When Jawaharlal Nehru read ‘Lolita’ to decide whether an ‘obscene’ book should be allowed in India

Shubhneet Kaushik at Scroll.in:

In May 1959, DF Karaka, the founder editor of The Current, wrote a letter to then Finance Minister Moraji Desai about a book. Karaka explained that the book glorified a sexual relationship between a grown man and a teenage girl. He included a clipping from The Current that demanded an immediate ban on the “obscene” book.

The book in question was Lolita, written by Russian-American novelist Vladimir Nabokov, and published in 1955.

A month earlier, on April 6, 1959, the collector of Customs in Bombay had detained a consignment that included imported copies of the novel belonging to Jaico Publishing House. The collector of Customs referred the matter to the police, the Ministry of Law as well as the Ministry of Finance.

More here.