This is not Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus – An Alternative History


“This is not a pipe” (Rene Magritte)


This is not Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus. An Alternative History

None of the following are, either. They are links from which you can download the entire text:

Epub version
pdf version 


 WENDY DONIGER: Finally, 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.

People in India will always be able to read books of all sorts, including some that may offend some Hindus.

And no, this is not a penguin, a notoriously brave bird!

55 thoughts on “This is not Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus – An Alternative History”

  1. Well done. Hope to see a similar link for The Satanic Verses. In the interest of secularism!

    Of course, I already have my smuggled copy! :)

    1. Sure, here you go. Not in the interests of “secularism” (how does putting up either Doniger or Rushdie advance secularism?) but in the interests of democracy and the freedom to read and debate.

      The Satanic Verses

      1. The Satanic Verses link doesn’t work. Downloaded file is damaged and cannot be repaired. Check please.

      2. This book is not banned but withdrawn by the publisher in response to a litigation. So those who did not like this followed the rule of law, legal process and questioned this in court. Now of course when loss is imminent, law does not matter to “false liberals” at all, neither does legal process. So they call it a “ban” to invoke much abused ‘freedom of expression’ as if defamation and abuse can be passed off as ‘freedom and democracy’.

        Making this available violates publishers right and contract with litigant making this illegal to put it up for download in India. If you respect democracy and freedom then you must also respect the copyright of the publisher and their contract with the litigant and law in place in a free and democratic country called India. Of course also you have right put this up for download disregarding all things. However, you can not falsely claim that you are doing so for freedom and democracy while you ignore rule of law. You can not have it both ways. And as far this book, quite derogatory I should say. It does not offend religious sentiments at all but to put it plainly, is very slanderous.

          1. I think even Goebbels of the Third Reich would have been put to shame by your remarkable explanation & understanding of freedom of expression & freedom to read than what you have done. Hitler didn’t ban the Jews, he just withdrew their rights to exist. He was democratically elected too. So what difference does it make whether you ban the book or exert covert pressure on the publishers to withdraw the book. You think the free world out there is so damn stupid that it can’t understand the difference. In a free & liberal universe no court in the world can prevent unfettered access to written content. May be you have not read nor understood about what Wikileaks & the Snowden showdown is all about. Do you expect everyone to just lay down & play dead. Take a hike, read the write up of Doniger on the top before you peddle such outlandish thoughts.

      3. In the first place, nobody has called it a ‘ban’ as you say in your comment. Secondly there is no infringement of the “publisher’s right and contract with the litigant”. Legally speaking, if there was any contract it was between the publisher and the author that has been violated with this threat – which you seem to call the “litigant’s right”. From our past experience we know that such legal cases have always been backed up with violence on the streets. The litigant’s right is not a legal right by any definition.
        In fact, the right that has been violated by the publisher is that of the author, and of the readers who want to read the book in question. Others have given links to critiques to Wendy Doniger’s work, (in the comments below) and that is actually the way the matter should be handled. If you think this is bad scholarship – or biased scholarship, refute it. We will all join in that debate – and who knows, many of us may even agree with you to some extent in our opinion of the scholarship involved. But we have a right to read the work.

        1. Were there any case of Hindu’s burning books..except the one that must have happened after the secularists biased approach? Are you not silent on our religion’s achievements in burning ancient librariea…with a logic (or lack of it) that books are either against Koran or for; Against they are to be burnt; for..they are excess!

        2. Suneerarahman, I do not know who you are and what your religion is but please for heaven’s sake do not try to bring in such unsubstantiated rubbish to kafila. We have always protested against all bans and fatwas – from Salman Rushdie to Tasleema Nasreen, both of which were done under pressure from Muslim hardliners.

      4. Ragu, the publisher has relinquished its India rights. The book is now a part of the commons.

    2. P R Jaipuriar, I tested the link for Satanic verses. It downloaded fine…try again?

    3. Let me quote the legendary English historian Sir Arnold Toynbee’s sage words, ‘ Book-banning or burning has never dissuaded people from reading a book.’

