Tamil Nadu

Writers move HC in support of Perumal Murugan

Perumal Murugan.   | Photo Credit: special arrangement

The Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers’ Association has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Madras High Court, seeking to declare as null and void the peace meeting held at Namakkal Collectorate, after which writer Perumal Murugan renounced writing.

Mr. Murugan was “helpless” and was forced to tender an unconditional apology and delete certain portions from his novel Madhorubhagan, at the peace meeting organised by the Namakkal administration on January 12, the association has submitted before the court.

In the PIL, association president, S.Tamilselvan said the district administration conducted the peace meeting after a demonstration and a local bandh in Tiruchengode, where the writer was left alone.

The association alleged that he was intimidated into subscribing to the demands of the opponents, backed by the revenue and police officials. Left with no other option, he tendered an unconditional apology. It said the author’s decision at the meeting to issue an unconditional apology, delete the controversial portions from his book, withdraw unsold copies from the market and not to write about any controversial subjects hurting the people’s sentiments should be declared as null and void. Hence the present petition.

The novel that has been at the centre of controversy revolves round the futile efforts of a childless couple and a myth related to a temple car festival. The novel is set in pre-Independence period involving consensual sex ritually associated with the annual car festival of Sri Arthanareeswarar temple at Tiruchengode in Namakkal district. The author hailed from a village in Tiruchengode.

The petition is likely to come up for hearing on Tuesday.

CPI’s appeal

PTI reports from Delhi:

The Communist Party of India on Monday appealed to Mr. Murugan to reconsider his decision to leave the literary world, while it denounced the fundamentalist forces for “strangulating” the writer’s freedom.

The CPI also disapproved the stand of government officials which, the party claimed, “forced” the writer to withdraw his novel.

The party’s national council meeting held in Nagpur passed a resoluton, urging Mr. Murugan to continue writing.

Noting that Mr. Murugan has been writing on social issues for the last 25 years and he recently condemned the compulsory capitation fee prevalent in private educational institutions in Namakkal district, the party said that the particular article irritated the commercial educational capitalists.

“In this background, the RSS found fault with a recorded cultural event in his novel and campaigned against him and organised a public protest,” it said.

Key Developments

  • BJP, RSS demand ban on 'Madhorubagan' and arrest of the author. Copies burnt at Tiruchengode. >Read more
  • The Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artistes Association express solidarity with Mr. Murugan >Read more
  • Hindutva ideologue and writer Aravindan Neelakantan reiterated that the RSS had never favoured the idea of banning books. >Read more
  • Peace restored in Tiruchengode after an agreement between Mr. Murugan and various members of Hindu outfits. >Read more
>Read more » >Read more » >Read more »

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It would be tragic if Perumal Murugan is silenced in his prime

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"When its copies were burnt, I wondered if there was any point in writing for such a society"



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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 9:31:46 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/writers-move-hc-in-support-of-perumal-murugan/article6802612.ece

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