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The Hindus
February 15, 2014 1:38 PM   Subscribe

Why free speech loses in India “The Hindus: An Alternative History,” an eight-hundred-page book by Wendy Doniger, an eminent professor of religion at the University of Chicago, will be removed from Indian book shops. Penguin Books India, which first published the book, in 2009, signed an out-of-court settlement with an advocacy group, the Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti, who claim to be defending 'the sentiments of Hindus all over the world.'"
posted by dhruva (35 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
Thank god I bought it years ago! Its absolutely wonderful! She's written about Hinduism from the perspective of women, lower castes and everyday peoples and languages instead of the usual top down perspective of Brahmins, high Sanskrit and the British translators. Grab it while you can. I'll see if I can find some links.

Oh and its pretty lightweight for a thick 800 page hardcover, not the usual doorstop.
posted by infini at 1:47 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


Heh, I thought the book was rather annoying.
posted by dhruva at 1:48 PM on February 15 [6 favorites]


But she does highlight and reference women thinkers and philosophers in Hinduism which no one else ever does in our patriarchal Manu Smritified society ever does unless its a fleeting reference in Amar Chitra Katha to Amrapali or some such.

This is insightful by Pankaj Mishra:

Forster, who later used his appalled fascination with India’s polytheistic muddle to superb effect in his novel “A Passage to India,” was only one in a long line of Britons who felt their notions of order and morality challenged by Indian religious and cultural practices. The British Army captain who discovered the erotic temples of Khajuraho in the early 19th century was outraged by how “extremely indecent and offensive” depictions of fornicating couples profaned a “place of worship.” Lord Macaulay thundered against the worship, still widespread in India today, of the Shiva lingam. Even Karl Marx inveighed against how man, “the sovereign of nature,” had degraded himself in India by worshipping Hanuman, the monkey god.

Repelled by such pagan blasphemies, the first British scholars of India went so far as to invent what we now call “Hinduism,” complete with a mainstream classical tradition consisting entirely of Sanskrit philosophical texts like the Bhagavad-Gita and the Upanishads. In fact, most Indians in the 18th century knew no Sanskrit, the language exclusive to Brahmins. For centuries, they remained unaware of the hymns of the four Vedas or the idealist monism of the Upanishads that the German Romantics, American Transcendentalists and other early Indophiles solemnly supposed to be the very essence of Indian civilization. (Smoking chillums and chanting “Om,” the Beats were closer to the mark.)

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.

The Hindu nationalists of today, who long for India to become a muscular international power, stand in a direct line of 19th-century Indian reform movements devoted to purifying and reviving a Hinduism perceived as having grown too fragmented and weak. These mostly upper-caste and middle-class nationalists have accelerated the modernization and homogenization of “Hinduism.”


posted by infini at 2:23 PM on February 15 [43 favorites]


dhruva, did you mean to link to this article instead?
posted by infini at 2:24 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Oh, wow. I picked this up at the Delhi airport last year on my way out of India (realizing that by learning more about Hinduism there, I knew less than I ever thought and have been wanting to know more) but STILL haven't gotten around to reading it. I'm inspired to pick it up today, thanks.
posted by jeweled accumulation at 2:30 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


I don't know how successful it will be as a legal ploy, but I love the idea of forcing publishers to surrender the copyright to texts they are unwilling to publish for reasons of self-censorship.

It appears as if in many places in the world, it is a legal principle that religious groups have a right not to be offended - and that right should be enforced by silencing the speech that offends them. I'd rather have Nazi's marching down the streets, protected from demonstrators by cops, than to allow religious minorities (or majorities) dictate what can and can not be published.

Of course, India is not alone.
posted by el io at 2:40 PM on February 15 [7 favorites]


did you mean to link to this article instead?
No but I'll read that one. It looks interesting. I bought the book for that very reason; I was looking for an outsider's academic view of Hinduism, but there was just too much subjectivity in the book for me.

