Friday, 21 August 2009

Gujarat's ban on book and its implications

I had read news stories on the Gujarat Government's ban on Jaswant Singh’s Book ‘Jinnah-- India, Partition, Independence’, but was not sure if Narendra Modi does not want people to read the book. So I checked with Mr Modi's blog today.

Mercifully, the ban which came with immediate effect on August 19 when Mr Modi was in Shimla attending the party's Chintan Baithak, was only for sale, distribution and publication.

My interpretation therefore is that I can buy a copy of the book outside Gujarat, carry it inside Modi's state and read it at leisure. I can pass it on to anyone within the state for a free read, because I believe, it does not amount to 'distribution.'

Now, what is the implication of the ban if it is zealously implemented by the police? A gujarati friend confides in me: Enterprising shopkeepers in Diu or Mount Abu, which are outside Gujarat, will stock now copies of the book to be sold with an extra profit.

Newspapers in Ahmedabad carried stories today saying that Crossword and other book stores had a number of inquiries after the ban was announced.

Secondly, are you dying to read the book that caused Mr Jaswant Singh's expulsion from BJP? Do not despair.Gujarat does not have a good track record of execution of bans. Just ask any neighborhood hoochwala anywhere in the state which is claimed to be a dry stare. Last month over 125 people their lives after they consumed the desi liquor in Ahmedabad.

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