Hours After publishing house Bloomsbury announced that they are withdrawing the book ‘Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story’ due to pressures from the Islamists and left-liberal lobby, several authors have announced that they are withdrawing their books which were to be published by the company in protest of the decision.
JNU professor, scientist and author Anand Ranganathan announced that if Bloomsbury does not take back their decision to withdraw the book which was scheduled to be published next month, he and his co-author will return the ‘substantial advance paid to them by Bloomsbury’ to the publishing house, and will not allow the company to publish their book. Ranganathan tweeted that he is appalled to see the company buckle under threats by fascists and withdraw the book. “This decision by Bloomsbury should be condemned by ALL writers and readers”, the author said.
The book Forgotten Heroes of Indian Science, authored by Anand Ranganathan and Sheetal Ranganathan, is scheduled to be published in July next year as per the website of Bloomsbury. Earlier the company had published a novel by the same authors, The Rat Eater.
Author Sandeep Deo also announced that he is withdrawing all his books from Bloomsbury. Deo said that the company cancelled the publication of the Delhi riots book on the pressure of left lobby, and it is a murder of ideas.
Sadeep Deo informed that Bloomsbury has published six books authored by him, and 9 titles are scheduled to be published by them. He said that he is withdrawing all the 9 books from the company. He also said that he will never work with the company in future. Deo has written books in several languages like Hindi, English, Punjabi and Marathi, on various topics.
IAS officer and author Sanjay Dixit joined the list announcing that he is withdrawing his book Nullifying Article 370 and Enacting CAA scheduled to be published on 20th September. He tweeted that the censorship by Bloomsbury is unacceptable, and he is ending his relationship with them. Dixit tweeted that he will be sending a notice to the publishing house withdraw his book, adding “Let them paint themselves Red”.
Not just content with withdrawing books, Sanjay Dixit also called for boycotting the Harry Potter series published by the company. “They earn ₹10-15 crores per year out of that title. Take a vow not to let that series enter your house”, he tweeted. When one user suggested to burn Harry Potter already bought, Dixit said that a bonfire of Harry Potter books can be organised after giving the company a few days to revert its decision.
Author Nityananda Misra, too, took to Twitter to inform that he has written to Bloomsbury to put on hold the publication of his book “Sunāma: Beautiful Sanskrit Names” with them.
He said that Bloomsbury has published five of his previous books and this Sunama was to be the sixth book. However, in light of the recent events, he has decided to not publish Sunama or his future books with the publishing house. He apologised to readers for the delay in publication of the book as he may now have to look for other publication house for his book.
I have five titles with Bloomsbury India and “Sunāma” was supposed to the sixth one, with several others planned. However, if Bloomsbury India sticks with its unfortunate decision, I will not be publishing “Sunāma” or any of my future books with them.— Nityānanda Miśra (मिश्रोपाख्यो नित्यानन्दः) (@MisraNityanand) August 23, 2020
Several other authors have also committed that they will never publish their books with the company.
Writer and economist Sanjeev Sanyal tweeted that he will never publish a book with Bloomsbury. Condemning the decision of the company, Sanyal said, “A few weeks ago, I had raised the issue of how a tiny cabal controls Indian publishing and constantly imposes ideological censorship. We have just witnessed one example of how this insidious control is wielded. I have not read the book in question & have no idea if it is good or bad. However, this is obviously not a quality control problem but about censorship.” He added, “I commit to never publish a book with Bloomsbury India”.
Writter Harsh Maddhusudan also announced that he will never publish a book with Bloomsbury.
While several authors have taken back their books from the company, homegrown start-up publisher Garuda Prakashan has offered to publish the book withdrawn by Bloomsbury. Saying that “Garuda Prakashan stands for bringing out books based on authentic facts”, they announced that they will take the matter further if the authors of the book contact them in the matter.
Earlier today, Bloomsbury India had decided to withdraw the publication of the book ‘Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story’ by authors of Monika Arora, Sonali Chitalkar and Prerna Malhotra. In a statement, the publication house cited a ‘virtual pre-publication launch organised without our knowledge by the authors’ as one of the reasons for its decision.
Bloomsbury India said that they had planned to release the book, a factual account based on investigation and interviews conducted by the authors, in September 2020 but they have rescinded their decision. The decision to withdraw the book came after a left-wing outrage mob led by prominent ‘intellectuals’ on social media pressurised the publication house to take the decision. The organisers of the outrage mob included personalities such as controversial actress Swara Bhasker and other eminent ‘journalists’ and ‘intellectuals’.
Note: The above article is updated to add more authors who have vowed to dissociate themselves from Bloomsbury.