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"Nobody Asked Them To Read It": Delhi High Court Dismisses Plea Against Salman Khurshid's Book 'Sunrise Over Ayodhya'

Nupur Thapliyal
25 Nov 2021 7:51 AM GMT
Nobody Asked Them To Read It: Delhi High Court Dismisses Plea Against Salman Khurshids Book Sunrise Over Ayodhya

The Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed a plea seeking directions to stop the publication and sale of the book "Sunrise Over Ayodhya" written by Congress Leader and Former Union Minister Salman Khurshid.

"Ask people not to buy the book or read it," Justice Yashwant Varma said while dismissing the petition filed by Advocate Vineet Jindal through Advocate Raj Kishor Choudhary, alleging that Khurshid had compared Hindutva to groups like ISIS and BOKO HARAM in his book.

"Tell everyone the book is badly authored. Ask them to read something better. What can we do if people are so sensitive. Nobody has asked them to read it," the Court told Advocate Raj Kishor Choudhary appearing for the petitioner.

During the course of hearing today, Choudhary cited an excerpt from the book under chapter titled "The Saffron Sky":

"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."

According to Choudhary, the said excerpt impinged upon the faith of others by specifically talking about Hindutva and Hinduism and comparing the same to ISIS and Boko Haram.

"This is causing breach of public peace. Everywhere it is going on. Something happened in Nainital also. It may be possible that something is not happening today but it may happen tomorrow. Every Communal riot in this country has such kind of backing. This part from the must go," Choudhary submitted.

At the outset, the Court asked if the release of the book has been considered earlier to which the Court was apprised that a city Court had refused to grant ad-­interim ex-­parte injunction in a civil suit filed by Hindu Sena President, Vishnu Gupta against the book.

Hearing the parties, the Court dismissed the petition.

According to the petitioner, the impugned statement is not only instigating and provoking but also enrages emotions among the Hindu religion followers.

"The contents of the statement made by respondent no. 5 claim Hinduism to be equivalent to ISIS and Boko haram, which are terrorist groups. It is a quite aggravating and defamatory statement for the whole Hindu community and also questions their values and virtues about a society. The equivalence of Hinduism to ISIS and Boko Haram is perceived as a negative ideology Hindus have been following and Hinduism is violent, inhuman and oppressive," the plea reads.

It adds:

"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 demi-god status, it doesn't take much for malice to be coated with a toxic communal hue based on the contents of the book."

Case Title: Vineet Jindal v. Union of India & Ors.

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