A Malayalam short-story writer has withdrawn his novel being serialised in a weekly after he allegedly received threats from right-wing groups.
S Hareesh’s first novel ‘Meesha’ (moustache) was being published as a series in the ‘Mathrubhumi’ weekly.
Kamal Ram Sajeev, editor of the weekly, today tweeted that the writer had pulled out the novel.
“S Hareesh withdraws his novel ‘Meesha’, literature is being mob lynched, darkest day in Keralas cultural history, lightless days to follow,” Mr Sajeev said.
When contacted, Mr Sajeev told PTI that the writer submitted a letter to the weekly saying he does not want to continue with the novel-series.
“In the letter, Hareesh has said that there was a cyber attack against him and his family and said he was not able to withstand the pressure, so he was withdrawing the novel,” the editor said.
Three parts of the novel have been published in the weekly, he added.
Certain right-wing activists have alleged that the novel portrays women visiting temples in a poor light.
They also allegedly abused and threatened him and members of his family through the social media.
Reacting to the issue, Congress leader and Thiruvanathapuram MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted “Those who do not believe my warnings about the emergence of a Hindutva Taliban might learn from what has just happened to Malayalam writer Hareesh (& even more chilling, the threat to chop off his hands, Taliban-style.”
A group of people, suspected to be Hindu Aikya Vedi activists, recently disrupted a book exhibition of the Mathrubhumi group held at Thripunithura in Kochi as a mark of protest against the novel.
A Kerala Sahithya Academy award winner, S Hareesh’s well-known works included a collection of short stories, ‘Aadam’, and ‘Rasavidyayude Charithram’.
The writer was unavailable for comment and there is no confirmation whether he had lodged any police complaint regarding the alleged threats.
Earlier, Tamil author Perumal Murugan proclaimed his own ‘death’ in 2015 after right-wing groups agitated against his fifth novel “Madhurobhagan” (“One Part Woman”).
He resumed writing the next year after a Madras High Court ruling.