Did You Know These Books Are Banned In India – III

Banned, Books, Indian, Tales, Pensieve, Feature,

This is possibly the most apt post today. 15th September is International Day of Democracy.

And we are talking about 5 books banned in the largest democracy in the world.

In this third part about banned books in India, I would like to focus on books written by foreign nationals, but on India and its people. It’s surprising how global citizens have researched on Indians and written loads of books about various topics. But most of these have been shunned by India and kept away from its people. It’s up to us to find these books, read them and then judge if they aren’t suitable for us. In my personal opinion, no book should be banned as it’s a work of art and lot of labour on the author’s part. Take a look at these banned ones:

Banned, Books, Indian, Tales, Pensieve, Feature,The Polyester Prince: The Rise of Dhirubhai Ambani (1998)

Written by Australian journalist Hamish McDonald, this book is an unauthorized biography of Dhirubhai Ambani. It was first published in Australia by Allen and Unwin. The original manuscript was never published in India though Harper Collins tried to get it out in print. The book traces the journey of Dhirubhai Ambani and describes his influence in politics with certain allegations against him. An injunction was taken out against the publication in 1998. The manuscript was then cleaned and purged to take out controversial portions and a modified version was published as Ambani and Sons. The publishers probably feared resistance from the Ambani family and didn’t take the risk of getting the book out.

Is it still banned? Yes, The Polyester Prince is banned in India. It is available on Amazon.com at an insane price. However, Ambani and Sons is available in India.

Banned, Books, Indian, Tales, Pensieve, Feature,Five Past Midnight in Bhopal (2002)

The Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984 is considered the worst industrial disaster in the world. Dominic Lapierre and Javier More wrote a comprehensive account of the disaster involving hoards of characters that were a part of it. Their lives changed forever with that incident. It is supposedly a fascinating account of that factory worker or a young bride who would have been alive and kicking if the tragedy hadn’t intruded their lives. Swaraj Puri, the police commissioner of Bhopal during the disaster filed a defamation suit against the authors as the book mentions him. In 2009, the court put an order to stop publication of the book, but the Madhya Pradesh government revoked the order later.

Is it still banned? No, an imported edition is available on Amazon India.

Banned, Books, Indian, Tales, Pensieve, Feature,Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India (2011)

Joseph Lelyveld wrote this biographical book on Mahatma Gandhi suggesting he was bisexual. Now that’s a pretty difficult assertion to be made in India. No wonder he faced immense resistance from the Indian Government. The book is banned in Gujarat and Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily suggested that the book should be banned all over India. However, Gandhi’s grandsons opposed the ban and Veerappa Moily ruled out a ban on 4th March 2011.

Is it still banned? No, paperback is available on Amazon India.

Banned, Books, Indian, Tales, Pensieve, Feature,The True Furqan (1999)

The book is written in Urdu by two authors with pseudonyms Al-Saffee and Al-Mahdee and is translated in English by Anish Shorrosh. It is written on the lines of the Quran but supposedly mocks Islam and names Muhammad as AntiChrist. The Furqan has been described as a Christian propaganda and hence is totally banned in India, including no imports. Some Islamic believers feel that the book is created by American or Israeli Government as part of a propaganda.

Is it still banned? Oh yes, not listed in any online portal. But it is available on Amazon.com.

Banned, Books, Indian, Tales, Pensieve, Feature,Unarmed Victory (1963)

Bertrand Russell wrote this book on the Cuban War and the India-China war. But this book was banned in India because it showed Indian politics in a bad light. Mr Russell exposed his correspondence with eminent political leaders in the book that stirred a controversy.

Is it still banned? No, an imported edition is available on Amazon India.

Do let us know if these books deserve to be banned once you’ve read them. And stay tuned, watch this space for more such books if I can find them.

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