The Delhi riots of February 2020 were a series of violent clashes that took place in the capital city, killing 53 people and injuring several hundred others. While investigations are still underway, there have been allegations and counter-allegations and varying accounts of the incident.

Last week however, one book recounting the riots waded into controversy after a poster for a book launch event for 'Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story' featuring BJP leader Kapil Mishra went viral. While it then publisher, Bloomsbury India attempted to distance itself from the issue stating that the launch event had not been authorized by them, netizens were not appeased. A day later, citing the same, the organisation withdrew publication of the book. This, then led to a debate over alleged curbs on the Freedom of Expression, with many opining that abruptly withdrawing its endorsement might be a far bigger problem, indicating a bias that a publishing house should not ideally posses.

Many on social media platforms rallied behind the irate writers of the book, vowing to buy multiple copies and help support them. Soon after, 'Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story' had a new publisher in the form of Garuda Prakashan. And at the same time, Bloomsbury India was sent a legal notice.

Since Sunday, Garuda Prakashan has been besieged by those placing their orders for the book. Their website crashed, and they even had to create a google form to keep up with the demand and hundreds pre-ordered the book. Now, the company says that they've upgraded their server capacities.

In the meantime, one of the authors of the book, advocate Monika Arora says that more than 15,000 copies of the book was sold in 24 hours -- a demand that the publishing house called "unprecedented" in one of their Twitter posts.

Incidentally the book it currently available for pre-order in both Hindi and English at a discounted price of Rs. 199.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal