NEW DELHI, INDIA, February 12, 2014: US author Wendy Doniger's controversial book "The Hindus: An Alternative History," which had created a stir among various Hindu groups over allegedly "defaming the Hindu religion and freedom fighters," will be pulled out of the Indian market after its publishers decided to "withdraw and recall all the copies from India."
The "amicable settlement" between the petitioner and the publisher was reached following a two year long legal battle in a trial court and a criminal complaint against the defendant.
In a settlement agreement with petitioner Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti, a Delhi-based group, which had filed a civil suit against the book's author Doniger and its publisher, Penguins Book India, seeking an injunction restraining them from selling or circulating the book, Penguin India agreed to "pulp the recalled/withdrawn/unsold copies" at its own cost.
Additional District Judge Balwant Rai Bansal was hearing the civil suit filed in 2011 by Dinanath Batra, convener of Shiksha Bachao Andolan, through his counsel Monika Arora. Along with him, there were five other petitioners including ex-IFS officer O P Gupta, Sharvan Kumar, president, Swami Vivekananda Medical Mission among others.
Talking to TOI, Batra said that he had also filed a complaint on April 29, 2010 in Hauz Khas police station seeking action against the defendants for "gross misrepresentations and printing mistakes in the book-the most offensive of which is to erase Kashmir from Indian Territory even between 600 and 1600 CE long before even the existence of Pakistan".
"The defendants later approached us for a settlement and we agreed. We also informed the court about the settlement agreement," Batra added. Penguin India refused to comment on the matter.
The 800-page book, published in 2009, claimed in its blurb that it is a definitive narrative account of history and myth that offers a new way of understanding one of the world's oldest major religions.
The petitioners, however, in their plea had claimed that the book was based on "unreliable and unauthentic and one sided sources" and is full of biases, generalizations and pre-conceived notions. "That it has not only used and misused but abused Indian history and religion in an undignified manner. It is a mis-interpretation of Hindu dharma and its glorious past. That the defendant along with the author have selected scattered events of their choice and given them their own interpretation," the petition had stated.
For the text of the original complaint to the court:
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/full-text- ... s-book/451419-40-100.html
For a profile of the main petitioner, Dinanath Batra:
http://www.livemint.com/Specials/ZL8M ... omes-the-book-police.html