//Rajasthan bans book

Rajasthan bans book

“Content hurts feelings of particular community”

# Second book to be banned by Rajasthan Government
# Ban on first book `Haqeeqat’ accompanied by violent attacks on Christian missionaries

JAIPUR : The Rajasthan Government on Thursday banned a Hindi book `Ve Sharm Se Hindu Kahate Hain Kyon?’ (Why do they say with shame they are Hindus?) on the ground of the book "insulting" the religious sentiments of a "particular community."

A notification declared that each copy of the book, its reprints, translations and documents containing extracts from the book would stand forfeited.

Sohanlal Singaria, retired Additional Director, Education Department, is the author of the book and it has been published by the Rajasthani Granthagar, Jodhpur.

The notification said the State Government was satisfied that the contents of the book were such that their publication "hurts and insults" the feelings of a particular community "with deliberate and malicious intention" and was punishable under Sections 153-A and 295-A of the Indian Penal Code. This is the second instance of a book being banned by the State Government in the wake of controversy over its contents within two months.

It had banned a book `Haqeeqat’ (Reality), authored by M.G. Mathew, in February this year on similar grounds of religious sentiments being hurt.

The ban on `Haqeeqat’ was accompanied by a series of violent attacks on Christian missionaries and institutions, and in particular the Emmanuel Mission of Kota, by the Bajrang Dal and other constituents of the Sangh Parivar.

The Emmanuel Mission functionaries have since been arrested and cases filed against them for allegedly publishing and distributing the book.

While `Haqeeqat’ was written in response to `Bunch of Thoughts’ authored by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh ideologue, M.S. Golwalkar, Hindu radical organisations had pointed out that Mr. Singaria’s book had insulted Hindu gods and denigrated the holy books such as Vedas, Upanishads, Smritis and Ramayana.

Social Welfare Minister Madan Dilawar, who withdrew the registration of Emmanuel Mission institutions after the ban on `Haqeeqat,’ had announced that action would be taken against anyone insulting the Hindu religion irrespective of his or her own religious persuasion.

Civil rights activists had accused the BJP-led Government of victimising Christians on the pretext of a ban on the book and pointed out that no action had been taken against the Hindu authors of a number of books allegedly ridiculing the Hindu faith.