Punjab language dept relaunches banned book, hurriedly withdraws order | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Punjab language dept relaunches banned book, hurriedly withdraws order

In a move that could snowball into a major controversy, the Punjab Language department re-launched a banned book that contained objectionable remarks against the first Sikh Master Guru Nanak Dev, but fearing backlash was quick to withdraw the order.

punjab Updated: May 25, 2015 08:38 IST
Vishal Rambani

In a move that could snowball into a major controversy, the Punjab Language department re-launched a banned book that contained objectionable remarks against the first Sikh Master Guru Nanak Dev, but fearing backlash was quick to withdraw the order.

The damage, however, has already been done as the book is available at book shops across the state. Some Sikh groups and former deputy speaker Bir Devinder Singh have demanded a criminal case against the publisher--- the language department in this case.

Talking to Hindustan Times, Chetan Singh, director (languages), said “I have marked an inquiry into the entire episode and asked officials to withdraw the book from the market. It was an illogical decision, and we will take action against those who mooted the proposal”.

The director has also briefed higher education and language department minister Surjit Singh Rakhra on the matter.

The book ‘Janam Sakhi Bhai Bala Da Paath-Parmanikaran Te Aalochnatmak Sampadan’ by Dr Gurbachan Kaur was banned by the then Punjab government in 1987 after it noticed certain objectionable remarks against the first Sikh Guru in it.

Sources said after 27 years the language department in a bid to sell the remaining stock of the first edition (1,000 total print order) floated a proposal that the book can be sold by removing the pages that have objectionable content. The proposal was accepted and the book was distributed across the state.

Slamming the language department, former Deputy Speaker Bir Devinder Singh said: “The entire stock of this blasphemous book must be immediately confiscated and destroyed in full public view. Our religious sentiments have been deeply hurt by this sacrilegious book”.

He also demanded a case under Indian Penal Code section 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) against the language department.