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Penguin Books India's, a publishing house in India, decision to remove the controversial book The Hindus: An Alternative History by scholar Wendy Doniger enraged intellectuals for the company's and complained it was a disregard of freedom of expression.
Voice of America reports that Dina Nath Batra, a member of the conservative Hindu group “Save Education Movement," won a four-year long legal battle against Doniger’s work for its divergent perspective on an ancient religion. Authors like Vikram Sampath believe the publisher’s decision may have dire consequences on future deals.
“What is it that we can put in years and years of our hard work and research into and then realize that one day the publisher himself or herself abandons you in the wilderness?" Sampath said.
According to Business Standard, Penguin India claims they were forced to remove the publication because of an Indian Law that declares any attack on religious feelings a criminal offense.
In a release statement, the company advocated to “respect the laws of the land in which it operates,” despite feelings from critics that a higher court option could have been utilized.
Writers and artists will continue to see road blocks in their work as India undergoes elections in three months’ time.
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