Bloomsbury India in online row for book on 2020 Delhi riots; publishing house says it did not organise event featuring Kapil Mishra

Twitter users called out Bloomsbury for including Kapil Mishra in its line-up of panelists at a launch event. The publishing house has stated that its logo was allegedly used without its knowledge.

FP Staff August 21, 2020 23:13:55 IST
Bloomsbury India in online row for book on 2020 Delhi riots; publishing house says it did not organise event featuring Kapil Mishra

Publishing house Bloomsbury India found itself at the centre of an online row after the announcement of the speaker panel at the launch of one of its new titles, on the Delhi Riots, was widely shared on Twitter.

The online launch event, scheduled for Saturday, 22 August, will reportedly feature BJP leader Kapil Mishra, whose pro-CAA speeches preceded the February 2020 communal riots in Delhi, in which over 50 lives were reportedly lost.

Several Twitter users called out Bloomsbury for including Mishra in the event, tagging authors who have worked with the publishing house, as well as the main publishing company and its editions in other countries.

Bloomsbury India did not respond to Firstpost's requests for comment. However, an unnamed representative of the publishing house told Newslaundry that it is not organising this event. "No, the authors did not inform us of this event and our logo has been used without our knowledge. We are not organising any launch event for the book Delhi Riots 2020," the representative was quoted as saying. Suhasini Haidar of The Hindu tweeted a clarification from Bloomsbury India that while it is publishing the book, it is not organising this event.

The book in question is titled Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story and is authored by Monika Arora, Sonali Chitalkar and Prerna Malhotra. Arora described her book on Twitter as an account of "how Jehadi-Naxal lobby planned and executed Delhi riots".

Poet and writer Meena Kandasamy tweeted, "This is not about Cancel Culture. This is about defending literature from fascism. This is about standing up against religious divide, hate speech, islamophobia and false history."

On FirstpostHigh cost of riots in northeast Delhi: List of 49 people who died during three days of violence

After Bloomsbury India's clarification was shared online, actress Swara Bhasker tweeted, "I have 2 Q’s. Did u fact check this book? Or did you go by the propaganda and lies the rabble rousing bigots on stage at the ‘book launch’ told u. Why are u publishing this?"

In its investigation into the February 2020 riots, the Delhi Police stated "no actionable evidence" had been found that political leaders had instigated the violence. A petition by CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat, to register FIRs against Mishra and others in the riots case, was referred to a lower court by the Delhi HC this month.

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