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Timeline of book bans.

Ban on books before their release is a common occurrence in India. . Book bans are usually issued under Section 95 of the CrPC. Section 96 of the CrPC provides for application to High Court to set aside declaration of forfeiture. This page provides examples of how authors - academic or otherwise - have faced backlash from the public and the State for their work, and the responses of the Courts to these situations. You can read about it here ,
In case we have missed on listing any instance of book banned, please use the report button to tell us more.

 

2020

 
 
Name Of Book : Gunning for the Godman: The True Story Behind Asaram’s Conviction.

Author : Ajay Lamba

State : Delhi
 

Description : A stay-order was imposed on the publishing of the book by by the Patiala Court of Delhi at the plea of the co-accused of Asaram on grounds that it was defamatory and could prejudice her impending trial. The order was later over-turned by the Delhi High Court after the publisher Harper Collins filed a subsequent plea.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/delhi-high-court-vacates-stay-on-publication-of-book-on-asaram-bapus-conviction/article32668778.ece#
 

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2020

 
 
Name Of Book : Delhi Riots: The Untold Story

Author : Monika Arora, Sonali Chitalkar and Prerna Malhotra.

State : Delhi
 

Description : The publishing house Bloomsbury dropped the book after the authors planned an unauthorised book launch inviting BJP leader Kapil Mishra, who had given incendiary speeches before the riots led to protests by leading literary figures. The book was picked up by a different publishers and is due for release.

Source : https://www.deccanherald.com/national/bloomsbury-india-withdraws-from-publishing-controversial-book-on-delhi-riots-876605.html
 

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2017

 
 
Name Of Book : Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev

Author : Not Provided

State : Nationwide
 

Description : It was banned on the ground that it was extremely defamatory in nature for the protagonist.

Source : https://www.thequint.com/lifestyle/books/priyanka-pathak-narain-author-of-explosive-ramdev-biography
 

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2015-2016

 
 
Name Of Book : Madhorubhagan

Author : Perumal Murugan

State : Nationwide
 

Description : It was alleged that the book contained materials that hurts the sentiments of the community, defamed women and outraged religious feelings. Subsequently after several protests, the author withdrew all the unsold copies of this novel. Petition were filed in the Madras High Court in order to ban the book but the petition was dismissed and book didn’t got banned.1

Source : http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/perumal-murugan-book-controversy-and-madras-high-court/article14476037.ece
 

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2015

 
 
Name Of Book : Ocean Wringed World- trans azhi Soozh Ulagu

Author : Joe D’Cruz

State : Nationwide
 

Description : Narayana initially withdrew from publishing the translation of Joe D'Cruz' novel after he came out in support of Narendra Modi's candidacy. The publisher reconsidered after a year if the book could be published.

Source : https://navayana.org/blog/2014/04/15/the-storm-in-the-dcruz-ocean/?v=c86ee0d9d7ed
 

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2014

 
 
Name Of Book : Sahara: The Untold Story

Author : Tamal Bandyopadhyay

State : Nationwide
 

Description : A stay order was ordered on the release of this book by the Calcutta High Court. Though the book was released, but with a disclaimer given by Sahara.

Source : https://scroll.in/article/807460/how-the-sahara-group-fought-to-prevent-a-book-about-its-business-being-published
 

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2014

 
 
Name Of Book : The Descent of Air India

Author : Jitendra Bhargava

State : Nationwide
 

Description : The author who worked for almost two decades with Air India brings out his insider view about the ground reality of the company. All the book was withdrawn later on by the publisher because of defamation charges.

Source : https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/bloomsbury-withdraws-book-the-descent-of-air-india-blaming-praful-patel/articleshow/28860338.cms
 

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2014

 
 
Name Of Book : Santsurya Tukaram and Loksakha Dnyaneshwar

Author : Anand Yadav

State : Nationwide
 

Description : A magistrate in Pune ordered to destroy the copies of these two novels which is based on the lives of Sant Dnyaneshwar and Sant Tukaram. It was alleged that the contents of these novels were defamatory.2

Source : https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/destroy-defamatory-books-on-saints-court/
 

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2014

 
 
Name Of Book : The Hindus: An Alternative History

Author : Wendy Doniger

State : Nationwide
 

Description : The book was withdrawn from the Indian market, prompting widespread concerns about the state of free speech in India. But after a period of twelve months, the book was republished under a different publisher.

