India: Writer charged with obscenity for debut novel

Author Murzban Shroff has been charged with obscenity and making “prejudicial” remarks to “national integration” in his novel Breathless in Bombay. The latter charge is based on the use of the word “ghati”; a defamatory term for Maharashtrians, people from the Maharashtra region in western India. Following Shroff’s hearing at the Bombay High Court on Friday, Justice BR Gavai ordered that police not to take any “coercive action” against the author during the ongoing investigation but he granted the prosecution three weeks to file a reply.