Also, Pankaj Mishra previously on MeFi, it's a deadlink now, here's another source (pdf).
posted by dhruva at 2:41 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


Mind you, I'm only acting out The Argumentative Indian in good faith, so to speak, I personally prefer Swami Vivekananda's framing best:

Here, in this ancient land of ours, children of the land of five rivers, I stand before you, not as a teacher, for I know very little to teach, but as one who has come from the east to exchange words of greeting with the brothers of the west, to compare notes. Here am I, not to find out differences that exist among us, but to find where we agree. Here am I trying to understand on what ground we may always remain brothers, upon what foundations the voice that has spoken from eternity may become stronger and stronger as it grows. Here am I trying to propose to you something of constructive work and not destructive. For criticism the days are past, and we are waiting for constructive work. The world needs, at times, criticisms even fierce ones; but that is only for a time, and the work for eternity is progress and construction, and not criticism and destruction. For the last hundred years or so, there has been a flood of criticism all over this land of ours, where the full play of Western science has been let loose upon all the dark spots, and as a result the corners and the holes have become much more prominent than anything else. Naturally enough there arose mighty intellects all over the land, great and glorious, with the love of truth and justice in their hearts, with the love of their country, and above all, an intense love for their religion and their God; and because these mighty souls felt so deeply, because they loved so deeply, they criticised everything they thought was wrong. Glory unto these mighty spirits of the past! They have done so much good; but the voice of the present day is coming to us, telling, "Enough!" There has been enough of criticism, there has been enough of fault-finding, the time has come for the rebuilding, the reconstructing; the time has come for us to gather all our scattered forces, to concentrate them into one focus, and through that, to lead the nation on its onward march, which for centuries almost has been stopped. The house has been cleansed; let it be inhabited anew. The road has been cleared. March children of the Aryans!


Gentlemen, this is the motive that brings me before you, and at the start I may declare to you that I belong to no party and no sect. They are all great and glorious to me, I love them all, and all my life I have been attempting to find what is good and true in them. Therefore, it is my proposal tonight to bring before you points where we are agreed, to find out, if we can, a ground of agreement; and if through the grace of the Lord such a state of things be possible, let us take it up, and from theory carry it out into practice. We are Hindus. I do not use the word Hindu in any bad sense at all, nor do I agree with those that think there is any bad meaning in it. In old times, it simply meant people who lived on the other side of the Indus; today a good many among those who hate us may have put a bad interpretation upon it, but names are nothing. Upon us depends whether the name Hindu will stand for everything that is glorious, everything that is spiritual, or whether it will remain a name of opprobrium, one designating the downtrodden, the worthless, the heathen. If at present the word Hindu means anything bad, never mind; by our action let us be ready to show that this is the highest word that any language can invent. It has been one of the principles of my life not to be ashamed of my own ancestors. I am one of the proudest men ever born, but let me tell you frankly, it is not for myself, but on account of my ancestry. The more I have studied the past, the more I have looked back, more and more has this pride come to me, and it has given me the strength and courage of conviction, raised me up from the dust of the earth, and set me working out that great plan laid out by those great ancestors of ours. Children of those ancient Aryans, through the grace of the Lord may you have the same pride, may that faith in your ancestors come into your blood, may it become a part and parcel of your lives, may it work towards the salvation of the world!

[...]

I may be a little bubble of water, and you may be a mountain-high wave. Never mind! The infinite ocean is the background of me as well as of you. Mine also is that infinite ocean of life, of power, of spirituality, as well as yours. I am already joined — from my very birth, from the very fact of my life — I am in Yoga with that infinite life and infinite goodness and infinite power, as you are, mountain-high though you may be.

posted by infini at 2:56 PM on February 15 [5 favorites]


Here is the why part from the original link, which derives from a theocratic notion of justice.

