Tyranny of the Troll Reviewer
There’s a particular sensibility that we very rarely encounter in contemporary book reviews. Unlike in movie reviews where a perfectly respectable critic will pan a film for its depiction of, say, nudity or violence, you don’t find a book review trash a book for being offensive any more.
India: Time for Indian judiciary to redeem itself
In December, Sahara India initiated a libel lawsuit against Mint Journalist Tamal Bandyopadhyay for his yet to be released book, Sahara: The Untold Story. On December 10, the Calcutta High Court judge stayed the release of the book. Initial indications do not look good for Bandyopadhyay and his publishing house, which has also been made a party to the suit. After reproducing one impugned paragraph, the Judge observed, “Prima facie, the impugned materials do show the plaintiffs in poor light.”
In their bad books
Not many people were aware of the fact that Wendy Doniger, an Indologist and the Mircea Eliade Distinguished Service Professor of the History of Religions at the University of Chicago with two doctorates in Sanskrit (Harvard) and Indian Studies (Oxford), had spent years comprehending, translating and propagating Sanskrit texts that kindled creative debates on the history of Hindu traditions.
The Pitfalls of publishing books in india
Those in the Indian publishing industry say books are often quashed because of the ambiguous language of India’s defamation laws, the protracted process of Indian courts, growing pressure from extremist religious and political groups and the Indian government’s tendency to bow to threats of violence from these groups.
Asked to bend, we crawl
Standing out in sharp contrast (at least so far) is homegrown Jaico Books that has not buckled under pressure of litigation from the Sahara Group, which is seeking to stop publication of ‘Sahara: The Untold Story’ by journalist Tamal Bandyopadhyay. Even when Sahara was facing one fatwa per week in the Supreme Court, and had to end up buying space in newspapers since no journalist was endorsing its version of facts, a court in Kolkata had no hesitation in staying the publication and circulation of the book on grounds of alleged defamation.
Penguin’s decision spotlights other books that met with similar fate
According to the Indian chapter of PEN International, a global community of writers across 100 countries, at least four books have gone the same route in recent years: Siddharth Deb’s The Beautiful and The Damned, Jitender Bhargava’s The Descent of Air India, Tamal Bandyopadhyay’s Sahara: The Untold Story and the English translation of The Red Saree, a book on Congress president Sonia Gandhi and the Nehru-Gandhi parivar.
Sahara sues journo for Rs 200 cr, gets stay on book
In the midst of its bloody battles with the Supreme Court and Sebi, Sahara group gets the Calcutta high court to issue a stay order on the publication of the book, Sahara: The Untold Story, by Tamal Bandyopadhyay.
How the powerful threaten our basic freedom
In the very same week, the Sahara parivar decided to take the Ambani route. It filed a Rs200-crore defamation suit against journalist Tamal Bandopadhyay for a book that has not even been published and managed to obtain an interim stay against its publication from a Kolkata court. While Sahara claims that the book is defamatory, it has been the subject of innumerable adverse news reports ever since August 2012 when a landmark judgement of the Supreme Court (SC)
How it went wrong for Sahara and Subrata Roy
At the core of the dispute (between Sahara and Sebi) is the question, who has the jurisdiction over fund-raising activities by two unlisted Sahara group entities, SIRECL (Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd) and SHICL (Sahara Housing Investment Corp Ltd), through the “private placement” route – Sebi or the ministry of corporate affairs?
Sahara Group seen muzzling media by obtaining a book ban
In a case filed against Tamal Bandyopadhyay, author of a still-to-be-released book on the Sahara Group (Sahara: The Untold Story, published by Jaico), the Calcutta High Court granted an ex-parte stay last month on the release of the book. Worse, the group has also filed an unheard of Rs 200 crore defamation suit against the journalist – and to date there has been no relief.