The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice to Gujarat Government
on a petition filed by expelled BJP leader Jaswant Singh challenging
the ban on his book -- Jinnah: India, Partition-Independence.
The Narender Modi-led BJP government in Gujarat had
banned his Jaswant Singh's book alleging that it defamed the
country’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
"Jaswant Singh's book questions role of Sardar Patel
during the partition of India as well as his patriotic spirit.
This is an attempt to tarnish the image of Patel who
is considered the architect of modern united India," a statement
issued by the state government had said.
"It is a bid to defame Patel by distorting historical
facts. So, the state government has decided to ban the book with
immediate effect for wider public interest. As per the ban, there
cannot be sale, distribution or publication of the book in the
state," it said.
"The book has been banned because it contains
defamatory references regarding Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who is
considered as the architect of the modern India," a senior minister
in the state government had said.
The ban on Jaswant's book came after he was expelled
from the party during its Chintan Baithak in Shimla more than a
Singh’s book, which has created a furore in India, is
selling like hot cakes in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
Booksellers in the two cities had imported more than
3,000 copies on Saturday and sold them out by Monday morning.
Not only intellectuals, but people from different
strata of society have also shown interest in the book, in which
Singh has praised Jinnah and described him as a leader who had
strong faith in united India, while blaming Sardar Patel for the
partition in 1947.
“I have never seen such a response to any author in
about 30 years of being in the book selling business,” a shopkeeper
in Rawalpindi told Online.
“My basic purpose of buying this book is just to know
what compelled the BJP to expel one of its senior leaders having a
long association with the party,” said a reader.
The sale of the book is good; in fact it is better
than that of any other book at the moment,” said another
Earlier, a famous book store in Lahore sold 100
copies of the book in a single day which indicates how eager the
Pakistanis are to know the reason what prompted the BJP to expel the
former Foreign Minister and end his 30 year long association with
“We had received 100 copies on last Wednesday. All
the copies were sold out the same day. Now we expect more copies on
Saturday,” said Rana Saeed, the owner of the shop.
Excited by the response the book has received, its
publishers are already considering to bring out an Urdu version of
Singh was expected to visit Pakistan to launch the
book, but his son Manvendra Singh said his father has not applied
for a visa, and as far as he knew.