25 Most Controversial & Famous Banned books in India List

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We have the history of banning controversial books by the government since British India. Books with the inflammatory viewpoint about a particular society/religion/race usually become the victim of such cases of the book-ban. Books which poses a threat to the contemporary government could easily invite them to ban it. These type of books may be a result of honest research in order to uncover the truth or such books may ride on baseless lies and written to malign them. We have thoroughly researched on the topic, in order to identify the list of major controversial & famous banned books in India.

You may also read 10 Must-Read Inspiring Indian Biographies & Autobiographies.

We are enlisting the major controversial and famous banned books in India and all of these mentioned books are noteworthy.

Quick look on banned books in India

  1. The Hindus: An Alternative History – by Wendy Donige
  2. Some Blunders in Indian Historical Research’  and 
  3. ‘The Taj Mahal Is A Temple Palace’ – Both books by P. N. Oak
  4. The Satanic Verses’ and
  5. ‘Midnight’s Children’ – Both by Salman Rushdie
  6. ‘The Price of Power: Kissinger and Nixon in the White House’ – By Seymour Hersh
  7. Unarmed Victory‘ – By Bertrand Russell
  8. Eminent Historian’ – by Arun Shourie
  9. Understanding Islam through Hadis – by Ram Swarup
  10. ‘Lajja’ and
  11. ‘Dwikhandita’ – by Taslima Nasrin
  12. Rangila Rasul – by Unknown Author
  13. Polyester Prince – by Hamish McDonald
  14. Five Past Midnight in Bhopal – by Dominique Lapierre and Javier Moro
  15. The Great Soul – By Joseph Lelyveld
  16. ‘Himalayan Blunder: The Angry Truth About India’s Most Crushing Military Disaster’ – By  Brigadier John Parashuram Dalvi
  17. ‘What Congress and Gandhi have done to Untouchables’ – By Bhimrao Ambedkar
  18. Korkai : By Joe D’Cruz (in Tamil language)
  19. An Area of Darkness by V.S. Naipaul
  20. “The Descent of Air India “ by Jitender Bhargava
  21. Reminiscences of the Nehru Age : By M.O. Mathai
  22. Islam – A Concept of Political World Invasion by Muslims – By R.V. Bhasin
  23. ‘Nine Hours to Rama’ – By Stanley Wolpert
  24. ‘Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence’ – By Jaswant Singh
  25. Nathuram Godse statement / Speech to Court 

Link of the source is being provided for every book mentioned below. And most of these books are not available at -commerce portals like Amazon India & Flipkart as still banned in India and due to this link is also being provided for ready reference. So, enjoy reading & exploring these rarely available books!

Controversial & Famous Banned books in India

 1 . The Hindus: An Alternative History – by Wendy Doniger

One of the leading banned books in India.

the hindus wendy dongier
Image courtesy : Amazon

Why banned :  The content is offensive to Hindus. Book argues that there is no monolithic “Hinduism” – no “Sanatana Dharma” at all. Due to this reason, It is claimed that, book is misleading and at times giving false information. It also contains several unjustified judgements from someone with a distant perspective and incomplete understanding of Hindu culture.

Available at :

2 & 3 : ‘Some Blunders in Indian Historical Research’  and  The Taj Mahal Is A Temple Palace – Both books by P. N. Oak

pn oak - blunders of indian history
Image courtesy : Amazon

Why banned : Oak’s book “Some Blunders in Indian Historical Research” was banned from the Parliament’s library by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha (lower House) as noted in news archives. There are also other claims of government suppression, e.g. “Allegedly, Indira Gandhi’s government tried to ban (The Taj Mahal is a Temple Place) and some would say the Indian government had been politically motivated in suppressing this theory” (Source – Wikipedia).

Available at : (English) (Hindi – भारतीय इतिहास की भयंकर भूलें )

pn oak taj mahal

Available at:

4 & 5 . ‘The Satanic Verses’ and ‘Midnight’s Children’ – Both by Salman Rushdie 

satanic verses
Image courtesy:

Why banned : One of the most controversial books ‘The Satanic Verses’ was banned in India because Muslims protested that it was blasphemous and hurt their religious sentiments. Book – ‘The Satanic Verses’ is on of the most controversial book in India as it tried to mix magical realism with a description of the origins and various facets of Islam.