So perhaps the law is to blame? This was the crux of Doniger’s own statement, released on Tuesday: the “true villain,” she wrote, was the section of the Indian Penal Code that criminalizes, in its words, “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class.” The Indian Constitution lists “freedom of speech and expression” among the fundamental rights it guarantees, but the text also specifies a series of exceptions—later expanded by India’s much maligned First Amendment—that allow the government to impose “reasonable restrictions” on this freedom. Compared to those of the United States, these terms are indeed restrictive, but constitutional scholars point out that, in adopting them, India was largely taking its cue from the exceptions to absolute free speech contained in many other modern constitutions. What differed in the Indian case was the subsequent judicial interpretation, which steadily widened the state’s power to limit free expression. On this view, the fault lies with the courts.
posted by Brian B. at 3:01 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


I listed to a bit of an interview with the author and she was fairly sanguine, because she pointed out that there were a lot of other channels her book could reach those in India. For instance, the ban doesn't cover e-texts or importing chips of the book from the United States.

So it seems like the ban will probably have a similar effect to the banning of Tropic of Cancer back in the U.S. in the day.
posted by happyroach at 3:22 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


The layers here are interesting.

On an international cross-cultural perspective, the fact that mainstream writing on Hinduism from a Christian country is full of bad psychoanalysis and insulting interpretations is clearly a problem.

Inside the sphere of Hinduism, I see a benefit to a creative (even playful) and iconoclastic reinterpretation of the dominant cultural tradition.

Is there a sensible common ground or compromise? To have an irreverent scholarship of every tradition seems healthy enough to me (please do continue to mock atheism and materialist / empiricist philosophy as well, we need to be kept in our place at least as much as any other world view).

Outlawing speech that offends is a problem, if no other reason than the fact that the political power of a group determines the perceived validity of a claim of offense, such that a law against offending can only increase differences in power across cultural divisions.
posted by idiopath at 3:46 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


As I said before, I haven't actually read the book. But I did pick it up BECAUSE it declares itself an "alternative history," specifically with more historical context and less focus on scriptural texts. Having just visited some Hindu temples and talked with practicing Hindus, the idea of a history from a Western perspective appealed to me as being more approachable (to ME, a non-Hindu with a US education).

So it's helpful to read some of this criticism (and the psychoanalysis stuff just sounds weird).
posted by jeweled accumulation at 4:33 PM on February 15


I don't see how these thin-skinned gents would be able to prove that this book was written with any malicious intent whatsoever. The real problem is that they don't want any views from the outside, or ones contrary to their interpretations, to exist at all. But surely that's not what the law says?
posted by 1adam12 at 5:01 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


> dhruva, did you mean to link to this article instead?

From that link:
Doniger’s refusal to address her critics only worsens as the interview proceeds. When asked why Hindus object to her writings, she flippantly replies:
You’ll have to ask them why. It doesn’t seem to me to have much to do with the book. They don’t say, “Look here, you said this on page 200, and that’s a terrible thing to say.” Instead, they say things not related to the book: you hate Hindus, you are sex-obsessed, you don’t know anything about the Hindus, you got it all wrong.
This is a bald lie. The first Part of the book, Invading the Sacred, documents and refutes dozens of statements by Doniger, as illustrated by the following:
• “Holi, the spring carnival, when members of all castes mingle and let down their hair, sprinkling one another with cascades of red powder and liquid, symbolic of the blood that was probably used in past centuries.” (from Doniger’s article about Hinduism in the Microsoft Encarta Encyclopaedia—Microsoft Encarta subsequently removed her entry in 2004; while we do not know this for a fact, one can reasonably conclude that Microsoft Encarta came to an internal conclusion about Doniger’s lack of scholarship and objectivity).

• From a newspaper article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, dated November 19, 2000, entitled "Big-screen caddy is Hindu hero in disguise" written by David O'Reilly, Inquirer Staff Writer:

