Jaswant Singh slams ban on his book

Shimla: Expelled Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jaswant Singh has deplored the ban on his book titled -- Jinnah-India, Partition, Independence -- by Gujarat.

Jaswant said that books are medium of expression in the country professing right to freedom of speech and expression and so a ban on books actually means ban on thinking.

"I am greatly saddened by it because the other example takes you to Salman Rusdie and Satanic Verses. The day we start banning books in India, we are banning thinking," Jaswant said while returning back from Shimla.

On his continuance as a lawmaker from Darjeeling, Jaswant said that people still have faith in him and want him to continue.

"I got a telephone call from the people of Darjeeling to say that I continue to be their Member of Parliament. They will expect me to do so," Jaswant added.

Narendra Modi-led Gujarat Government on Wednesday banned the sale of Singh``s book in the State.

The Gujarat Government blamed Jaswant`s book for denigrating the image of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel, who was a Gujarati and held in high esteem by people across Gujarat and rest of the India for his role during India`s freedom struggle against the British rulers.

Jaswant observes in his book that Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel together conceded Pakistan to Jinnah with help from the British.

Patel occupies a pride of place in BJP`s historiography with the party eulogising his tough action for the integration of rebellious Hyderabad and Junagarh with the Union, and contrasting it with the Nehru`s "blunder" in taking the Kashmir issue to the UN.