Last month, Penguin Books India recalled and pulped Wendy Doniger's The Hindus: An Alternative History, citing the country's "intolerant and restrictive" laws that make it "make it increasingly difficult for any Indian publisher to uphold international standards of free expression without deliberately placing itself outside the law." The decision drew considerable attention from the media, and incited international controversy.
The Association of American Publishers has now issued a statement of "solidarity with publishing colleagues in India" that calls for reform of the Indian penal codes.
“The Association of American Publishers is seriously concerned about the future of artistic and intellectual freedom in India in the wake of the highly publicized attacks by Hindu fundamentalist groups on books by the American scholar Wendy Doniger," said the AAP. The organization described the particular tenets of the Indian penal code, which outlaw acts "intended to outrage religious feelings," the "perfect weapons in the hands of those who would stifle free expression."