File image of senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid | Commons
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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Thursday dismissed a petition seeking a ban on Congress leader and former Union minister Salman Khurshid’s new book ‘Sunrise Over Ayodhya: Nationhood in Our Times’.

While hearing the petition, Justice Yashwant Varma remarked, “Ask people not to buy the book or read it…Tell everyone the book is badly authored. Ask them to read something better. What can we do if people are so sensitive? Nobody has asked them to read it.”

“What can we do if people are feeling this? If they don’t like the passage they can skip the chapter. They could have shut their eyes if they are feeling hurt,” the judge added.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Delhi-based lawyer Vineet Jindal, through advocate Raj Kishor Choudhary, demanding a ban on the sale, purchase and circulation of the book, and a direction to stop its publication in any form — print or digital. The book allegedly compares a “robust version” of Hindutva with the Islamic State and Boko Haram.

‘Defamatory for Hindu community’

The petition, filed earlier this month, had alleged that the statements in the book were defamatory for the Hindu community.

“It is a quite aggravating and defamatory statement for the whole Hindu community and also questions their values and virtues about a society. The equivalence of Hinduism to ISIS and Boko Haram is perceived as a negative ideology Hindus have been following and Hinduism is violent, inhuman and oppressive,” the petition said.

During the hearing Thursday, Choudhary also referred to an excerpt from a chapter of the book. The chapter, titled ‘The Saffron Sky’, had a line which said “Sanatan dharma and classical Hinduism known to sages and saints was being pushed aside by a robust version of Hindutva, by all standards a political version similar to jihadist Islam of groups like ISIS and Boko Haram of recent years.”

He then asserted that lines like these are “causing breach of public peace” and added, “It may be possible that something is not happening today but it may happen tomorrow. Every communal riot in this country has such a backing. This part from the book must go”.

(Edited by Neha Mahajan)

Also read: ‘If you can’t beat them, join them’ can’t be our response to Hindu Rashtra: Salman Khurshid


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