Gandhinagar: A controversial book on Mahatma Gandhi was banned in his native state of Gujarat Wednesday, with Chief Minister Narendra Modi saying its contents were perverse and defamed the icon of non-violence.
A resolution to ban it was moved in the assembly by Modi and was passed unanimously. The book, "Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India", by Pulitzer winning journalist Joseph Lelyveld, created a controversy after reviewers said it suggested that the Mahatma was a bisexual.
While Lelyveld has reportedly denied ever writing that Gandhi was a bisexual, Modi said he has displayed a perverted mentality in writing the book and hurt the sentiments of the masses.
"This publication defames the Mahatma and there is rising anger not only in Gujarat but in the entire country. The perversion shown in the writings not only deserves to be condemned in the strongest possible terms but cannot be tolerated. I know that the members of this august house share my feelings," he added.
The chief minister said, "I would like to inform the house that the Gujarat government has decided to ban the publication, printing or distribution of the book in the state with immediate effect."
Modi said that Mahatma Gandhi was not only a very revered figure in India but his entire life was devoted to the welfare of mankind. "The writer has indulged in the most reprehensible act by hurting the sentiments of millions of people and must, therefore, tender a public apology."
"Not only this but this assembly also appeals to the government of India to ban the book with immediate effect in the country."
Congress leader and Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil said not only should the book be banned but the government of India should also initiate action against the writer.
The resolution was passed unanimously.