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Kerala Govt Backs Award-winning Author Who Withdrew Novel After Threats From Hindutva Outfits

Condemning the threats to the Kerala Sahitya Akademi winner, Kerala minister for public works G Sudhakaran urged the writer not to discontinue his novel.

Asheem PK | CNN-News18

Updated:July 22, 2018, 7:58 PM IST
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Kerala Govt Backs Award-winning Author Who Withdrew Novel After Threats From Hindutva Outfits
File photo of author S Hareesh.
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Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Sunday came out in support of noted Malayalam author S Hareesh, who withdrew his latest novel 'Meesha' following threats from some Hindutva outfits.

Condemning the incident, state minister for public works G Sudhakaran urged the Kerala Sahitya Akademi winner not to discontinue his novel.

“I don’t think the author should stop writing owing to the threats. It’s against the morality of an author to stop writing if someone is trying to silence them,” Sudhakaran told the media. “There is no doubt that the government will take strict action after checking facts,” he added.

Opposition Congress also came out in support of the writer, saying the incident had brought shame to the state. “People of Kerala are ashamed by the news that S Hareesh is withdrawing his novel ‘Meesha’ following threats by Sangh Parivar. Sangh Parivar won’t hesitate to silence and physically attack those who write things they don’t like,” senior Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said in a Facebook post in Malayalam. “People like Kalburagi, Gauri Lankesh and Perumal Murugan were also silenced by such forces,” he added.

The novel ‘Meesha’ (moustache) is narrated in a Dalit setting and talks about the caste system in Kerala 50 years ago. Hareesh withdrew the novel, which was being serialised in ‘Mathrubhumi’ weekly, after reportedly being threatened by some Hindutva elements on social media for allegedly denouncing women who go to temples.

“Those who do not believe my warnings about the emergence of a Hindutva Taliban might learn from what has just happened to Malayalam writer Hareesh (& even more chilling, the threat to chop off his hands, Taliban-style),” Congress leader and MP Shashi Tharoor had tweeted on Saturday.
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