Said Wendy Doniger, the author of "The Hindus: An Alternative History," a book that is being recalled and pulped by her publisher in India, Penguin Books India in the face of a threat of legal consequences under an Indian law banning acts "intended to outrage religious feelings."
The original legal complaint, filed by Dinanath Batra of the group Shiksha Bachao Andolan, described a “hidden agenda to denigrate Hindus and show their religion in poor light” and called Ms. Doniger’s approach to Hinduism “that of a woman hungry of sex.”Of course, we can still buy the book — here — and I can't tell from the article whether people in India will be able to download the digital version of the book. One thing about books as physical objects is that a show can be made of casting them out of the stores and destroying them. Is it a good book? Here's the review of it that appeared in the NYT back in 2009:
As Wendy Doniger, a scholar of Indian religions at the University of Chicago, explains in her staggeringly comprehensive book, the British Indologists who sought to tame India’s chaotic polytheisms had a “Protestant bias in favor of scripture.” In “privileging” Sanskrit over local languages, she writes, they created what has proved to be an enduring impression of a “unified Hinduism.” And they found keen collaborators among upper-caste Indian scholars and translators. This British-Brahmin version of Hinduism — one of the many invented traditions born around the world in the 18th and 19th centuries — has continued to find many takers among semi-Westernized Hindus suffering from an inferiority complex vis-à-vis the apparently more successful and organized religions of Christianity, Judaism and Islam.