What is Wendy Doniger case? “Open minded” and so called intellectual and secular people do not know the reality and considered it as attack on “Freedom of Speech”.
She wrote a book titled ‘The Hindus, An Alternative History’ and it was published in India and abroad before 5 years. Headmaster Dinanathji Batra filed lawsuit in court saying it is ‘malicious’, ‘dirty’ and ‘perverse’. Publisher Penguin India settled the case outside the court. What forced the publisher to settle the case outside court and withdraw the book? Let us see the legal aspects of the case.
IPC Section 295A
“Whoever with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of citizens of India, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise, insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class”.
According to Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 295A, if case is proven then publisher would have faced 3 year imprisonment, or fine, or both.
Explanation and Comments:
The essence of the offence under this section that insult to religion or outrage to religious feelings must be the sole, or primary, or at least the deliberate and conscious intention. It is well settled that the offending publication has to be viewed as whole and the malicious intent of the author has to be gathered from a broader perspective and not merely from the few solitary lines or questions.
This section is well within the protection of the clause 2 of Article 19 of COI, which mentions about ‘freedom of speech’. For more information one can read about Rajiv Gandhi banning Salman Rushdie’s book “The Satanic Verses” in 1988s. The letter of publisher after taking decision to withdraw book is attached here.
So, whatever Dinanathji did was according to law and well within the Constitution of India. What is the reaction of people on it? They called it as “Hindu Extremism”.
NOTE: What Wendy’s writing is not matching with facts? It can be read from the below link
Why Wendy Doniger issue is not free speech issue? Read it from below link: