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Gujarat govt's ban on Jaswant's book to be discussed in fair

india Updated: Aug 26, 2009 19:46 IST

The Gujarat government's ban on Jaswant Singh's controversial book on Mohammed Ali Jinnah will be discussed on the opening day of the Delhi Book Fair on August 29.

A panel discussion on the ban of Singh's book and the "right to freedom of expression and ideas" will be organised on the opening day, Subas Pani, Chairman and Managing Director of Indian Trade Promotion Organisation, told reporters today.

Minister of State Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid, sociologist Ashish Nandi and great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi Tushar Gandhi are among those expected to participate in the panel discussion. Jaswant Singh could be part of this panel, he said.

R C Govil, President of Federation of Indian Publishers, said, "the matter is relevant and intellectual people would be discussing the topic as to why a book is banned in a democratic society."

"If a book is not liked by a particular section or a particular political party, they should come out with counter- views and express it through books articles and news papers," Govil said adding that banning the book was an "undemocratic way of suppressing independent thoughts".

Asked if Gujarat government's decision to ban the book will have any impact on its sale in the fair, Pani said "it has been banned in Gujarat and will have no bearing (on sales here)," Pani said.