From humble rural origins, Baba Ramdev has risen to the top of both India’s economic and political sphere. A yoga guru by trade who made his name with popular televised yoga classes, Ramdev has since built a massive consumer goods industry worth nearly half a billion dollars. He has also become an increasingly visible face in Indian politics, publicizing his support for Narendra Modi, a right-wing Hindu nationalist and the current Prime Minister of India. Yet despite his monumental success, Ramdev has taken legal steps to prevent the sale of a new book about his life.
‘Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story’, written by business journalist Priyanka Pathak-Narain, uses public documents and over 50 interviews to construct a record of Ramdev’s remarkable ascent. However, publisher Juggernaut Books and Amazon have received a court injunction barring them from selling the book, with the injunction citing harm to Ramdev’s reputation and image.
Image courtesy of stepupstudent.com
“The allegation of defamation must certainly be heard in the courts, and we welcome the chance to defend our book,” said Juggernaut Books. “We stand by our book, will defend the case, and will move the court to vacate the injunction.”
The case of the Ramdev book is but one example of an Indian writer coming up against censorship from agitated individuals or groups, especially those who dare to shed light on the overlap between powerful business and political interests and figures. Such offended parties often take their fights to court, which sometimes lead to publishers withdrawing controversial books with little protest.
Image courtesy of Amazon India
Though Juggernaut has vowed to fight the injunction, only time will tell if Ramdev will prevail in his fight for control of his public narrative.
Featured image courtesy of News18.com.