Perumal Murugan, author of the novel Madhorubhagan that has come under attack from Hindutva and caste outfits, has urged his publishers — Kalachuvadu, Nattrinai, Adayalam, Malaigal and Kayalkavin — not to sell his novels, short stories or poetry.
Madhorubhagan portrays the life of a childless couple in the backdrop of a consensual sex ritual held on the night of the car festival of Arthanareeswara, the presiding deity of Tiruchengode temple
V.R. Subbulakshmi, District Revenue Officer who chaired a “peace meeting” at Namakkal on Monday in the wake of protests, announced that the writer, besides issuing an unconditional apology, had agreed to delete the controversial portions in the book, withdraw unsold copies from the market and not to write on subjects that could potentially hurt sentiments.
In an FB message a day after, Mr. Murugan promised to compensate his publishers. “I will pay the production cost and compensate for the unsold stocks,” he said. “Those who have bought my books can consign them to the flames if they so wish. I am ready to pay compensation to them too,” he said in the post.
He called upon organisers of literary festivals not to invite him. He requested caste outfits and religious organisations to desist from protests, now that he had decided to withdraw all his books. Perumal Murugan said his statement would be on Facebook for two weeks and he would permanently quit social media after that.
Kannan, publisher of Kalachuvadu that has brought out most of Perumal Murugan’s works, said he had decided not to sell Madhorubhagan out of a sense of moral responsibility, though legally nothing could stop him from selling the book. Citing Martin Luther King’s quote, “Peace is not the absence of violence, but the presence of justice”, he said “there is peace in Namakkal, but no justice.”