DU stops sale, distribution of history book’s Hindi edition

New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) Delhi University on Friday decided to stop the sale or distribution of the Hindi edition of ‘India’s Struggle for Independence (1757-1858)’ authored by historian Bipin Chandra in 1988.

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”.

The Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) on Wednesday staged a protest in Delhi University against the book and its publisher.

Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s relatives also met Delhi University Vice Chancellor Yogesh Tyagi over the issue.

“The sale and distribution of the book “Bharat ka Swatantarta Sangharsh’, a Hindi translation of the book authored by Bipan Chandra, Mridula Mukherjee, Aditya Mukherjee, Sucheta Mahajan and K.N. Panikkar, has been stopped,” Malay Neerav, media coordinator of the university, said.

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

Co-author Aditya Mukherjee told IANS that the book was withdrawn despite a letter sent to the vice chancellor that they wished to revise the term “revolutionary terrorist”.

“I am shocked. We had written a letter to the vice chancellor and the directorate. We’ve been publicly saying that (late) Bipin Chandra himself did not wish to use the term (terrorist). Even when we had used, yes, we had clarified it wasn’t used in a derogatory way,” Mukherjee said.

He said in the letter he had written that they (co-authors) were willing to make the changes in the book forthwith.

“He (VC) is well aware of our stand on the term used in the book… that we want to make the changes. Our views are in the public domain. We are awaiting the VC’s reply to our letter,” Mukherjee said.

“The Hindi translation is gone. It is one of the largest constituency which we would like to reach our ideas to. We are very unhappy to learn (about this decision). The VC is a part of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, our culture. I have a firm belief that (VC) as a good liberal scholar should not ban the book,” he said.

The issue was raised in the Rajya Sabha by Janata Dal-United parliamentarian K.C. Tyagi on Thursday, after which the government said it will look into the issue.



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