Hounded for days by Hindu groups and forced to tender an unconditional apology for writing a novel protestors claimed portrayed the Kailasanathar temple in Tiruchengode, Tamil Nadu, and women devotees in bad light, a noted Tamil author and academician said he was giving up writing altogether and promised to compensate publishers for unsold books.
"Perumal Murugan, the writer is dead. As he is no God, he is not going to resurrect himself. He also has no faith in rebirth. An ordinary teacher, he will live as P. Murugan. Leave him alone," the author posted on his Facebook page.
The Hindu reported Murugan was forced to take the step after BJP, RSS and other Hindu outfits demanded a ban on his book – One Part Woman - translated into English and published by Penguin - and burnt copies of the book.
The Hindu quoted his close friends as saying that Murugan was forced to take this extreme step after suffering bullying at the hands of right wing activists for days. At a ‘peace meeting’ held at Namakkal, Murugan tendered an apology following which he was promised that the agitations would stop.
He urged his publishers not to sell his novels, short stories, poetries and other creative works. “I will pay the production cost and compensation for unsold books,” he said.
"Those who have bought my books can consign them to the flames. I am also ready to pay compensation to them"
“Those who have bought my books can consign them to the flames. I am also ready to pay compensation to them,” he said.
The New Indian Express reported Murugan decided to withdraw all his novels, short stories, essays and poems published so far. He told the Express that he made the decision “fearing protests in the future against his published work.”
“The issue over Madhorubhagan was settled amicably as both parties reached an agreement during the talks. There will be no protests hereafter regarding the issue,” the District Revenue Officer (DRO) V R Subbulaxmi, who chaired the truce meeting, said.
The author has repeatedly said the novel, that pushes the boundaries of social convention, was “written on imaginary concepts”.
“Acutely observed, One Part Woman lays bare with unsparing clarity a relationship caught between the dictates of social convention and the tug of personal anxieties, vividly conjuring an intimate and unsettling portrait of marriage, love and sex,” the book’s sales blurb said.
Murugan had complained of intimidation.
He contacted the Superintendent of Police seeking protection for him and his family members, according to this report in The Hindu.
“In the last 20 days, I have been receiving calls abusing me. It has disturbed me a lot. On Thursday, a group of people visited my house and wanted a copy of the book,” Murugan, a Professor at the Government Arts College in Namakkal and author of seven books, told The Hindu.
Hindu activists raised slogans and burnt copies of Murugan’s book in front of the local police station.