Supreme Court issues notice to Gujarat Government on Jaswant book ban

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New Delhi, Sep.1 (ANI): 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: ndia, 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 fortnight ago.

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 Islamabad-based bookseller.

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 the party.

"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 the book.

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. (ANI)

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