Posted on: 26 August 2015

Digital Rare Book:
A Handbook to Agra and the Taj, Sikandra, Fatehpur-Sikri and the neighbourhood
By Ernest Binfield Havell (1861-1934)
Published by Longmans, Green & Co., London - 1904

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Taj Mahal, Agra, 1916
Charles William Bartlett (British, 1860-1940)
Color woodcut

Source: Cleveland Museum of Art

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Rare Book Society of India is doing a good job .I further wish that all books banned in Pre Independet period of India should be posted with pictures of their covers and contents page.

Thank you Sir! Would appreciate if you could provide us a list of such books.

Rare Book Society of India , please do NOT publish all books banned in pre-independence period of India. Some are still banned & should you choose to publish some of them, you would not only violate Indian laws, you may create another Charlie Hebdo like situation. That french affair is merely Rajpal Malhotra redux : "Rajpal & Sons" publishers of India have an interesting history. ( ). The origins of India/ Pakistan/ Bangladesh's blasphemy laws ( brought in by the British colonial powers & still in place), go back to a book on the Prophet, the murder of the publisher & the subsequent trial/hanging/sainthood of the murderer. Amidst tensions between Punjabi-Muslims (mainly Sunnis) & Punjabi-Hindus (mainly Arya Samajis) in Lahore of 1920s, a pamphlet titled " Krishna teri Gita jalani padegi" ( Krishna, I burn your Gita ) was published & immediately followed by a book titled " Rangeela Rasool " ( Colourful Prophet) ( still banned in India, Pakistan & Bangladesh but easily available online). The book was written by a scholar under the pen-name, Pandit Chamupati, and published by Lahore's publisher, Rajpal Malhotra. Many protests followed this publication & even MK Gandhi wrote against this book in his magazine, Young India. The British government of Punjab filed a case against the publisher & after 4 years of trials, Rajpal Malhotra was sentenced to 1.5 years of imprisonment & fine, before being finally acquitted by Justice Duleep Singh of the Punjab High Court. But inspired by the preachers at Lahore's Wazir Khan mosque in 1929, a 19 year-old carpenters apprentice named Ilm Deen went ahead & stabbed Rajpal Malhotra to death. And this carpenter ( now remembered as a saint - Ghazi Ilm Deen Shaheed in Pakistan, ) was not a lone wolf. Such action was being openly demanded by Muslim leaders like Maulana Zafar Ali Khan and thousands of protesters. Ilm Deen's best friend wanted to do the act and only stepped aside because they drew lots and Ilm Deen won thrice in a row. He was then defended in court by none other than Pakistan's creator - Quaid E Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah, who was asked to take up the case by his illustrious friend, Sir Mohammed Iqbal ( Poet & Conceptualiser of the two-nation theory). Ilm Deen's funeral drew thousands and was attended with pride by Iqbal, who supposedly said that “this carpenter has left us, educated people, far behind”. His grave is now a popular shrine and a Punjabi movie (available on youtube) has been made about his exploit, complete with a dance sequence featuring the blasphemer enjoying himself before he meets his fate. Rajpal Malhotra's publishing house continued with his sons taking charge. In 1947, Rajpal & Sons relocated from Lahore to Delhi, with his son, Vishwanath taking charge. Younger son, Dina went on to create - Hind Pocket Books & his grandson has created - Full Circle. ( see ->…/dina-malhotra-…/1/194848.html ) . They've published many great books including several by Indian Presidents & Prime-Ministers, both Hindus & Muslims. Of course, Ilm Deen continues to be glorified by die-hards in Pakistan (… ) & Pandit Chamupati is still glorified by some folks in Arya-Samaj (…/immortal-martyr-mahas… ). Many lessons in history.