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Railway official 'bans' book by Khushwant Singh


Bhopal: Can a political leader appointed as Chairman of railway Passenger Service Committee (PSC) stop the sale of any book on his personal like or dislike?

Ramesh Chandra Ratn, Chairman of the Railway Board's Passenger Service Committee (PSC), who visited the Bhopal railway station on Wednesday, directed a book vendor to stop selling renowned writer Khushwant Singh's novel "Women, Sex, Love and Lust", saying that such "obscene" literature may spoil the future generation.

Ratn, who happens to be a Supreme Court lawyer besides being a BJP leader, should know better. But his verdict on the famed writer's literature handed posthumously years after the publication of the book and the author's passing away had to be respected and the book is off the stalls now.

Ratn also directed officials to ensure "such obscene things" are not sold at book stalls at the Bhopal station. The BJP leader, who was on an inspection drive at the station, spotted Singh's novel and another book on preventive measures during pregnancy put on display for sale at a stall. He immediately asked the vendor to take both the books off the shelf.

Ratn also warned him that if such literature is kept for sale in the future, a fine would be imposed.

"This is a multi-purpose stall, so obscene things with such words should not be displayed. Officials have been cautioned and directed to ensure that such obscene things are not sold by the vendors," Ratn told reporters at the station.

On being asked that one of these books belonged to a renowned author, he said, "Look, whosoever may be the writer... I want to inform you all that, according to the by-laws, it is not permissible here. This is a stall of the Railways which runs according to a system."

"We don't want to spoil the future generation. Chetan Bhagat too is a writer of national fame," he said.

Incidentally, two months ago, during an inspection at the New Delhi station, the official had reportedly objected to Bhagat's novel "Half Girlfriend" being kept for sale at a stall in the premises on similar grounds.

Ratn, who is responsible for overseeing passenger amenities at railway stations, said, "With the help of the media, I want to send a message to the people to stay away from such literature and pictures."

"It is offending to our sisters and daughters. There is a system in families. Such things are banned in railway properties as there is a system," he added.

Ratn did express satisfaction over passenger facilities being provided at the Bhopal station.



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