"Myth scholar Wendy Doniger of the University of Chicago was on hand earlier this month to lecture on the Gita. “The Bhagavad Gita is not as nice a book as some Americans think,” she said, in a lecture titled “The Complicity of God in the Destruction of the Human Race.” “Throughout the Mahabharata, the enormous Hindu epic of which the Gita is a small part, Krishna goads human beings into all sorts of murderous and self-destructive behaviors such as war in order to relieve "mother Earth" of its burdensome human population and the many demons disguised as humans … The Gita is a dishonest book; it justifies war,” Doniger told the audience of about 150” (emphasis added).
So to refute her "bald lie" that her critics "say things not related to the book," they... say things not related to the book. And note the weaselly "while we do not know this for a fact, one can reasonably conclude that Microsoft Encarta came to an internal conclusion about Doniger’s lack of scholarship and objectivity)." Sorry, I think I'll go with Doniger on this. It reminds me of the reception Anastasia Karakasidou got to her superb book Fields of Wheat, Hills of Blood: Passages to Nationhood in Greek Macedonia, 1870-1990; as I wrote on my blog, the Greeks began a campaign of harassment against the author and her book, calling her a “cannibal” and frightening Cambridge University Press into shamefully caving in and canceling publication (fortunately the book was picked up by the gutsier University of Chicago Press). Nationalist pride is understandable, but when it's used to try to silence scholarship it becomes despicable in my book.
posted by languagehat at 5:07 PM on February 15 [27 favorites]


So to refute her "bald lie" that her critics "say things not related to the book," they... say things not related to the book

Yeah, I was coming in to say exactly this. Both those pieces revolve around the same two quotations the context of which seems impossible to examine and neither of which come from the book. That doesn't argue well for those who claim to have actual scholarly objections to the book.
posted by yoink at 5:15 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


So to refute her "bald lie" that her critics "say things not related to the book," they... say things not related to the book.

I think the Invading the Sacred people are looking at more than just this book. It's a look at the general attitude towards Hinduism in academia.
posted by dhruva at 5:16 PM on February 15


That's true. So, what is there in this book making it banworthy? Has anyone, anywhere, quoted a passage and shown it to be incorrect or even simply misleading?
posted by No-sword at 6:04 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Yeah, watching this debate go down on Facebook among my friends and friends of friends, it seems that the anti-Doniger people are remarkably short on actual evidence that she actually says anything not accurate -- I just see a lot of name-calling and outrage. In particular, one person seemed incensed that she saw phallic symbols in Hinduism, which is really not news, unless one has been willfully blind all these years.
posted by peacheater at 6:08 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


I think the Invading the Sacred people are looking at more than just this book.

They do not appear to be looking at "this book" at all. They are looking at A) what purports to be a newspaper report of a talk which she claims to have misquoted her and B) an fragment of an entry in the Encarta encyclopedia. If these are at all representative of an attitude which seriously distorts the scholarship in her book it should be easy to demonstrate that by, you know, pointing to passages in the book which betray such distortions.
posted by yoink at 6:08 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


If it is so crucial that people read it I'm sure there is a way to put the whole book on the web for free.
posted by Renoroc at 8:10 PM on February 15


That's true. So, what is there in this book making it banworthy? Has anyone, anywhere, quoted a passage and shown it to be incorrect or even simply misleading?

This is a good point. I won't defend a ban, but I will say its offensive when an academic deconstructs Holi down to:
when members of all castes mingle and let down their hair, sprinkling one another with cascades of red powder and liquid, symbolic of the blood that was probably used in past centuries

When someone writes something as shitty as that, it makes me want to not read anything else they write.

I mean, can you quote me the passage which would make Ann Coulter's next book incorrect or misleading, or can we just figure that it'll be the same kind of stuff she has written in the past?

Sure there may be some good shit in there (the first few comments in this thread make it sound almost Zinn-like), but when someone comes off with such a huge bias against a whole group of people, I'd rather not.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:27 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


If it is so crucial that people read it I'm sure there is a way to put the whole book on the web for free.

Why is it crucial that people read an 800 page academic text? Also, which people?
posted by hal_c_on at 8:28 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


So there are prescriptivists & descriptivists, and then there are restrictivists, those who would like to restrict those who don't prescribe to their worldview. The rise of (what I'd like to call as) the Restrictive Right is a fact in many countries worldwide; as is the story in the US, Singapore and India, you will have these odd-ball groups who would protest, and try to use the legal system into banning or restricting things they don't like.

