The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Bombay High Court’s verdict lifting the ban on American author James W. Laine’s controversial book Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India, has evoked strong reactions from the Maratha king’s family.
Udayanraje Bhosale, the 13th descendent of Shivaji, said he would not allow a single copy of the book to be published or distributed in Maharashtra.
It was Bhosale, who had initially approached the court seeking a ban on the book.
“The lift on the ban will be a contempt of Maharashtra,” said Bhosale, who is a Nationalist Congress Party Member of Parliament from Satara. He added that he would fight to get all the books by Laine banned. “I am going to raise this issue in the coming Parliamentary session demanding band on the book,” he said.
In January 2006, the Maharashtra government had banned the sale and circulation of yet another James Laine book, The Epic of Shivaji, for derogatory observations on the Maratha warrior king.
Bhosale had moved court for a ban on this book too.
The book was a translation of a 300-year-old Sanskrit epic, Shivbharat, commissioned by Shivaji himself to celebrate his life.
On Friday, after the Supreme Court’s verdict, protests erupted in Satara as several Maratha organisations took the streets and burnt posters of the author, James Laine.