Nehru and Laine Books
Kitabkhana offers his perspective on the Shivaji-as-national-pride issue:
The thing is, Atal Behari Vajpayee is an honourable man. A while back, he’d obliquely criticised people who banned books and ravaged libraries, suggesting that they might choose to table their objections in more intellectual fashion. The thing is, it’s the elections and he’s campaigning in Maharashtra, also known as I Love Shivaji Central. The thing is, Laine hasn’t said anything defamatory, or even especially inflamatory, about Shivaji, in his book. The thing is, our honourable PM has done the crowd-pulling bit and slammed Laine in general, foreign scholars in particular, just to get that applause going. The thing is, if anyone else had pulled a volte face like that, I’d have had no hesitation in calling him a two-faced wuss who lacked the courage of his convictions and was only too happy to sell intellectual freedom down the river in pursuit of votes. But the thing is, we’re talking about Atal Behari Vajpayee here, and as everyone knows, AB Vajpayee is an honourable man. Isn’t he?
And if you care to read the article quoting Vajpayee, here it is.