Thursday, February 13, 2014

Reacting


Not everybody is happy with the way the world is changing.  Kansas is in the process of legalizing discrimination against gay people.  Meanwhile, on more or less the other side of the planet, a kerfuffle has erupted in India over a University of Chicago professor's historical look at Hinduism.  It seems that some took offense at Wendy Doniger's book The Hindus, and complained effectively enough to cause her Indian publisher, Penguin India, to withdraw the book and promise to destroy or "pulp" all copies.

This has caused a certain amount of outrage among Indian liberals and authors and other defenders of a free press everywhere.  Since I'm a sucker for controversy, I looked up the reviews on Amazon.  There were a number of good ones, but a very large number of one star (negative) reviews, almost all short and many nasty.  Several one star reviewers admitted not having read the book.

Naturally, pirated editions are exploding, and she seems certain of a large Indian readership - even though she won't get a share of the profits.

UPDATE: Just caught an update with the author on NPR.  It seems that her sales in India -and elsewhere- are soaring, via Kindle, and apparently there is no law against the publisher sending books from New York.  I guess there is no such thing as bad publicity.