      Sumit Paul, Poona

  2. An appropriately surrealist response to the matter.

    The link currently points to an epub file that is corrupted and can’t be read in any Ebook readers, as far as I can tell (i.e., it is not a functioning version of the Ebook, so don’t bother downloading it and transferring it to your Kindle).

    Well played, Kafila.

      1. Nivedita Menon, Thanks for the pdf link, it works. Thanks to Kafila too. That’s the way to go, cheers.

    1. It is a perfectly welcome step. The more people get curious about it, the more they have undertaken the journey of truth for themselves. They can see for themselves how dubious, self certified writings were passing off for scholarship all along. For anyone who embarks this journey, I recommend reading another book “Invading the Sacred” and the writings of Rajeev Malhotra, SN Balagangadhara et al. They have gone to great lengths to explain what is wrong with Doniger’s works and her academic cartel that came under little scrutiny from outside world so far.

  3. I suggest a public event to read and discuss all the books that have ever been banned in the subcontinent. Those might be the books really worth reading.

    1. Mr Gowhar, I appreciate your suggestion. But the point is: Will the uber-sensitive Muslims accept it? We live in religiously sensitive times and our freedom of expression has been hijacked by extreme religiosity, nay zealotry. In such a dismal scenario, how can you expect to organise a public event where such polemic tomes will be read? I tried this at Al-Azhar, Cairo, and was booted out of the Sunni management of the oldest existing varsity in the world. That I’m still alive is attributed to my stars. In fine, mankind has suffered a lot because of all religions and their concocted gods and goddesses. We’ve no right to call ourselves to be evolved until we do away with all man-made religions and their fabricated deities.

      -Sumit Paul, Poona

    2. Mr Gowhar, there is no point in emphasizing the public reading and discussion of books which are devoid of facts. While I am against banning such books, as that action makes them popular and profitable, one should not be too anxious to eat the forbidden fruit. It has some dangerous consequences, as happened to Adam and Eve in Middle-Eastern mythologies. I am a Hindu, but Satanic Verses did not interest me, as it does not provide me an alternative history of Islam. But if you want its public reading and discussion, that is your preference. And there may be consequences. In my opinion, one should desist from hurting feelings of people on one pretext or the other. It does no good to anyone. A harmonious society cannot be maintained on the basis of unnecessary conflicts.

  4. Long time ago I saw the book in the bookshops and thought of buying it. But I never bought it.
    Few days ago when I saw the news about Penguin’s decision, I hastily downloaded the book fearing that it might become difficult to get the the book in future. But now I realize that they have immortalized the book by trying to ban it.

    1. Thanks, Raghu. This is what we want – a debate on Doniger, based on reading both her work and its critiques. I hope you oppose Penguin’s decision to pulp her book!

  5. Just by the way, please check out the link on the brave penguin too, it’s almost revoltingly cute. But no comments on it, please! Too distracting.

  6. I love the Internet!!! Censorship is now a thing of the past. Sure, I read Satanic Verses long ago (and even bought the hard copy from Amazon). As also, “Why I am not a Muslim” which has been banned in India. Thank you for making “The Hindus – An alternate history” available! I downloaded the Epub and converted it using Calibre to MOBI (Kindle) format. Kafila is doing a stellar job! Thank you for letting us know Penguin has given up its country rights in India and the author is now free to circulate it (for free!) in India. Loved the cartoon of Penguin going Chicken! I only hope this book is indeed as different as it is made out to be and not as tame as Satanic Verses (one of Rushdie’s poorer efforts).

    1. Agreed, The Satanic Verses lacks literary value, you can’t deny the righteous audacity of Rushdie. We need the likes of Rushdie and Dawkins to blast the scourge of god and religion.

      Sumit Paul, Poona

  7. I have downloaded The Hindus from elsewhere but cant get the satanic verses from the link u provided. It says file is corrupted.

    1. I dont understand why this is happening with some of you. I tried the link several times, and it’s downloading fine. Try this link – SATANIC VERSES

  8. Hi.. I m looking for the pdf version of V S Sukthankar’s “On the Meaning of Mahabharata”.. does anyone have ..

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