Withdrawal of Wendy Doniger’s controversial book “The Hindus : An Alternative History” by its publisher Penguin India has made secular-leftist ‘penners syndicate’ uneasy. They have begun to view it as an affront to, and defeat of, so far unchallenged vicious campaign against Hindu and Hinduism. Penguin is being tormented with sharp challenges veiled in alibi of ‘freedom of speech’. These attacks are piloted by the Indian ‘syndicate’, and is duly supported by their kins abroad. Penguin India responded to this with its view [No Country for Free Speech :: The Hindu , Feb. 15, 2014] …http://t.co/emJGJJzUdu.Penguin accuses the provision in Section 295A of IPC, which it sarcastically terms ‘British-vintage Section’. India, indeed, is being governed today by all the major acts promulgated in 1860, by the British Govt, coolly replicating Irish Penal Code of Ireland, which was another subject-state. So, penguin’s reference to British legacy does not surprise. However, Penguin finds the ‘constraints’ of free-play of speech similar in other countries.
The Hindu has (Feb. 15, 2014) also published a centre-page article protesting withdrawal of Wndy Doniger’s book. Authored by Ratna Kapur, it is entitled-‘Totalising History, Silencing Dissent’. The theme-line encapsulating the thrust of the article is – ‘The agreement by Penguin Books India to destroy all existing copies of Wendy Doniger’s book represents the destruction of the very fabric of Indian culture’…..http://t.co/HZvGkq27LZ. in this article Kapur links the issue of free speech in India to rise of Narendra Modi, and the tasteless/flavourless secular-candy of 2002 Gujrat riots. He also terms it as a fall-out of Hindu upsurge in India. Such reflections highlight the author’s mental bias and vicious political penchant in matters of wide social relevance. What Ratna Kapur voices is a purely political anguish wrapped in intellectual array of catchy ideas and ideals. At the best, Ratna Kapoor’s wails over Penguin episode can be termed lamentations of a defeated soldier of ‘secular syndicate’. Ratna’s presumption that this episode will lead to chaos in Indian culture is exactly contrary to what it actually indicates.
The Hindu (Feb., 15, 2014) has also published a report that an online petition has been initiated in support of Wendy Doniger’s book…..http://t.co/AcM1uZFmEm…. No one can have any objection to any one pursuing legal and formal methods to push one’s demand. But I find it pertinent to comment on one specific demand of this petition. The first demand this petition makes is to ‘reform’ articles 153A and 295A of IPC. The provisions of the two articles are …..
153A. 1[ Promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.– (1) Whoever-
(a) by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, promotes or attempts to promote, on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, disharmony or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill- will between different religious, racials, language or regional groups or castes or communities, or