Chennai: Taking up the cause of a Tamil writer who has withdrawn from literary world after a row over one of his novels, a writers' forum has moved the Madras High Court seeking to declare as null and void the decision arrived at a peace committee meeting convened by officials to remove certain portions of the book.
The petition by President of Chennai-based Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers and Artists Association alleged that the decision to remove some portions from the novel 'Madhorubagan' written by Perumal Murugan was taken at the meeting on January 12 under the "pressure" of the district administration.
The Facebook message by the author that "Perumal Murugan the author is dead" after tendering an apology at the peace meeting showed how the agreement was thrust upon him, the petitioner contended.
Giving the background of the novel, the petitioner said it was published in 2010 and no one found anything objectionable. But suddenly on December 27 last activists represented by Hindu Munnani and other outfits objected to certain portions of the novel and started agitations and demonstrations and also burnt the book's copies in public.
Though the author had on January 8 issued a clarification that the observations related to a ritual during a temple festival in his novel are totally unintentional and promised to remove the objectionable portions in the next edition, the outfits called a bandh, prompting the peace committee meeting.
The petitioner claimed the author was under constant threat and his life was in danger and said Murugan's fundamental right to write any novel had been snatched away by the decision of the peace committee.