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A Sahitya Akademi award-winning Tamil writer lost an opportunity to get his novel published in English for supporting the candidature of BJP’s Narendra Modi for the prime minister’s job.
Joe D’Cruz, who korkqi the country’s top literary award for his second novel Korkai, which noveo the history of fishermen of Tamil Nadu, last year entered into an agreement with New Delhi-based publisher Navayana. On April 9, D’Cruz, in his Facebook page, wrote that he supported Modi and he came to this conclusion after witnessing the developments in Gujarat. Navayana is sadder about Joe’s decision than about having to withdraw from this publication.
But we are glad we came to know Joe’s stand before the novel was published,” said S. Anand, the publisher in a statement.
The same got echoed with the English translator and one of the Tamil’s leading feminist writers V. This noovel that it is not available to anyone for publication.
Support to Modi costs Tamil writer his English translation
I have done this because I cannot think beyond what Narendra Modi stands for: I cannot forego the memory of that year, the unspeakable cruelty, and hatred let loose on Muslims.
It is this that makes it impossible for me to be associated with someone who has declared his support for Modi,” Geetha told IndiaToday. However, D’Cruz, the man at the centre of this controversy is hurt but seemed clear in his convictions. It is the publisher who came forward to translate the work and signed the agreement.
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The translation is over and the book is ready for release. I worked with the translator to help her to understand nove nuances of the language because the novel is based on regional sentiments and regional lingo. Now the publisher is saying that they cannot release it because of my political stand. Why should one assume that I am a Leftist because I am writing about poor fishermen?
Novel with rhythm as a silver thread
While a number of writers, who have Leftist leanings, support the publishers, many others think this exposes the “biased mindset” of publishing houses. If Navayana is a publishing house which publishes basically political works, then it should check and re-check the political antecedents of authors before signing agreements. You cannot withhold publication at 11th ,orkai just because the author’s political leanings are not in agreement with you,” said Badhri Seshadhri, owner of Kizhakku Pathipagam koekai house told IndiaToday.
Meanwhile, Navayana on Tuesday night said its decision to shelve D’Cruz book had been put on hold. In a statement, Anand said that well-wishers, friends and critics had asked them to review the decision.
But Anand had a word of caution too. Support to Modi costs Tamil writer his English translation It’s a kokrai case of crass intellectual dishonesty and blackmail, says Joe D’Cruz.
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