Archive for the ‘Publishing’ Category

The Descent of Air India

May 14, 2014

I have just acquired the ebook “The Descent of Air India” by Jitender Bhargava and which was first published by Bloomsbury Publishing in October 2013. However Praful Patel the former Civil Aviation Minister sued the publishers for defaming him and applied pressure to prevent the distribution of the book. The publisher – without consulting the author – withdrew the book and apologised to Praful Patel.

So much for the courage of publishers.

DNA: Publishing giant Bloomsbury in a decision, unprecedented for its abject surrender, has withdrawn former AI top honcho Jitender Bhargava’s book The Descent of Air India, agreed to destroy copies of the book left in its stocks and tendered an apology to former civil aviation minister Praful Patel, who has been pilloried in the book as the man who caused the downfall of the airline.

I shall review the book in a few days when I have read it through.

Bhargava wrote on his Facebook page:

After the book, ‘The Descent of Air India’ was formally released on October 11, 2013 in Delhi, attempts were made by Praful Patel to obstruct its distribution. Besides ensuring that the books were not sold at airport book stores (he still appears to wield clout with airport operators); had TV channels to drop scheduled programmes relating to the book – in the case of one news channel even after the interview had been recorded; he served a legal notice, alleging that the book contents were defamatory.
He filed a case in the court of the metropolitan magistrate, Mumbai. While I told the judge on January 6, 2014, that everything stated in the book about Praful Patel is true, backed by documented evidence and will be duly justified and contested in the honourable court, the publishers, Bloomsbury, on whom also the notice was served, decided on not pursuing it, and instead agreeing to offer an apology to Praful Patel.
This decision of Bloomsbury was unilateral, and without discussing with me, as an author. Their stand thus naturally came to me as a surprise. And it may surprise you too when you see the apology of Bloomsbury published in the newspapers.
As everything stated in the book is true, based on documents, I will have the book, ‘The Descent of Air India’ reprinted either on my own or through a new publisher. Simultaneous action is being initiated to bring out ‘ The Descent of Air India’, as an ebook. I am told this can take up to four-five weeks.
Please bear the absence of the book from the book stores for a few weeks. I will be back soon because neither can I be bulldozed into submission nor can facts be allowed to be suppressed. In today’s environment, corrupt practices of all people, howsoever powerful, must be exposed.
I look forward to your understanding of the situation and support.

Through the 1970’s and 1980’s Air India was one of my preferred airlines. But since the early 1990’s it has been – for me – an airline to avoid.


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