Tag Archives: Dina Nath Batra

दीनानाथ बत्रा और उदार बुद्धिजीवी

दीनानाथ बत्रा की आलोचना में एक और टिप्पणी पहुँचने से किसी भी सम्पादक को कोफ़्त होगी:आखिर एक ही बात कितनी बार की जाए!लेकिन खुद दीनानाथ बत्रा और उनके ‘शिक्षा बचाओ आंदोलन’ को कभी भी वही एक काम बार-बार करते हुए दुहराव की ऊब और थकान नहीं होती. इसीलिए कुछ वक्त पहले वेंडी डोनिगर की किताब ‘एन अल्टरनेटिव हिस्ट्री ऑफ़ हिंदुइज्म’ के खिलाफ मुकदमा दायर करके और प्रकाशक पर लगातार उसे वापस लेने का दबाव डाल कर ‘आंदोलन’ ने जब पेंगुइन जैसे बड़े प्रकाशक को मजबूर कर दिया कि वह उस किताब की बची प्रतियों की लुगदी कर डाले और भारत में उसे फिर न छापे, तो आपत्ति की आवाजें उठीं लेकिन उसके कुछ वक्त बाद ही जब उन्होंने ‘ओरिएंट ब्लैकस्वान’ को 2004 में छापी गई शेखर बन्द्योपाध्याय की किताब From Plassey to Partition: A History of Modern India पर कानूनी नोटिस भेज दी और उस दबाव में मेघा कुमार की किताब(Communalism and Sexual Violence: Ahmedabad Since 1969) ,कई और किताबों के साथ,रोक ली गई तो कोई प्रतिवाद नहीं सुनाई पड़ा. यानी आखिरकार अभिव्यक्ति की आज़ादी के पैरोकार थक गए लगते हैं. Continue reading दीनानाथ बत्रा और उदार बुद्धिजीवी

Demand to Reconsider and Revise Sections 153a and 295a of the Indian Penal Code to Protect Freedom of Expression in India: Concerned Academics and Public Intellectuals

Statement by Concerned Academics and Public Intellectuals: Ananya Vajpeyi, Sheldon Pollock, Partha Chatterjee, Laurie Patton, Romila Thapar, David Shulman and many others

We the undersigned are appalled by the recent settlement reached between Dina Nath Batra for the Shiksha Bachao Andolan and Penguin Books India, to cease the publication of Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus: An Alternative History (Penguin USA 2009; Penguin India 2010), and to withdraw and destroy remaining copies of the book on Indian territory. Continue reading Demand to Reconsider and Revise Sections 153a and 295a of the Indian Penal Code to Protect Freedom of Expression in India: Concerned Academics and Public Intellectuals

An Ice Age for Indian scholarship

These are lonely times for scholarship in India.Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti( SBAS) has claimed yet another scalp in the form of the withdrawal of Wendy Doniger’s book ‘The Hindus:An alternative history’ by its publishers Penguin,India. The author, while ‘angry and disappointed’ by this decision has said that she can understand the plight of her publishers who were fighting a criminal case and not a civil suit. It had serious implications for their physical safety. Fellow scholars and academics are upset and angry that the publishers have caved in.

The question we need to ask ourselves, however is about our own role in this whole affair. There were not too many voices of protest  when the same SBAS forced the Calicut University to remove a poem by an unknown poet from an English language textbook alleging that the poet was a ‘terrorist’. Its editors felt compelled to apologize as they were threatened with a probe into their possible involvement in a conspiracy network to jeopardize national security. Continue reading An Ice Age for Indian scholarship

Pulping Doniger Can Put Penguin in Peril

It was with great anger and sadness that many readers in India heard yesterday of Penguin Books India’s decision to enter into an out-of-court settlement with a group of busy-bodies led by one Dina Nath Batra of the so called ‘Shiksha Bachao Andolan’ (Save Education Movement) – one of the many poisonous heads of the RSS hydra – to recall and pulp all extant copies of Wendy Doniger’s “The Hindus: An Alternative History” (Penguin India, 2009).

Dina Nath Batra (infamous for leading the campaign that led to the withdrawal of A.K. Ramanujan’s essay on the Ramayana from the Delhi University syllabus) and others, through their advocate, one Monika Arora, had filed a suit in a Saket, New Delhi against Wendy Doniger (whom they address, as ‘You, Noticee’) and Penguin Books on the grounds that Doniger’s book offends their religious sentiments. Continue reading Pulping Doniger Can Put Penguin in Peril