This statement expresses the views of the individuals listed below and does not represent the views of the University of Chicago or any of its departments.
We, the undersigned, as students of South Asia, strongly condemn the withdrawal by Penguin Press India of Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus: An Alternative History from distribution in India. We believe that this work has been attacked because it presents a threat to orthodox Brahminical interpretations of Hinduism. We believe that this attack is part of ongoing attempts by upper-caste extremist Hindu forces to stifle any alternative understandings of Hinduism. As students in the United States, we are acutely aware that North American organizations of the Hindu right initiated the protests against Wendy Doniger’s scholarship. Hindu right wing organisations in India have worked in tandem with their North American counterparts to suppress alternative voices in India and too often violently. We are deeply concerned about the alarming increase in attacks on any academic study of Hinduism that does not fit these groups’ narrow and exclusionary vision of Hinduism which is part of their desire to create a Hindu India that excludes the religious minorities of Indian Muslims and Indian Christians. Continue reading Statement by Scholars in North American Universities on Withdrawal of Wendy Doniger’s book
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
Advocate LAWRENCE LIANG has served this legal notice to Penguin Books, India, on behalf of Shuddhabrata Sengupta and Aarti Sethi.
Under instructions from, for and on behalf of my clients Sh. Shuddhabrata Sengupta and Ms. Aarti Sethi, both residing at New Delhi, I serve upon you this legal notice for the following reasons and purposes:
- My client, Mr. Sengupta, is an artist and writer based in New Delhi with a longstanding interest in the comparative history of religions. Ms. Sethi is an anthropologist with a deep interest in Hindu philosophy. Both Mr. Sengupta and Ms. Sethi are avid bibliophiles, ardent supporters of freedom of speech and expression and have in the past been admirers of Penguin Books.
- My clients were delighted when YOU NOTICEE published Wendy Doniger’s “The Hindus: An Alternative History” and as people who have closely followed the scholarly contributions of the said author they regard this book to be a significant contribution to the study of Hinduism. They consider Ms. Doniger’s translations of Indian classical texts and her work on various facets of Hinduism from morality in the Mahabarata to the erotic history of Hinduism as an inspiration for their own intellectual pursuits.
- It has come to the notice of my clients that YOU NOTICEE have withdrawn publication of the book “The Hindus: An Alternative history” pursuant to an agreement entered between YOU NOTICEE and Shri. Dinanath Batra; O.P.Gupta, Sharvan Kumar and a few other busybody etcetera’s on the 4th of February 2014. YOU NOTICEE have further agreed not to sell, publish or distribute the book and also to pulp all unsold copies of the book. Continue reading Legal notice to Penguin Books India for violation of rights of readers
“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:
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.
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