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Controversial book on Gandhi banned in his native state.

The government of Gujarat has banned a controversial book about its famous native son Mahatma Gandhi.

The state assembly voted unanimously to ban the "publication, printing or distribution of the book in the state with immediate effect," despite the fact that it has not been released in India yet.

Narendra Modi, chief minister of the western Indian state, said that contents of the book were "perverse and defamed the icon of non-violence".

Written by Pulitzer Prize winning author Joseph Lelyveld, "Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India" claims that the founder of modern India had a sexual relationship with Hermann Kallenbach, a German-Jewish bodybuilder and also made disparaging remarks about black Africans during his early years in South Africa.

Modi accused the author of having a "perverted mentality" and that the book will hurt masses of Indian who revere Gandhi.

"This publication defames the Mahatma and there is rising anger not only in Gujarat but in the entire country," Modi said.

"The perversion shown in the writings not only deserves to be condemned in the strongest possible terms but cannot be tolerated. I know that the members of this august house share my feelings."

It is believed that more Indian states will likely ban the book, given that homosexuality remains a taboo in the country and only decriminalized two years ago.
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Mar 30, 2011
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