Penguin India has said that it found Section 295A of the (British-promulgated) Indian Penal Code problematic. That section reads thus:
295A. 5[ Deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs.-- Whoever, with deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of any class of 6[ citizens of India], 7[ by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise] insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 8[ three years], or with fine, or with both.]
(I'm not sure why this reference says "8", and then says "three years" in brackets)

The legal argument for banning this book stems from this section. Not a lawyer, just like to pretend I'm one, but I can't think of any other book that has been banned under this British-era code.

I haven't read the Doniger (was briefly flirting with the idea of buying it on Amazon, before someone whose opinion I respect a lot said he had read it, and told me not to bother), but seems like the primary criticism against her is that she seems to have badly translated Rig Vedic slokas; I see names such as Michael Witzel, (who himself has been targeted by the Restrictive Right) being mentioned in this regard. I haven't, however, been able to search for his specific critique; seems like most anti-Doniger-ians merely mention his name in their list of litanies, without going into the specifics.

That's one of the bigger problems here; that there is a mismatch in terms of scholarship between both sides. It also is a symptom of a bigger problem, that the best scholarship on Indian culture these days doesn't exist in India but elsewhere, bringing with it a whole series of problems.

Thing is, I'm personally sympathetic towards the argument that many western observers, even Indophiles, sometimes just don't "get it".

Partially, it is about respect. As Amartya Sen quoted his teacher in the Argumentative Indian, one can criticise the gods in the Hindu tradition, but with "respect" (maryaada). For instance, for decades, a popular (atheist/ communist) criticism of the Ramayana in Telugu written by a woman called the "Ramayana: The Poisonous Tree" that had actually been more popular than the Jnanapith Award-winning, lyrically beautiful, gnostic re-telling, Ramayana: The Wish Giving Tree (raamaayaNa kalpavRksham), by an orthodox poet Dr Viswanadha Satyanarayana, who took thirty years to write it in the traditional complex poetic grammar.

The key insight here is this:- Puranas and the epics are so old, and re-told so many times, that what people see in them is less about the epics, and more about themselves; as Dr Viswanadha himself wrote, on why he penned yet another translation of the Ramayana:
చేసిన సంసారమే సేయుచుంది / తనదైన అనుభూతి తనదుగాన
Living lives that are similar/ it is our experiences that are different
All commentary on Hindu mythology are essentially personal reflections on the epics; there is no single definitive source because you really aren't dealing with a single text here, but a narrative tradition. Again, I haven't read Doniger, so apart from identity politics, I really don't know how she fell out of that tradition (or dis-respected it) in this particular book, but given the example of Rangaayanayakamma, there have been women who had criticized the epics before, and were popular.
posted by the cydonian at 8:30 PM on February 15 [11 favorites]


There is another, older critique of Doniger and her "children" doing the rounds amongst the Internet Hindus. I lack the scholarship to judge it on the facts, but it does contain some truly funny bits:
“Wendy, as you know, wrote her Rg Veda putting my translations next to hers. By giving “maska lagao” to me, she avoided a bad review,…. The theoretical headings she uses for the Rg Veda are arbitrary… the jewel is her translation of “aja eka pada”. Literary it means “aja” = unborn, unmanifest, “eka” = one, “pada” = foot, measure. It is the unmanifest one foot measure of music present in the geometries of the “AsaT”, meaning, the Rg Vedic world of possibilities where only geometries live without forms. Well, Wendy translates it as “the one footed goat” because “aja” in Hebrew means goat. What is a one-footed goat doing in the Rg Veda?”
posted by vanar sena at 11:09 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


I'll add a couple of points to cydonian's erudite and eloquent observations, far more educated than myself in Hindu scripture and culture. The main thing that attracted me to Doniger's book was indeed based more on the fact that its an alternate history, and as both Amartya Sen and cydonian say, a fundamental part of Hindu philosophy and practice is discourse and debate. There is no right answer except Tat Tvam Asi, all the rest based on each scholar's explication of what it all means and his or her listeners and readers debating the merits of their individual scholarship.

