Delhi High Court to hear plea seeking ban on Salman Khurshid's book today

Published on : 08:32 AM Nov 25, 2021

The Delhi High Court will hear the plea seeking a ban on Salman Khurshid's book 'Sunrise over Ayodhya' today. The petition to stop its publication, circulation and sale was filed by advocate Vineet Jindal claiming that the book has compared Hindutva with radical terrorism.

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court will hear the plea seeking a ban on the publication, circulation and sale of the book 'Sunrise over Ayodhya' on Thursday. This controversial book authored by former Union minister Salman Khurshid has kicked up a row for its remarks on Hindutva. The petition will be heard by a bench comprising Justice Rekha Palli.

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The plea was filed by petitioner advocate Vineet Jindal through advocate Raj Kishor Chaudhary, claiming that the book compares Hindutva with radical jihadist groups like ISIS And 'Boko Haram'. The plea states that in the book, a chapter titled 'The Saffron Sky' on page 113 reads 'Sanatan dharma and classical Hinduism known to sages and saints was being pushed aside by a robust version of Hindutva, by all standards, a political version similar to jihadist Islam of groups like ISIS and 'Boko Haram' of recent years."

It further stated that 'the equivalence of Hinduism to ISIS and 'Boko Haram' is perceived as a negative ideology that the Hindus have been following and portrays Hinduism as violent, inhuman, and oppressive.' The plea also comments on the situation of freedom of speech in India stating that 'freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1) of the Constitution goes hand-in-hand with reasonable restrictions that may be imposed under Article 19(2). So, in a country like India, which is perpetually on a communal tinderbox, where religious sentiments run deep, where respect for certain public and historical figures always come accompanied with veneration for their demigod status, it doesn't take much for malice to be coated with a toxic communal hue based on the contents of the book.' Advertisement

Another plea with similar demands has been filed at the Patiala House High Court by Hindu Sena leader Vishnu Gupta, represented by advocate Akshay Agrawal. The petitioner has claimed that the book's contents are the potential to severely hurt the Hindu sentiments and therefore the production, sale and circulation of the book should be immediately stopped.

Earlier in a complaint to the Delhi police, Jindal had demanded an FIR and strict legal action against Khurshid in the matter under 153, 153A, 298 and 505(2) of the IPC, which are cognizable and extremely serious offences.

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