In January 2014, Bloomsbury India had withdrawn the book ‘The Descent of Air India’ written by the airline’s former Executive Director Jitender Bhargava because it called out Praful Patel, former Minister of Civil Aviation. Patel had also filed a defamation case against the publishing house.
Yes, it was Bloomsbury which had withdrawn the book, but I self-published it soon thereafter and ensured availability of ‘The Descent of Air India’ on Amazon – both in print format and as e-book. https://t.co/xVe5ti5hui pic.twitter.com/MMiJLl9ynB— Jitender Bhargava (@JitiBhargava) August 23, 2020
The book blamed senior NCP leader and former minister of civil aviation in the UPA government, Praful Patel for the national airline’s weak financial health. The publishing house had also apologised to Patel if the content had caused any embarrassment to him. “It was never our intention to discredit him in any manner,” Bloomsbury had said in a statement.
Published in October 2013, The Descent of Air India mentioned how the deal to purchase 111 planes between 2005 to 2006 from Boeing and Airbus and merger with Indian Airlines added to financial woes of the national carrier. He was the union minister for civil aviation from May 2004 to January 2011. Following the apology, Patel had withdrawn the defamation case against Bloomsbury. In 2014 it was reported that while Patel had dropped defamation case against Bloomsbury, he had decided to pursue the case against Bhargava. His lawyer was Satish Maneshinde, the same one who is currently presenting Rhea Chakraborty in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case.
All the copies of the book left in the stock were destroyed and pulped.
Bhargava had said that his allegations can be substantiated with the documents. He later went on to self-publish the book.
Bloomsbury and the art of killing books
On Sunday, the London-based publishing house withdrew publishing of a book on Delhi riots ‘Delhi Riots 2020 The Untold Story’ after the ‘liberals’ bullied Bloomsbury. Bloomsbury India has decided to withdraw the publication of the book ‘Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story’ by authors of Monika Arora, Sonali Chitalkar and Prerna Malhotra. In a statement, the publication house cited a ‘virtual pre-publication launch organised without our knowledge by the authors’ as one of the reasons for its decision.
Even as the Bloomsbury informed that they are withdrawing the book, it was marked as unavailable on e-commerce site Amazon. Before that, the book was available for pre-order, and a large number of people had pre-ordered the book ahead of its planned launch in next month.