BOMBAY: The Maharashtra Govt banned the latest India Today for having carried alleged derogatory remarks on medieval Marattha ruler Shivaji by Khushwant Singh. Cases had been registered against the magazine’s publisher and Singh for “promoting acts prejudicial to harmony causing insult to religious beliefs and circulating statements likely to incite a communal clash.

Singh had said during a debate organized by ‘India Today’ that Shivaji’s act of plunging a dagger in to a Muslim general Afzal Khan while the two were embracing was unworthy of praise.

He also said India was a secular country because of “Hindus like Gandhi and Nehru” and not because of Rana Pratap Prithviraj Chauhan Guru Gobind Singh and Shivaji who had fought Muslims.

Furious at the alleged derogatory remarks Shiv Sena volunteers made a bonfire of 2000 copies of the magazine while the Bombay Mayor of the Sena marched in a procession along with cooperators and set alight some copies.

In a signed statement released in Delhi and Bombay Khushwant Singh apologized for the pain caused by his comment.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 10, 1991