Lucky that my book wasn't banned: Shashi Tharoor

 Author-politician Shashi Tharoor on Thursday said he is lucky that his book 'The Great Indian Novel' was not banned as the "mounting intolerance" noticed now was absent 25 years ago.

PTI| Updated: Jan 15, 2015, 21:50 PM IST

Kolkata: Author-politician Shashi Tharoor on Thursday said he is lucky that his book 'The Great Indian Novel' was not banned as the "mounting intolerance" noticed now was absent 25 years ago.

"I was lucky the book didn't get banned and thereafter, I haven't looked back," Tharoor said at a panel discussion in the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival.

He said there "has been a lot of mounting intolerance that perhaps wasn't there 25 years ago" when his book was released.

Tharoor expressed confidence that the book would not have survived in the present climate of "mounting intolerance that we seem to be living with in our country."

"'The Great Indian Novel' was one of the first of its kind in India 25 years ago that poked fun at both the hallowed heroes of the nationalist movement and also timeless legends of the great legend Mahabharata," he said.

The best-selling author of books like 'Midnight to the Millennium' and the 'Elephant, Tiger and Cellphone' recalled that Khushwant Singh had devoted an entire column to this book but with a warning that 'Go out and buy this book immediately because it will be banned within a week'.

But Tharoor could get way with some "very minor changes" to the manuscript.

"I don't know what saved me. Had Indians suddenly become more mature or was it simply because the kind of people who banned books were not trying to read English language books in 1989," the award-winning writer said.

When a book-lover asked him about how he prefers to write - with pen and paper or on the computer - Tharoor said he composes directly on word processor on the computer.

He joked about his hand-writing saying his hand-written stories look like a doctor's prescription.