Another tragedy – the Tamil writer Perumal Murugan has decided to withdraw all his books and never write again after being bullied by Hindutva groups.
A week after the police advised Tamil writer Perumal Murugan to leave his home in Namakkal following protests by caste- and Hindutva organisations against his book Madhorubagan, the author has announced that he will withdraw his entire body of work from publication and will never write again.
The announcement came after four hours of negotiations with the groups that had objected to the book.
“Negotiations” forsooth! What is there to negotiate?!
Last month, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh burnt copies of his novel in Tiruchengode in Tamil Nadu on Friday, The Hindu reported, saying that parts of the book insulted the Kailasanathar temple, Shiva and female worshippers. They claimed to be offended by the sexual permissiveness described in the book, which is set around 100 years ago at the time of an annual festival in Tiruchengode.
After repeated threats on the phone, the writer decided to flee his hometown a few days ago.
On Monday night, Murugan posted a note on his Facebook wall announcing his decision to stop writing altogether. He offered to compensate his publishers and readers if they incurred any loss and asked people to leave him alone.
Here’s a translation of that note by Aniruddhan Vasudevan – it’s heartbreaking:
Author Perumal Murugan has died. He is no god, so he is not going to resurrect himself. Nor does he believe in reincarnation. From now on, Perumal Murugan will survive merely as a teacher, as he has been.
He thanks all magazines, media, readers, friends,writers, organisations, political parties, leaders, students and anyone else who supported Perumal Murugan and upheld the freedom of expression.
The issue is not going to end with Madhorubagan. Different groups and individuals might pick up any of his books and make it a problem. Therefore, these are the final decisions that Perumal Murugan has taken:
1. Other than those books that Perumal Murugan has compiled and published on his own, he withdraws all the novels, short stories, essays and poetry he has written so far. He says with certainty that none of these books will be on sale again.
2. He requests his publishers – Kalachavadu, Natrinai, Adaiyalam, Malaigal, Kayalkavin not to sell his books. He will compensate them for their loss.
3. All those who have bought his books so far are free to burn them. If anyone feels they have incurred a waste or loss in buying his books, he will offer them a compensation.
4. He requests that he be not invited to any events from now on.
5. Since he is withdrawing all his books, he requests caste, religious, political and other groups not to engage in protests or create problems.
Please leave him alone. Thanks to everyone.
On January 7 he wrote an eloquent defense and explanation of his work, and now he’s been driven to this.
People can be so sickening.