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Malayalam writer S Hareesh withdraws novel citing threats from right wing groups

Kerala Sahitya Akademi winner S Hareesh said he pained over a campaign against his novel and will publish the book later “when the climate was congenial”.

india Updated: Jul 21, 2018 23:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram
S Hareesh,Malayalam writer withdraws novel,Meesa
S Hareesh’s novel ‘Meesa’ depicted rigors of caste system that existed in Kerala half a century back.(Sreejithkoiloth/Wikimedia Commons)

Noted Malayalam writer, S Hareesh has withdrawn his latest novel “Meesa” (Moustache), citing alleged threats from right-wing groups.

The Kerala Sahitya Akademi winner said he was really pained over a campaign against his novel being serialised in Mathrubhumi weekly.

The weekly had carried three chapters of “Meesa” and its editor Kamal Ram Sajeev has confirmed that he received a letter from the writer requesting him to withdraw remaining parts of the novel.

“S Hareesh withdraws his novel “Meesa”. Literature is being mob lynched. Darkest day in Kerala’s cultural history, lightless days to follow,” the editor tweeted.

Many known writers like K Satchithanandan termed the decision “unfortunate”.

When contacted Hareesh said he did not want to comment further and will publish the book later “when the climate was congenial”.

The novel depicted rigors of caste system that existed in Kerala half a century back. The writer’s friends said some people had circulated excerpts of the novel on social media and started a virulent campaign alleging he hurt religious sentiments. Two days back, Hindu Akiya Vedi activists had burnt a few copes of the weekly.

Critics reportedly took exception to a conversation between two characters in the novel.

They said it was a deliberate attempt to malign Hindus and stormed his social media accounts with abuses. There were also calls to teach him a lesson him like poet Kureepuzha Sreekumar who was allegedly attacked by Sangh Parivar supporters four months ago. Following torrential threats, the writer was forced to deactivate his social media accounts.

Hareesh is not the first writer to get bullied. In 2015 Tamil writer Perumal Murugan had announced “author Perumal Murugan had died a premature death” after he was hounded by members of Hindu Munnani and other right-wing outfits. In 2016 the Chennai high court had quashed all cases against him.

First Published: Jul 21, 2018 22:08 IST