Delhi HC to hear plea seeking to ban Salman Khurshid's controversial new book
The Delhi high court is set to hear today a plea seeking to ban the sale, purchase, and all forms of circulation of ‘Sunrise Over Ayodhya: Nationhood in Our Times’ – the new book by Congress leader and former Union minister Salman Khurshid which triggered extensive outbursts from certain political quarters, particularly over the fact that the author had compared a “robust version” of Hindutva to the jihadist Islam of terror groups such as the Islamic State (IS) and the Boko Haram.
The plea in Delhi high court, filed by advocate Vineet Jindal, calls out Khushid's book for violating “the fundamental right guaranteed under articles 19 and 21” of the Indian Constitution. Other than seeking a ban on the sale, purchase, and all forms of circulation, the petition also strives to ensure that the book is not published henceforth in any form – neither print nor digital.
Khurshid, although went on to say that Hinduism is a “beautiful religion” that he is proud of, unwittingly sparked a nationwide row with the views presented in his book. Even within the ranks of his own party, leaders differ on the debate over religious views. Khurshid's party colleague, Ghulam Nabi Azad, has publicly said that he did not agree with the former on the matter. “The comparison is factually incorrect and an exaggeration,” the PTI news agency quoted Azad as saying.
Khurshid's new book on the Ayodhya verdict was released last week. It explored the Supreme Court's landmark judgment on the Babri Masjid land dispute and made comments on the ideology of the Hindutva.
The controversy heightened to the point that it spawned attempts to vandalise Salman Khurshid's house at Uttarakhand's Nainital last week. Although no one was hurt in the house where only caretakers stay, the unidentified assaulters damaged windowpanes and set fire to a door at the house, according to the police. Khurshid later posted video clips on social media, in which some people appeared to be burning down his effigy and shouting derogatory slogans against him and the Muslim community.