Have to Respect Laws Even if they are Intolerant: Penguin

Published: 14th February 2014 01:47 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th February 2014 02:38 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

Under criticism for withdrawing US scholar Wendy Doniger's book, 'The Hindus: An Alternative History', from the country, Penguin Books India today said it had an obligation to respect laws even if they were "intolerant and restrictive".            

In its statement, released two days after the controversy broke, the publisher added that it has a moral responsibility to protect its "employees against threats and harassment".   

The settlement reached this week (with the petitioners who objected to the contents of the book saying it hurt the sentiments of Hindus), "brings to a close a four year legal process in which Penguin defended the publication" of the Indian edition of the book.        

Following the out-of-court settlement, Penguin agreed to recall and pulp all copies and ensure that the book was completely withdrawn or cleared from the country within six months.    

"We have published, in succession, hardcover, paperback and e-book editions of the title.       

"International editions of the book remain available physically and digitally to Indian readers who still wish to purchase it," the publisher added.         

"We stand by our original decision to publish the book, just as we stand by the decision to publish other books that we know may cause offence to some segments of our readership.      

"We believe, however, that the Indian Penal Code, and in particular Section 295A, will make it increasingly difficult for any Indian publisher to uphold international standards of free expression without deliberately placing itself outside the law," the publisher said.       

This is an "issue of great significance, not just for the protection of creative freedoms in India but also for the defence of fundamental human rights," it said.

Also Read:

Penguin to Withdraw Doniger's Controversial Book on Hindus

Literati Disappointed With Penguin's Book Withdrawal

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp