Every time I attempt to find a morsel, a mere crumb of a reason to feel some pride in the nation of my birth, bam! Someone pulls the trigger and releases the deadly gunpowder of violence, hatred, prejudice and my special pet hate- cowardice.
Congratulations Penguin India on having done the unthinkable. On compromising your artistic integrity for a bunch of worthless, spineless, illiterate fanatics. Also commonly known as Shiksha Bachao Andolan (hilariously, ironically translated to Save Education Movement) who are nothing but a bunch of hooligans and philistines who wouldn't know an alphabet if it kicked them in their testicles. Oh wait. Such people have no balls. I'll have to satisfy myself by calling them a waste of space, like my young nieces and nephews do.
Wendy Doniger, whose book The Hindus: An Alternative History has been banned, must be wondering what on earth Penguin India was doing. She must have wondered how being one of the foremost scholars of Hinduism in the world would lead to to that very religious community shoving her off their shelves. She must have wondered how Penguin India would look its authors in the eye.
I was first acquainted with Miss Doniger when an ex was her student at the University of Chicago. He introduced me to her most wonderful work. Apparently this bunch of non-humans thinks it is perfectly all right to question her expertise with none of their own. Their only weapon was this dangerous idiot called Dinanath Batra who gave this ridiculous interview to Time magazine. Reading it will give you an ulcer, I warn you.
So what's to become of writers? What's to become of readers? Are we going to live in a climate of fear where our hopes, dreams, words, books, works of art and our very fundamental sense of freedom of opinion is to be signed away in an 'out of court settlement' by the guardians of knowledge and art?
Penguin India has written its own obituary. Oh they won't go bankrupt just yet. They will survive because money and ugliness go hand in hand and the world will continue to feed such vultures with the scavenging remains of their dignity and courage.
I'm about to start looking for a publisher. Everyone advised me not to write against Penguin India at this delicate juncture. But if I don't, then I am not a writer, I have nothing to say and I'm a coward. So Penguin India....I hope you burn in hell.