Source : https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/destroy-defamatory-books-on-saints-court/
 

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2013

 
 
Name Of Book : Dhundi

Author : Yogesh Master

State : Nationwide
 

Description : Several Hindu organisations protested against this book and accused it to contain objectionable materials against god Ganesha.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/author-of-kannada-novel-dhundi-arrested/article5074797.ece
 

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2013

 
 
Name Of Book : Meendezhum Pandiyar Varalaru

Author : K. Senthil Mallar

State : Tamil Nadu
 

Description : It was alleged that certain contents in this book was abusive against other castes and in the nature of spreading hatred and disharmony. SO, the Madras HC ordered to make alterations in the book and lifted the forfeiture.3

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/sedition-case-filed-against-author-of-meendezhum-pandiyar-varalaru/article4830943.ece
 

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2011

 
 
Name Of Book : Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and his Struggle with India

Author : Joseph Lelyveld

State : Gujarat
 

Description : It was interpreted and suggested in this biographical book that M.K. Gandhi was bisexual. Whereas according to the author the book only says that he was deeply attached to Kallenbach and did not explicitly stated that Gandhi was bisexual.4

Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/01/books/gandhi-biography-by-joseph-lelyveld-roils-india.html?pagewanted=all
 

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2010

 
 
Name Of Book : The Red Sari

Author : Javier Moro

State : Nationwide
 

Description : Originally published in Spanish by the name ‘El Sari Rojo’, this book was alleged to be violating the privacy of a person for monetary gain. However, it was released in India in Jan, 2015 as it was not officially banned.

Source : https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/gk-current-affairs/story/the-red-sari-banned-biography-on-sonia-gandhi-finally-released-in-india-236907-2015-01-22
 

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2010

 
 
Name Of Book : Such a Long Journey

Author : Rohinton Mistry

State : Mumbai
 

Description : Withdrawn by the Mumbai University from its Bachelor of Art (English) syllabus. The book allegedly contained anti-Shiv Sena passages and remarks derogatory to Maharastrians.5

Source : https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/oct/19/mumbai-university-removes-mistry-book
 

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2009

 
 
Name Of Book : Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence

Author : Jaswant Singh

State : Gujarat
 

Description : Banned for containing defamatory references to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Gujarat-bans-Jaswantrsquos-book-on-Jinnah/article16875771.ece
 

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2008

 
 
Name Of Book : The Life of Sri Aurobindo

Author : Peter Heehs

State : Nationwide
 

Description : It was alleged that the book contains objectionable matters depicting distorted facts about the life and character of Sri Aurobindo. In 2004, a stay order was passed by the Odisha High Court on the release of the book.

Source : https://magazine.outlookindia.com/story/the-lives-of-sri-aurobindo/289582
 

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2007

 
 
Name Of Book : Islam: A Concept of Political World Invasion

Author : R.V. Bhasin

State : Maharashtra
 

Description : SC upheld the ban and said that the author had used insulting comments on Muslim community, which is an aggravated form of criticism and can hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims.7

Source : https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/SC-upholds-ban-on-book-against-Islam/articleshow/5822303.cms
 

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2006

 
 
Name Of Book : The Da Vinci Code

Author : Dan Brown

State : Nagaland
 

Description : It was alleged that the novel could hurt the sentiments of the Christian beliefs. Ban was rejected by SC and several HCs .

Source : https://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/may/24/books.india
 

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2005

 
 
Name Of Book : The True Furqan

Author : Al Saffee & Al Mahdee

State : Nationwide
 

Description : Islamic groups declared the book as a Christian propaganda and claimed that it slyly mocked at Islam. Some even claimed it was a US-Israel pact to insult Islam. Though it was essentially a Christian world versus Islam phenomenon, the Indian government took exception to it and banned its import.8

Source : https://web.archive.org/web/20150424042524/http://www.cbec.gov.in/customs/cs-act/notifications/notfns-2k5/csnt78-2k5.htm
 

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2004

 
 
Name Of Book : Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India

Author : James Laine

State : Maharashtra
 

Description : In 2004, this book was banned as it contained disparaging remarks about Chhatrapati Shivaji. But the ban was lifted in 2010 by the Supreme Court.9

Source : https://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report-supreme-court-upholds-lifting-of-ban-on-shivaji-book-1407570
 

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2003

 
 
Name Of Book : Lajja

Author : Tasleema Nasreen

State : West Bengal
 

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2003

 
 
Name Of Book : Dwikhandito

Author : Taslima Nasreen

State : West Bengal
 

Description : Banned for allegedly hurting the sentiments of the Muslim community. On 22nd September, 2005, the Calcutta High Court lifted the ban.11

Source : https://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/taslima-nasreen-book-dwikhandito-once-banned-bengal-govt-now-in-english-118031100465_1.html
 

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2002

 
 
Name Of Book : Five Past Midnight in Bhopal

Author : Dominique Lapierre and Javier Moro

State : Nationwide
 

Description : The book was banned after Swaraj Puri, the commissioner of Bhopal during that period, filed a defamation suit. Later, the ban was lifted by the Madhya Pradesh high court.12

Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/01/books/gandhi-biography-by-joseph-lelyveld-roils-india.html?pagewanted=all
 

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2001

 
 
Name Of Book : Bhavsagar Granth

Author : Written by amost 30 authors under the direction of Baba Bhaniara

State : Punjab
 

Description : Banned by the Punjab government for hurting the religious feelings of Sikh community.

