NEW DELHI — Under pressure from a small Hindu nationalist group, Penguin India publishing house has yanked all copies of an American scholar’s narrative history of Hinduism from sale in India and ordered them destroyed.

The group Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti, or the Save Education Movement, had objected to religious historian Wendy Doniger’s 2009 book, “The Hindus: An Alternative History” for describing mythological texts as fictional and, thus, hurting “the religious feelings of millions of Hindus,” according to a lawsuit filed against Penguin India.

A leader of the group filed the lawsuit in 2010 against the Indian publishing house as well as the New York-based arm Penguin Group Inc. On Monday, Penguin India said that, as part of a case settlement, it was ordering all Indian sales of the book to cease and all copies to be pulped.

By Thursday, bookstores in the capital of New Delhi were refusing to sell any copies.

The action stunned writers and intellectuals in India, with many wondering how one of the world’s oldest publishing houses had given in to demands by right-wing nationalists.

Some worried it was a sign of growing intolerance of dissent in India, with the country’s main Hindu nationalist party, the Bharatiya Janata Party led by Narendra Modi, campaigning aggressively for this year’s elections.

“You have not only caved in, you have humiliated yourself abjectly before a fly-by-night outfit by signing settlement,” novelist and rights activist Arundhati Roy wrote in a letter to the publisher printed Thursday in the Times of India.

Roy, best known for her Booker-prize winning novel “God of Small Things,” is also published by Penguin, though she suggested she may rethink the relationship.

“You owe us, your writers an explanation at the very least,” she wrote, saying the publisher’s decision “affects us all.”

An editorial in The Hindu newspaper excoriated Penguin India, saying that in allowing itself “to be browbeaten into submission by a little-known outfit that saw no contradiction in its own sweeping slander of the author … is a comment on the illiberalism incrementally taking India in its sweep.”

Doniger is not the first author to be silenced by religious or political conservatives in India. In 2011, the state of Gujarat where Modi has held the top office for 12 years banned Joseph Lelyveld’s biography on pacifist freedom fighter Mohandas K. Gandhi, after reviews suggested Gandhi had a homosexual relationship.

The same year, the Indian government banned visits by American writer and broadcaster David Barsamian, who has said he believes his reports from Kashmir may have irritated officials.