A limitation upon free speech has always been debatable in India. While you have the freedom of expression, everything that goes out to the masses has to undergo censorship.
Anything that could harm the national integrity, attack the reputation of any individual, promote obscenity or is derogatory for any religious or social reasons is immediately forbidden for release. Such that, even the literary works have to undergo censorship. At times it is plausible to ban certain works, while some prohibitions do not make sense.
Explore the list of books that have been banned in India:-
#1. Satanic Verses
Salman Rushdie's fourth book, Satanic Verses got banned in India for the reason of being a derogation of Islam and Prophet Muhammad. The Muslim community led out major protests against the book. A fatwa was also issued against the author, and he had to spend a decade in hiding.
(Image Courtesy: Evening Star Books)
#2. The Hindus: An Alternative History
Wendy Doniger’s 'The Hindus: An Alternative History' came as a huge setback for the Hindu population. Work on the Hindu history, the book has been presented from the perspective of the marginalized. After sparking controversy across the nation for its content, the book was wiped out from the Indian market.
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#3. The Polyester Prince: The Rise of Dhirubhai Ambani
Written by Hamish Mc Donald, 'The Polyester Prince' made some controversial claims about the rags to riches story of the industrialist Dhirubhai Ambani. The book was immediately banned in India in the year 1988 as Ambanis threatened to file a suit for defamation.
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#4. Jinnah: India-Partition-Independence
An objective take on Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the book ignited a political debate across the country and got banned after that. What made the book more controversial was its critical approach towards Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Patel. The author, Jaswant Singh, who was a member of Bhartiya Janta Party, was also expelled from the party.
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#5. The Ramayana as told by Aubrey Menen
Religion has always been a sensitive topic in India. A satirical reinterpretation of the epic revered among the Hindus, 'The Ramayana' as told by Aubrey Menen, fueled a war of words in India. The book was ordered to be banned in the year 1956.
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#6. An Area of Darkness
A controversial and un- romanticized narrative of India, V.S. Naipaul’s An Area of Darkness did not get through in the censorship test. Apparently, the book highlighted the problems of living in India and projected the country in a manner which was hard to accept for the masses.
(Image Courtesy: Cherry Nightingale)
#7. Riddles of Hinduism
Penned down by the genius behind the Indian Constitution, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, the book 'Riddles of Hinduism' seemed to be hurting the sentiments of Hindu community. The book was a critique of the caste based system prevalent in the Hindu society.
(Image Courtesy: Flipkart)
#8. Lady Chatterley's Lover
Known for its sexually explicit content, the book 'Lady Chatterley’s Lover' was banned in India in the year 1964. This book written by D.H. Lawrence is based on a woman’s love affair with her gardener. It was supposedly promoting obscenity and was retracted from the Indian market.
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