Maharashtra may ban controversial book on Gandhi

March 30th, 2011 - 12:06 am ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, March 29 (IANS) The Maharashtra government Tuesday indicated that it would take steps to ban “Great Soul - Mahatma Gandhi and his Struggles with India”, penned by Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Joseph Lelyveld.

The book, authored by a former executive editor of the New York Times, reportedly has certain objectionable references to Gandhi and portrays the Father of the Nation in a poor light.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said he has already spoken to the central government on the issue.

When the issue figured in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, Industries Minister Narayan Rane said: “The government will initiate steps to ensure that the book is not published in the state.”

“Gandhiji was a respected leader and is known as the Father of the Nation. He led the freedom movement of India,” Rane pointed out, saying the state government would write to the central government seeking a ban on its publication here.

Condemning the book, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president Manikrao Thakre said it has maligned the image of Mahatma Gandhi.

“This is very serious matter that the author of the book has raised questions about the character of Gandhiji who initiated the non-violence movement. I condemn the book and it should not be made available,” Thakre said.

Council chairman Shivajirao Deshmukh said that the government should enquire into the matter in detail and take appropriate action.

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