Free Press Journal

“Perumal Murugan’s novel will be sold after deletions”


Perumal Murugan

Chennai: Copies of Tamil novel “Madhorubagan”, which has come under fire from some Hinduvta and caste outfits, have been withdrawn and will be up for sale only after deletions that have been promised by its author Perumal Murugan, the publisher today said.

“We will put up Madhorubagan for sale only after completion of deletion of portions promised by the author,” publisher, Kala Chuvadu publications, Kannan Sundaram told PTI.

The novel was first publised in 2010 in Tamil. The English version “One part woman” was released in 2013. It revolves around the travails of a childless couple and also deals with consensual sex between any man and any childless woman to conceive during the annual temple car festival at Tiruchengode.

Hindutva supporters and caste outfits had strongly objected to such aspects of the novel.

They alleged the town Tiruchengode, women devotees and an annual car festival of the Shiva temple there were portrayed in a bad light. However, the author denied it and came forward to apologise if he had hurt any sections of people.

Protests were held by those opposed to the book and counter protests staged by supporters of the author in the Tamil literary world and CPI(M).

Yesterday, at a peace meeting organised by the Nammakkal district administration, the author made an unconditional apology and undertook to withdraw unsold copies of the novel.

After this, the author in a Facebook post yesterday said, “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 Murgan, Leave him alone,” he had said.

The author’s outburst raised concerns about the freedom of expression and he was supported by several writers.

When contacted, Perumal Murugan said he will speak after some time. “Not now..sorry..I need some time…now I am not in a mood to talk,” he said.

Hindutva ideologue and noted writer Aravindan Neelakantan said “Perumal Murgan cannot run away at this juncture nor can he indulge in this type of emotional blackmail.”

“Murugan says that his work was based on research and facts. Let him prove that. It is as simple as that and we strongly support his right to freedom of expression,” he said.