Noted Malayalam writer S. Hareesh has withdrawn his novel ‘Meesa’ (Moustache) citing threats from certain groups who targeted him for “anti-Hindu dialogues”.
Hareesh’s novel was being published as a series in Mathrubhumi weekly.
When contacted by Outlook, Mathrubhumi weekly editor Kamal Ram Sajeev confirmed that the weekly has received a letter from Hareesh asking to withdraw from publishing 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,” Sajeev tweeted.
The weekly has so far published three parts of the novel.
Hareesh, a Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award winner, was not reachable for a comment.
A source close to him has told Outlook that he and his family have been receiving threats.
s.hareesh withdraws his novel ‘ meesha’, literature is being mob lynched, darkest day in kerala’s cultural history,lightless days to follow.— Kamalram Sajeev (@kamalramsajeev) July 21, 2018
Certain people alleged that the novel portrays women visiting temples in poor light.
According to Sajeev, Meesa deals with lives of Dalits and the backward communities of Southern Kerala.
“It’s an artistic expression of the oppression those communities faced half-a-century ago,” said Sajeev.
Poet K. Satchidanandan said Hareesh’s decision to withdraw the novel was “unfortunate.”
“The controversy is deliberate and unreasonable. The whole literary world – except, may be, a few - stands behind him strongly,” he said.
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