Backed by a glowing Madras High Court judgment on a petition that sought to forfeit all copies of his controversial novel 'Madhorubagan', Tamil writer Perumal Murugan on Wednesday said in a statement that he wanted to savour the moment -- seen as a major victory for creative freedom in a nation where religion often dominates public discourse.
"The judgment gives me much happiness. It comforts a heart that had shrunk itself and had wilted. I am trying to prop myself up holding on to the light of the last lines of the judgment: 'Let the author be resurrected to what he is best at. Write.' I will get up. It is just that my mind wishes to spend a little time in the joy of this moment," Murugan, who vowed last year to give up writing, fed up with protests over his book, said.
He thanked the friends who stood by him and in the typical style that endears him to his readers, also thanked the "friends" who stood against during months of protests.
Here's the poem he wrote for the occasion:
A flower blooms
after the big bang
The flower would
take up and establish
The Madras High Court yesterday said Murugan "should not be under fear and be able to advance the canvas of his writings", a judgment that is bound to resonate in the writers' community.
"There was no binding force or obligation arising from the so-called settlement arrived at a peace committee meeting held with the intervention of state authorities on January 12 last year by which the author of the novel 'Madhorubagan' was forced to submit an unconditional apology and a quietus given to the issue," the court said.
A bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Pushpa Sathyanaraya, made the observations in its detailed judgment on a batch of petitions for and against the Tiruchengode-based author who faced protests from Hindutva and caste outfits, over the novel.
"All writings, unpalatable for one section of the society, cannot be labeled as obscene, vulgar, depraving, prurient and immoral. There can hardly be any improper intent or motive assigned to the author in the present case, who even went backwards to ensure that the hurt feelings of all are assuaged," the bench said and dismissed a petition which sought to forfeit all copies of the novel.
(With inputs from PTI)