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Suppression of “The Hindus: An Alternative History”, Mar 12, 2014

March 12, 2014IASEvents0

The Perils of Publishing in India: A Discussion of the Suppression of The Hindus: An Alternative History by Wendy Doniger

Doniger_The_HindusWednesday, March 12, 2014, at 4:00pm
125 Nolte Center

Shortly after its publication by Penguin India in 2009, Dr. Wendy Doniger’s book The Hindus: An Alternate History, became the target of a threat to bring suit under provisions in the Indian penal code that criminalize “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.” Having dragged on for two years, the situation culminated last month in an out-of-court settlement in which Penguin India agreed to withdraw from the market and pulp all remaining copies. This successful effort to suppress historical scholarship in India has raised a number of issues for scholars of religion and others, concerned about censorship, not only in India, but other localities as well. This panel will discuss the situation from a number of perspectives. Panelists will include:

Prof. Ajay Skaria, History, U of M
Prof. James Laine, Religion, Macalester College
Prof. Arun Saldanha, Geography, U of M
Virajita Singh, Senior Research Fellow, College of Design, U of M
Moderated by Prof. Matthew Rahaim, Music, U of M

Publisher Withdraws History of Hinduism, Amid Protest
Law for Bad Behavior
JNU History Faculty Statement
India’s Move on ‘Hindus’ Shows Disturbing Fear of Free Expression
Review of Doniger’s On Hinduism
Petition to Protect Freedom of Expression
Indian Publisher Withdraws Book, Stoking Fear of Nationalist Pressure
Wendy Doniger’s NY Times Editorial

Cosponsored by the Program in Religious Studies, the Department of Asian Languages and Literatures, the Department of History, and the Study of the Asias.

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