NEW DELHI: A court in India’s western state of Gujarat ordered the lifting of a ban on a controversial book about the 1947 partition of the subcontinent that angered Hindu nationalists, a report said today.
The book, which praises Pakistan’s founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah and is critical of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a revered nationalist of the partition era and India’s first home minister, was banned on August 19.
Reversing the order, the Gujarat high court said the ban amounted to “making a serious inroad into the fundamental rights guaranteed under the Constitution of India,” the Press Trust of India news agency said.
The ban “could not stand in the eyes of law,” the ruling added.
The book, Jinnah: India-Partition-Independence, was written by leading Hindu nationalist figure Jaswant Singh, who was expelled by the Bharatiya Janata Party because of his views.
Singh said he was “thrilled” with the court
ruling. “It is a matter of satisfaction” that the court has lifted the ban, he was quoted as saying.
The furore over the book goes to the heart of a sensitive debate in India about blame for partition of the British-controlled subcontinent into Pakistan and India.