(This report has been updated to include Subramanian Swamy's reaction).
In a surprising turn of events, the Modi government has told the Supreme Court that a book on terrorism authored by Bharatya Janata Party's firebrand leader Subramanian Swamy promotes hatred between Hindus and Muslims.
The affidavit filed by the government on Tuesday was in response to Swamy's petition challenging the constitutional validity of the Indian Penal Code Section 153A on the grounds that it violates free speech.
IPC 153 A: "Promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony."
The government affidavit states that Swamy's book - Terrorism in India: A Strategy of Deterrence for India's National Security - violates Section 153A.
"That the petitioner has written a book named Terrorism in India wherein he made hate speech against the community of India. The book—it’s theme, it’s language, it’s innuendos, the similes it employs and the moral of the story, if any—in order to ascertain whether the offending passages read in the context of the book as a whole fall within the mischief of section 153A," reads the affidavit.
"The book to be considered in all its aspects as it contains matter which 'promotes feeling of enmity and hatred between Hindus and Muslims in India.' Therefore, the petitioner has violated sections of IPC," reads the affidavit.
In an email to HuffPost India, Swamy said that he plans to speak with Home Minister Rajnath Singh about the affidavit, which, he described as mindless.
The government affidavit, he said, displayed "a total lack of application of mind by the government and speaks poorly about the law officers of the government who have already brought disgrace to the BJP government by their failure in dealing with the Section 66A of Information Technology Act and in the NJAC fiasco."
CNN IBN's Ashok Bagariya first reported story on Tuesday evening, around the same time as Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi concluded her march to seek President Pranab Mukherjee's intervention against a "sinister campaign" to spread hatred under the BJP-led government.
— CNN-IBN News (@ibnlive) November 3, 2015
Swamy has reportedly questioned whether Laltlana Chhangte, the official in the Ministry of Home Affairs, who filed the affidavit, had "political clearance."
Swamy questions affidavit filed by govt in SC, speaking to CNN-IBN @ibnlive, asks if under-secretary who filed it had 'political clearance'
— Sayoni Aiyar (@sayoniaiyar) November 3, 2015
Contact HuffPost India
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