Artists, historians slams DU decision to ban Bipan Chandra book

New Delhi, April 30 (IANS) A day after Delhi University decided to stop the sale or distribution of the Hindi edition of renowned historian Bipin Chandra’s “India’s Struggle for Independence”, artists and historians on Saturday condemning the move.

In a statement, 100 artists and historians such as Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, Vivan Sundaram and Amar Farooqui, slammed the move to ban the book calling it odious.

“The withdrawal of the translation of the book by the Delhi University and the hounding of the authors on TV shows and at law courts that has now begun is particularly odious and only too characteristic of such campaigns by the RSS and its various fronts,” said the statement.

The book ran into controversy earlier this week after family members of freedom fighter Bhagat Singh raised objections to the academic history book that refers to him as “revolutionary terrorist”.

“If we claim to be nationalists we should at least know more about our national movement and not forget that there was a time when this tag was borne with pride by people who actually died for the cause of this country. And so let us not go about demanding changes in books, or banning them altogether and so display our own ignorance to the world,” said the statement.

The university on Friday stopped the sale and distribution of the book “Bharat ka Swatantarta Sangharsh”, a Hindi translation of the book, co-authored by former Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Mridula Mukherjee, Aditya Mukherjee, Sucheta Mahajan and K.N. Panikkar.

The book was first published in 1988, while the Hindi version was published in 1990 by Delhi University’s directorate of Hindi medium implementation.

Earlier this week, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) staged a protest in Delhi University against the book and its publishers.



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