A senior railway official on Wednesday ordered a book vendor at the station in Madhya Pradesh’s capital Bhopal to stop selling writer Khushwant Singh’s book Women, Sex, Love and Lust, saying such “obscene” literature may spoil youngsters, PTI reported.
Ramesh Chandra Ratn, the chairperson of the Railways’ Passenger Services Committee, saw the book on display at the stall during an inspection drive at the station. He also objected to a book on precautionary measures to be taken during pregnancy, and immediately asked the vendor to take them off. Ratn warned the vendor that he would be fined if he kept on selling such books.
“This is a multi-purpose stall, so obscene things with such words [on the cover] should not be displayed,” the official told reporters. “Officials have been cautioned and directed to ensure such obscene things are not sold at the vends.”
When told that Singh, who died in 2014, was a renowned author, Ratn said: “Look, whosoever may be the writer…I want to inform you all that, according to the bye-laws, it is not permissible here. This is a stall of the Railways that runs according to a system.”
The senior railway officer urged people “to stay away” from such literature and pictures. “It is offending to our sisters and daughters,” he added. “There is a system in families. Cinema halls are place for it. Such things are banned in railway properties as there is a system.”
This is not the first time Ratn has objected to a book sold at a station. Two months ago, he had reportedly objected to Chetan Bhagat’s novel Half Girlfriend being sold at a stall at New Delhi station.