If sentiments are hurt, read something better: Delhi High Court dismisses plea seeking ban on Salman Khurshid’s book

While rejecting a plea which sought a ban on Congress leader Salman Khurshid’s new book, the Delhi High Court said if sentiments are hurt, people can read something better.

Controversy was sparked when Khurshid compared a “robust version” of Hindutva to the jihadist Islam of terror groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram in his new book ‘Sunrise Over Ayodhya: Nationhood in Our Times’.

“Why don’t you ask people not to buy or read it? Tell everybody the book is badly authored and don’t read it. If sentiments may be hurt, they can read something better,” the court told the petitioner.

Seeking ban, the petitioner had claimed that Khurshid’s book had hurt sentiments.

The petitioner told the court, “Freedom of speech and expression is not unfettered. No person has the right to infringe on the feelings of others, it violates Article 19, reasonable restrictions”.

To which, the Delhi High court replied that the matter pertains to an excerpt from the book and not the whole book. “If you want cancellation of the publisher’s license, then that’s something else. The entire book has not been placed before us, it’s only an excerpt,” the court added.

Earlier on November 16, Salman Khurshid’s home in Nainital was allegedly vandalised and set on fire, days after it was known that his book on Ayodhya drew comparisons between Hindutva outfits and terrorist organisations, angering the BJP and Hindu fundamentalist groups.

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