM.
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  #7  
Old February 12th, 2014, 10:17 AM
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Re: Book to be pulped. Free speech curbed??

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarv_shaktimaan View Post
Read the outrageous things she has written, plenty of examples stated by the petitioners. I'm against the book as a Hindu, so I'm not going to be a party to distributing it over the net.
I wouldnt really go by what certain snippets extracted from the whole book. It can be very misleading. Its like media attempting to draw attention.
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Old February 12th, 2014, 10:19 AM
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Re: Book to be pulped. Free speech curbed??

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgars View Post
3. Probably the book was not selling, so this has actually aroused interest in the book and we could see copies of it selling in the 'black market'
I wouldnt be fully surprised. Do you remember that book which was written by a young lady? It was in the lines of "I how I got kissed, got a life"...something like that. It was about a young lady wanting to go to Harvard. It was withdrawn for certain reasons but the book sold in the black market faster than it would in book stores.
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Old February 12th, 2014, 10:30 AM
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Re: Book to be pulped. Free speech curbed??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakhi View Post
I wouldnt really go by what certain snippets extracted from the whole book. It can be very misleading. Its like media attempting to draw attention.
well, certain snippets are distorted enough and the author has a history of intentionally misinterpreting Hindu religious texts. But how is this free speech if it hurts sentiments of people?
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Old February 12th, 2014, 10:32 AM
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Re: Book to be pulped. Free speech curbed??

Rakhi, the book is some 800 pages. Do you wanna read it?

I remember you mentioning in your book reviews thread that you (used to?) read during your commute. One of the pleasures of living in the West is good public transportation that allows you to read books.
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Old February 12th, 2014, 10:36 AM
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Re: Book to be pulped. Free speech curbed??

A while back, Salman Rushdie was forced to cancel his appearance at the Jaipur Literary Festival because some Muslim group found something objectionable. Now some Hindu group finds something objectionable. There's always somebody somewhere who is offended by alternate view-points.

I hadn't heard of this book until now, but I don't support book-banning and preventing authors from speaking at literary festivals. Don't read if you don't want to. Why ruin the fun for the rest of us?
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Old February 12th, 2014, 10:39 AM
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Re: Book to be pulped. Free speech curbed??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakhi View Post
Do you also have any link to the actual book? Unless we read it, how will we know for sure this deserves to be pulped?
No offence to Shakti, but here's a download link:

[Oops. Copyrighted book. Link deleted.]

Last edited by sanjayt; February 13th, 2014 at 03:54 AM.
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Old February 12th, 2014, 11:05 AM
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Re: Book to be pulped. Free speech curbed??

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanjayt View Post
A while back, Salman Rushdie was forced to cancel his appearance at the Jaipur Literary Festival because some Muslim group found something objectionable. Now some Hindu group finds something objectionable. There's always somebody somewhere who is offended by alternate view-points.

I hadn't heard of this book until now, but I don't support book-banning and preventing authors from speaking at literary festivals. Don't read if you don't want to. Why ruin the fun for the rest of us?
I am unable to comment on the book part as i have not personally read it. I haven't read any of her books, so i don't know the history here.
Religion is a subject which has to be picked with care, especially if it is about Hindu Gods or about Islam, considering people are really sensitive about this subject.
If you are criticizing, watch out, for, the book can be pulped. If the same author has invested her time in researching Christianity, perhaps she would have made twice the money and fame if she had any interest in money or fame...
Ever heard of Dan Brown being prevented from attending anything at all?
I am not supporting her or criticizing her...will not be able to unless I read the book.
Thanks for the link BTW. But if she did say anything as bad as the media is projecting, all I can say is, she should have seen this coming.
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Old February 12th, 2014, 11:10 AM
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Re: Book to be pulped. Free speech curbed??

If the book is a fiction then anything goes... Our own Har Har wrote a bunch a crap about Aghori Sadhus and what not. Should we ban Har Har for his writing ??


How about banning me for calling Shaktiman a Jerking Moron ?
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Old February 12th, 2014, 11:11 AM
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Re: Book to be pulped. Free speech curbed??

As usual , Sarv Farjiman just making a mountain out of a mole

There aint anything derogatory in the book.Since its an eye opener for the ignorants who comprise India and fighting ignorance is as usual anti India so the book must be pulped.

Out of the 800 pages of this book our man Sarv Farjiman the self acclaimed authority on all things hasnt probably even read 80 pages ie just 10% of the book and is ready with his misguided ,bigoted ,sophistic ,unseeked judgement.

Online life seem to be getting on his nerves.Prozac for our Pal .

This book is a must read. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this page turner .
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