Hurree, before he went gallivanting, had been following the Bhandarkar Institute story (here, here, here, here and here).

To make up for my irresponsible neglect, here are a few updates.

The Times of India reports a chain e-mail that calls for silent protest on Republic Day, further threats to BORI, and that the Maratha Vikas Sangh, has “demanded censorship on all books that would be written on historical figures,” besides filing a petition in the Bombay high Court “demanding that all documents at BORI be seized by the union government.”

Mid-Day carried this opinion and these reactions from both sides of the debate.

Hindustan Times reported the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s justification of the ban.

The Indian Express spoke to James Laine, and also featured this piece on Union HRD Minister Murli Manohar Joshi (of whom Hurree has written much) who condemned the incident, but went on to deplore Laine in far stronger words. (Covered slightly differently in the TOI). Also in the Express, a longish piece that questions Laine’s scholarship and intentions, and concludes that the book comes across “like an exercise in skulduggery.” And there’s been a fresh twist in the plot with the caste angle rearing its head.

The positive fallout for BORI has been the funds pouring in from India and abroad, which will go a long way to help to digitise its archives.

(Footnote: The Sambhaji Brigade has been on the other side of such controversy in the past, when it defended a historian who landed himself in a controversial soup, as this article from 2000 shows.)

Zig at Zigzackly

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