Source : http://www.frontline.in/static/html/fl1822/18220490.htm
 

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2001

 
 
Name Of Book : The Myth of the Holy Cow

Author : Dwijendra Narayan Jha

State : Nationwide
 

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2000

 
 
Name Of Book : Towards Freedom

Author : Sumit Sarkar and K.N. Panikkar

State : Nationwide
 

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1997

 
 
Name Of Book : Basava Vachana Deepti

Author : Mate Mahadevi

State : Nationwide
 

Description : It was banned because she changed Basavanna’s pen name from ‘Kudalasangama Deva’ to ‘Linga Deva’.17

Source : https://www.livelaw.in/sc-upholds-ban-mate-mahadevis-book-even-agreed-right-interpret-religion/
 

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1995

 
 
Name Of Book : The Moor’s Last Sigh

Author : Salman Rushdie

State : Nationwide
 

Description : The Indian government placed a de facto ban on the novel, claiming that the fictional Ramar Fielding seemed to be a thinly veiled version of Bal Thackeray, one of India's most prominent Hindu nationalist politicians. But later in 1996, the ban was lifted by the Supreme Court.15

Source : https://www.deseret.com/1996/3/17/19231086/india-removes-its-ban-on-latest-rusdie-novel
 

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1991

 
 
Name Of Book : Understanding Islam through Hadis

Author : Ram Swarup

State : Nationwide
 

Description : It tackles the issues of political Islam. It was claimed that the book was offensive to Muslims.16

Source : https://www.scoopwhoop.com/inothernews/books-banned-in-india/
 

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1989

 
 
Name Of Book : Soft Target: How the Indian Intelligence Service Penetrated Canada

Author : Zuhair Kashmeri & Brian McAndrew

State : Nationwide
 

Description : The authors argue that Indian intelligence agencies, determined to discredit the Sikh bid for an independent state, penetrated not only Sikh communities but also the RCMP and CSIS. The book claims the government of India was involved in the plane's bombing.18

Source : https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/danielle-crittenden/banned-books-week_b_984910.html
 

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1988

 
 
Name Of Book : The Polyester Prince: The Rise of Dhirubhai Ambani

Author : Hamish McDonald

State : Mumbai
 

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1984

 
 
Name Of Book : Smash and Grab: Annexation of Sikkim

Author : Sunanda K. Dattaray

State : Nationwide
 

Description : The book dealt with India's annexation of Sikkim. The Delhi High Court had stopped its publication after a political officer station in Gangtok at the time filed a defamation suit. The book was later allowed for release.20

Source : https://scroll.in/article/820287/why-this-book-on-indias-annexation-of-sikkim-needs-to-be-read-today
 

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1983

 
 
Name Of Book : The Price of Power: Kissinger and Nixon in the White House

Author : Seymour Hersh

State : Nationwide
 

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1979

 
 
Name Of Book : Who Killed Gandhi

Author : Lourenco De Sadvandor

State : Nationwide
 

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1976

 
 
Name Of Book : India Independent

Author : Charles Bettelheim

State : Nationwide
 

Description : Banned for criticizing the policies of the Indian government.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/books/you-cant-read-this-book/article2953626.ece
 

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1975

 
 
Name Of Book : Nehru: A Political Biography

Author : Michael Edwards

State : Nationwide
 

Description : Government considered grievous factual errors in this book.

Source : https://www.livemint.com/Leisure/gsCAjtgJpoOe3RiVVggd3L/A-portrait-that-got-Jawaharlal-Nehru-wrong.html
 

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1975

 
 
Name Of Book : Early Islam

Author : Desmond Stewart

State : Nationwide
 

Description : The book purportedly contains grievous factual errors.

Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_books_banned_in_India
 

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1970

 
 
Name Of Book : Man from Moscow

Author : Greville Wynne

State : Nationwide
 

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1969

 
 
Name Of Book : A Struggle between two lines over the question of How to deal with U.S. imperialism.

