In a grim reminder of the Perumal Murugan episode from Tamil Nadu in 2015, Kamal C Chavara, a Malayalam writer who was arrested recently alleging a part in his novel insulted the national anthem, has decided to withdraw his book and burn it in front of the public.
In an emotional Facebook post today, the writer and playwright said the Intelligence Bureau sleuths have been hounding his family ever since he was released from the custody and that he did not want to continue as a writer anymore. The complaint against Kamal, popularly known as Kamalsy Prana, was filed by the Yuva Morcha, the BJP's youth wing.
The police had taken Kamalsy into custody on 18 December and charged him under Section 124 (A) of IPC from Kozhikode. The complaint was filed after Kamalsy posted on Facebook a portion from his novel, Smasanangalude Nottupustakam (The Notebook of the Cemeteries), in protest against the Supreme Court verdict on playing the national anthem in cinema theatres. The Yuva Morcha had alleged that the post was an insult to the national anthem.
However, later the police had dropped the charges and released him.
"My mother, father, who is a heart patient, my brother, who has a hearing and speaking impairment, and his family have been in trouble because of me. I have been a headache for them from the day I was born. The sedition charge on me has not been yet withdrawn," he has said in the post today.
"I am constantly getting threat calls on my landline at home and mobile phone. I don't wish to live as a writer," he said adding that he has asked the publishers, Green Books, to withdraw the novel.
"Admitting all my wrongdoings, I will burn my book day after tomorrow in front of the public," he has said urging everybody to pardon him for the decision and to support him.
Friends and well-wishers have urged him to hold back the decision on Facebook. Firstpost's attempts to contact Kamalsy or the publishers did not succeed.
The incident is a throwback to the Perumal Murugan episode in Tamil Nadu in 2015, when the widely read writer was forced to withdraw his novel Madhorubagan, translated as One Part Woman, after protests from the Hindutva and casteist forces. "Perumal Murugan the writer is dead," he had declared in a Facebook post announcing his decision to withdraw the novel. The decision to withdraw the book was taken after Murugan was called for a meeting with revenue officer V R Subbulakshmi of Namakkal district in Tamil Nadu.
However, in July 2016 the Madras High Court had quashed a criminal case against Murugan, and also held that the settlement between the district authorities and Murugan in 2015, as legally not binding. The judgement had effectively restored the creative freedom on Murugan.
It has to be noted that Kamalsy's shocking decision has come even after state chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan of the Left Democratic Front pointing out that "the Sangh activists are labelling him [Chavara] as a Muslim anti-national".
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Updated Date: Jan 12, 2017 18:53:23 IST