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Books in India come under censorious eye

Publishers fall in line if self-appointed ‘Ban Man’ finds any slight to Hindu faith

Posted: July 6, 2014 at 3:41 a.m.

Dina Nath Batra, shown in New Delhi on June 13, is a retired school principal, education activist and Hindu nationalist. He is also called the Ban Man or the ìbook police" and is regarded as a threat to the very idea of democracy in India. His mission is to clean up all the books, including school history textbooks, of anything that, he says, is damaging to his Hindu faith. Illustrates INDIA-BOOKS (category i), by Rama Lakshmi, © 2014 The Washington Post. Moved Monday June 30, 2014. (MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Rama Lakshmi)

NEW DELHI -- The frail, 85-year-old retired school principal doesn't get out much. He walks slowly, reads books all day and watches patriotic soap operas by night. But India's liberal intellectuals call him a threat to the very idea of democracy.

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