Author : Fan Asid-Chu

State : Nationwide
 

Description : This book cannot be imported into India.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/books/you-cant-read-this-book/article2953626.ece
 

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1968

 
 
Name Of Book : The Jewel in the Lotus

Author : Allen Edwardes

State : Nationwide
 

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1964

 
 
Name Of Book : Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Author : D.H. Lawrence

State : Nationwide
 

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1964

 
 
Name Of Book : An Area of Darkness

Author : V.S. Naipaul

State : Nationwide
 

Description : Banned for its negative portrayal of India and its people.29

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/books/literary-review/fifty-years-ago-naipauls-an-area-of-darkness-was-banned/article6552122.ece
 

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1963

 
 
Name Of Book : Unarmed Victory

Author : Bertrand Russell

State : Nationwide
 

Description : The book dealt with the Sino-Indian War which India lost.30

Source : https://www.telegraphindia.com/7-days/publish-and-be-banned/cid/496824
 

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1963

 
 
Name Of Book : Nepal

Author : Toni Hagen

State : Nationwide
 

Description : Not much info. is available

Source : Not Provided
 

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1963

 
 
Name Of Book : Ayesha

Author : Kurt Frischler

State : Nationwide
 

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1962

 
 
Name Of Book : Nine Hours to Rama

Author : Stanley Wolpert

State : Nationwide ban
 

Description : The book was thought to be justifying the actions of Nathuram Godse who murdered Gandhi.

Source : https://theprint.in/opinion/when-nehrus-india-banned-a-story-on-gandhis-murder-and-godses-past/185177/
 

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1960

 
 
Name Of Book : The Lotus and the Rama

Author : Arthur Koestler

State : Nationwide
 

Description : Criticized the Indian democracy. It cannot be imported into India. Also, this book has often been criticized as ill-researched.

Source : https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/advertising-marketing/some-books-that-met-a-banned-fate-in-india/slideshow/30518943.cms
 

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1959

 
 
Name Of Book : The Heart of India

Author : Alexander Campbell

State : Nationwide ban
 

Description : The book is a fictionalized and humorous account of Indian bureaucracy and economic policy-making.

Source : https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/blogs/policypundit/the-heart-of-india/
 

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1958

 
 
Name Of Book : Captive Kashmir

Author : Aziz Beg

State : Nationwide
 

Description : This book cannot be imported into India.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/books/you-cant-read-this-book/article2953626.ece
 

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1956

 
 
Name Of Book : Rama Retold or The Ramayana (American edn.)

Author : Aubrey Menen

State : Nationwide
 

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1955

 
 
Name Of Book : Dark Urge

Author : Robert W. Taylor

State : Nationwide
 

Description : This book cannot be imported into India.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/books/you-cant-read-this-book/article2953626.ece
 

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1955

 
 
Name Of Book : What has religion done for mankind

Author : Watchtower Bible and Tract Society

State : Nationwide
 

Description : This book tries to refute Eastern religions and cannot be imported into India.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/books/you-cant-read-this-book/article2953626.ece
 

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1954

 
 
Name Of Book : Bhupat Singh

Author : Kaluwank Ravatwank

State : Nationwide
 

Description : Not much info. is available

Source : Not Provided
 

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1952

 
 
Name Of Book : Marka-e-Somnath

Author : Maulana Muhammad Sadiq Hussain Sahab Sadiq Siddhiqui Sardanvi

State : Nationwide
 

Description : Written in Urdu, cannot be imported into India.

Source : https://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/banned-in-india-the-1930s-1960s-106052301151_1.html
 

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1952

 
 
Name Of Book : Chandramohini

Author : Ansar Nasiri

State : Nationwide
 

Description : Not much info. is available

Source : Not Provided
 

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1950

 
 
Name Of Book : Pakistan-Pasmanzarwa Peshmanzar

Author : Hameed Anwar

State : Nationwide
 

Description : Originally written in Urdu, cannot be imported into India.

Source : https://www.sify.com/news/books-banned-of-words-and-woes-imagegallery-national-ocorvLcjecisi.html
 

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1950

 
 
Name Of Book : Cease-Fire

Author : Agha Babar

State : Nationwide
 

Description : Originally written in Urdu, cannot be imported into India.

Source : https://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/banned-in-india-the-1930s-1960s-106052301151_1.html
 

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1950

 
 
Name Of Book : Khak Aur Khoon

Author : Naseem Hijazi

State : Nationwide
 

Description : This book portrays the true face of the Hindu fanaticism at the time of Independence when the Hindus tried to rob the Muslims who were trying to escape to Pakistan during the partition.

Source : Not Provided
 

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