8 Books That Have Been Banned in India

901 Views Updated: 18 Apr 2018
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 8 Books That Have Been Banned in India

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.


(Image Courtesy: Twitter)

#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.


(Image Courtesy: UC Forum)

#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.


(Image Courtesy: Flipkart)

#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.


(Image Courtesy: Scribd)

#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.


(Image Courtesy: Bookmark Dragon)

We would love to hear from you. Share your views with us about censorship on literary works. Kindly use the comment box to share your thoughts and opinions with us.


Opinions (4)
No, Art Should Be Free Of Censorship

It is absolutely amazing to know that this has become a topic for debate! The thing is that its literature and the things like censorship and scissor don't even apply here. want to know why...Because its literature. This is a place where the authors have complete freedom of everything and they can express themselves as they want.

They don't have to think twice before writing a thing or a feeling of the character. As in that case the real essence will vanish and all that we will be left with will be nothing but stupidity. It should be paid attention that even the holy books of each and every religion are not censored and these are the things that should be kept in mind when the thought of playing with its length comes to your mind.

No, Art Should Be Free Of Censorship

Literature is as pure as everything that is pure and it should never be brought under censorship. This is because if literature is censored then there will be nothing to look forward to. It is the essence of literature to express different emotions and it should be restored otherwise literature will be dead.

And this is not something to laugh about. Being adults we should understand the importance and prominence that literature holds and we should do everything that it takes to make the literature remain intact and pure. If it will be censored then no author will ever be able to portray the character's exact feelings and then it will loose everything that it has to offer.

Hence, on a very very serious note please do not let literature get censored because that will create a mess and the things will become very artificial. It is important to face the reality whether its evil or pure!

No, Art Should Be Free Of Censorship
Art is meant to be free and evocative. 
No, Art Should Be Free Of Censorship
I think people should have the right to choose what they want to read!!

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