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13 Feb, 2014

Why it’s easy to ‘ban’ books in India – Hindustan Times

If any more proof was needed of the nation’s inexorable move towards a Right led by anti-intellectuals virulently opposed to Hinduism’s most admirable characteristic, its openness to a multiplicity of interpretations, Penguin India has supplied it by agreeing to pulp copies of Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus: An Alternative History.

According to these severely intellectually-challenged right wingers – the intelligent ones, sadly, seem to have been shouted down by the rabid mob that yells loudest on social networking – no one should present alternative ideas of anything even remotely to do with Hinduism.

So a tweet about abysmal hygiene and safety at the Kumbh Mela leads, not to a discussion on the need to improve conditions at one of the largest congregations on earth, but a barrage of semi-literate abuse. Of a piece with this, an excerpt of Doniger’s admirable later book On Hinduism in Hindustan Times has a comment thread filled with sexual comments aimed at Doniger.

Read the rest: It’s always a pleasure to burn: why it’s easy to ‘ban’ books in India – Hindustan Times.