Seeking legal opinion to ban Salman Khurshid’s book: Madhya Pradesh minister
The Madhya Pradesh government is seeking legal opinion for banning Congress leader Salman Khurshid’s book “Sunrise Over Ayodhya: Nationhood in Our Times”, state home minister Narottam Mishra said on Friday.
The book, which explores the Babri Masjid-Ram Janambhoomi issue and the legal battle on the matter, has triggered a controversy for saying “a robust version of Hindutva” has pushed aside classical Hinduism. It has equated Hindutva with terrorist groups such as Islamic State, which overran parts of Syria and Iraq before it was routed.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) espouses Hindutva, or Hinduness, as its ideology that defines Indian culture as per the values of India’s dominant faith - Hinduism.
Mishra alleged Congress leaders leave no opportunity to “break Hindutva” and to divide Hindus into caste. He accused Rahul Gandhi of patronising this division. “That is the same idea that Salman Khurshid is carrying forward,” he said. “They leave no opportunity to attack our faith and to divide India into castes. About Hindutva, the Supreme Court has said that it is a way of life but they did not leave Hindutva too. Now, Congress president Sonia Gandhi should clarify with whom she stands.”
Opposition Congress leader Ajay Yadav said it was the BJP leaders, who were defaming Hindutva. “This statement of the home minister is nothing but a political gimmick as people can buy the book online. But by making such statement, the state government is attacking freedom of speech.”
RN Singh, a legal expert in Jabalpur, said, “The state government can ban a book or publication under Section 95 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). The section says the government has the power to ban a book that contains objectionable matter that is intended to promote feelings of enmity and hatred among different communities.”