Thus, the value of the book is in its very different choice of sources and the sweeping history it shares of voices rarely heard. I'm not familiar with my own religion enough to say where she might have erred and the Holi connection to blood sounds a bit off, UNLESS she's specifically talking about Kali and Bengal (in one of her interviews she does mention her favourite goddess is Durga, of the Bengali tradition) where it might even have been possible. Holika.

Finally, recalling my Brahmin exhusband and the sheer nastiness of the usenet threads overwhelmed by males, there's a culture of aggressively silencing any voices that threaten the patriarchy through trolling and other activities we see online, except that it happens IRL.
posted by infini at 11:53 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


Re-focusing on the economics of this, from the NYer piece:

It is all too easy to imagine that Bertelsmann and Pearson, the European conglomerates that share ownership of the company, concluded that a long legal struggle to defend free speech in India was not worth even a minor cost to the bottom line.

...which sucks.
posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 3:08 AM on February 16


If it is so crucial that people read it I'm sure there is a way to put the whole book on the web for free.

Oh good, then let's ban all the books.
posted by goethean at 7:17 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


If it is so crucial that people read it

I think that if you want to argue that the book should be banned, or you want to argue that it deserved to be banned, then, yes, it's pretty damn crucial that you read it before you make that argument. And, no, it's not therefore the publisher's or the author's responsibility to make it available for free.
posted by yoink at 7:47 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Go look at the product reviews for the book on Amazon. 72 1-star reviews made, but about 3 1/2-ish pages of those are from yesterday up to 10 Feb 2014 and then the next one before that was 10 Sept 2013.

Just an observation since I've never even laid eyes on the cover before this Metafilter post, but one that interests me. And of course, this made me buy a copy just now (even if it does turn out to be horrid).
posted by DisreputableDog at 9:29 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


thecydonian: (I'm not sure why this reference says "8", and then says "three years" in brackets)

FWIW, this is due to poor formatting on the version that you're looking at. The 8 indicates a footnote, and the square brackets indicate text that has been amended from the original version. In this case, the original text read "two years" (and the original text of "citizens of India" read "His Majesty's subjects", amended in 1950 after Independence). Taken from the India Code website. (If you're interested, s 295A itself was only added in 1927, as an addition to s 295 which covers "Injuring or defiling place of worship, with intent to insult the religion of any class").
posted by Pink Frost at 1:23 PM on February 16


I mean, can you quote me the passage which would make Ann Coulter's next book incorrect or misleading, or can we just figure that it'll be the same kind of stuff she has written in the past?

If people have read other Doniger books and found them problematic, and as a result assume that her subsequent books will also be problematic in the same way, that's absolutely their right. But I would have assumed that the standard for legally enforced book-banning (as opposed to personal boycott) would be a bit higher, and require showing that the book in question runs afoul of the law, not just that the author has said shitty things in the past. That's why it's surprising and frankly suspicious that no-one on the pro-banning side is addressing what's actually in this book.
posted by No-sword at 2:07 PM on February 16


a response to this (in poem form) that a friend shared on facebook
posted by idiopath at 6:03 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


The Enemies of History
posted by homunculus at 7:03 PM on February 17 [2 favorites]


One minor note of interest, if you read homunculus' link above, sutradhar doesn't just mean narrator, but literally "string puller" or rather, puppetteer.
posted by infini at 2:26 AM on February 18


I mean, can you quote me the passage which would make Ann Coulter's next book incorrect or misleading, or can we just figure that it'll be the same kind of stuff she has written in the past?

Sure there may be some good shit in there (the first few comments in this thread make it sound almost Zinn-like), but when someone comes off with such a huge bias against a whole group of people, I'd rather not.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:27 PM on February 15 [1 favorite +] [!]


The natural reading here is that it would be not-blameworthy or perhaps even valorous to ban the publication of future books by Ann Coulter.

Hindu nationalism is so weird and crappy. Wendy Doniger is terrifying to see at a department buffet. We should generally not pulp or ban books for content related reasons, only if the spine is made of poison or something.
posted by PMdixon at 2:46 PM on February 21


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