Rupa ready to withdraw Doniger book, claims SBAS

The publisher has agreed to give a written undertaking on Monday, says SBAS spokesperson

March 09, 2014 11:10 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:26 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti (SBAS) on Sunday claimed that Rupa Publications had agreed to give a written undertaking to withdraw American Indologist Wendy Doniger’s book, On Hinduism , from India and pulp all unsold copies.

However, there was no official word from Rupa Publications or its partner, Aleph Book Company, which had brought out the book in 2013.

SBAS spokesman Rajeev Gupta told The Hindu that he was assured by Rupa Publications that the written undertaking would be given on Monday. “They have been saying this to us orally, but we want a written commitment.”

SBAS is planning to release the undertaking to the media at a press conference in Bangalore. Dina Nath Batra, the petitioner in the case against Penguin India for publishing Ms. Doniger’s The Hindus: An Alternative History , will also be in Bangalore for the announcement.

In both cases, the charge against Ms. Doniger is that she distorted facts to denigrate Hinduism. The Hindus was withdrawn about a month ago in an out-of-court settlement with the SBAS.

Meanwhile, copies of On Hinduism are not available in the market. At least three shops contacted by The Hindu over the past couple of days said the book was “banned” and hence taken off the shelves. Staff at one bookshop said the publisher was not sending fresh copies of the book in view of the controversy that it has generated.

The SBAS had on March 1 given Aleph Book Company time till March 10 to withdraw the book from India. Last week, amid reports that the book had been withdrawn from bookshops in Bangalore, Aleph and Rupa clarified that they were not aware of any such instruction.

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