Available at :

Midnight's Children
Image courtesy : Amazon

Why banned : For this 1981 novel, Salman Rushdie had received 1981’s Bookers Prize and 1993’s ‘Booker of Bookers’ on 25th anniversary of the book and Best all-time winners in 2008 on 40th anniversary. This book received many other major accolades of English literature. 

The book was banned in India by then Congress govt. as it contain scathing criticisms of Indira Gandhi’s over-reach during the Emergency as well as a personal lust for power.

However, Rushdie didn’t name Indira in his book. 

Available at :

6 . ‘The Price of Power: Kissinger and Nixon in the White House’ – By Seymour Hersh

The Price of Power
Image courtesy: Amazon

Why banned : Banned for alleging the former Pime Minister of India – Morarji Desai to be a CIA informer by Pulitzer Prize-winner Seymour Hersh in his book. As a result, this book was temporarily banned in India.

Available at :

7 . Unarmed Victory‘ – By Bertrand Russell

Unarmed Victory
Image courtesy: Amazon

Why banned: This book was banned from being imported into India. It was banned by Jawahar Lal Nehru, then PM because this book reveals the communication between Russel and Indian and Chinese state of heads & senior officials. The book provides the insight about the discussion Russel had with Nehru and also makes a decisive judgement of the acts of conflict and the war between China and India. Book also states that India provided steady impediment in the way of compromise which seriously inflated the crisis and the risk to mankind.  Bertrand Russel was awarded with the Nobel Prize of Literature in 1950 in recognition of his extensive contributions to world literature.

Book covers the Sino-Indian conflict in the second part.

 Available at:

8 . ‘Eminent Historian’ – by Arun Shourie

eminent historian
Image courtesy: Amazon

Why banned: Unofficially banned on platforms like Flipkart/Amazon during UPA-II tenure, this book is a masterpiece on how Indian history was distorted through bodies like ICHR. Now it is available on all platforms.

In my opinion, it’s a must read book for every Indian.

Available at  :

9 .  Understanding Islam through Hadis – by Ram Swarup

understanding islam through Hadis
Image courtesy: Amazon

Why banned: Published in 1982, this one of the most controversial books in India, was banned for its critique of Islam. Book was banned by Delhi Government in 1984 and its publisher was arrested by police.

Available at :

10 & 11 . ‘Lajja’ and ‘Dwikhandita’ – by Taslima Nasrin

lajja-revised-ed Flipkart
Image courtesy : Flipkart

Why banned : ‘Lajja’ contained the struggle of a patriotic Bangladeshi Hindu family in a Muslim environment, and was banned by Bangladesh and West Bengal citing reasons that it is offensive to Muslims and insults Islam. As per Taslima Nasreen -“‘Lajja’ can be seen as a symbol of protest. It is a protest against the violence, hatred and killings that are going on all over the world in the name of religion,”.

‘Lajja’ highlight that how Bangladesh failed miserably in protecting minority Hindus after the Babri Masjid demolition in India in 1992.

Available at :


Image courtesy : Amazon

Why banned: West Bengal Government had banned Dwikhandita, the autobiographical book by Taslima Nasreen, for saying it contained matter which could incite “enmity between different groups on grounds of religion”.

Available at :

12. Rangila Rasul – by Unknown Author

rangila rasul
Why banned : Published during a period of confrontation between Arya Samaj and Muslims in Punjab during the 1920s. The controversial book concerned the marriages and sex life of Prophet Mohammed. Originally written in Urdu, it has been translated into Hindi. It remains banned in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. (Information source – ) 

You may access or download the book from here , which is available on internet, but not available on any e-commerce platform.

13 . Polyester Prince – by Hamish McDonald

Polyester prince.jpg

Why banned : It got banned as Ambani family was not shown in favourable manner and also probably because Hamish McDonald has taken names of P. Chidambaram and other politicians by their name and shown how Dhirubhai tactfully tackled the bureaucrats, bribed the government officials.

Available at:

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