Days after ‘Professor’ Nandini Sundar served a ‘cease and desist’ notice to Garuda Prakashan against the publishing of the highly anticipated book, ‘Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story,’ the publication has responded to the notice. It is pertinent to note that Nandini Sundar is also the wife of The Wire founding-editor Siddharth Varadarajan.
In a tweet, Garuda Prakashan wrote, “Garuda Prakashan has a vision of bringing fact-based authentic content fearlessly. We will continue to do so, no matter how many challenges we have to face.”
Garuda Prakashan slams anti-Hindu lobby, reiterates its commitment to bring truth to light
Speaking on the development, founder Sankrant Sanu accused the strong and powerful lobby of demonising the Hindus by peddling a one-sided story. Taking to Twitter, he stated, “The ecosystem is powerful, with worldwide connections, funding. Practically all major media worldwide, publishing, continues to push a one-sided story which demonizes Hindus. And even in India, these forces are so strong.”
He further inquired, “There are powerful forces trying hard to block the release of Delhi Riots 2020. Why are the facts it reveals so challenging for them?”
‘Cease and desist notice has no legal basis’, argues Garuda Prakashan founders
Despite the fact that not a single copy of the book has yet been released, Sanu questioned, “What is the basis on which a cease and desist notice is being sent? Clearly the aim is harassment and intimidation of a small publisher.” He added that the publication owes it to its readers who are eagerly waiting to get a first-hand copy of the book.
Highlighting the same issue, co-founder Ankur Pathak said that the ‘baseless notice’ is meant to threaten a young publisher and its founders. Since there is absolutely no legal basis for a notice on a book which is not even released, it is a deliberate attempt to impede the publishing of the book via intimidation,” he emphasised.
Ankur reiterated that it is an unethical attempt to suppress diverse voices. He clarified, ‘If you disagree with a book, you can bring forth another book in response, another argument, but you cannot curtail the voices of others in a democratic country.”
Authors of Delhi Riots 2020 book file legal notice for intellectual theft
On September 3, author and lawyer Monika Arora filed a criminal complaint against Bloomsbury India, Islamist Aatish Taseer, William Dalrymple, Arfa Khanum Sherwani, Nandini Sundar and the Quint for hatching a criminal conspiracy to threaten, harm the reputation of the Delhi Riots book and the authors, besides copyright theft.
Earlier, a manuscript of the book was doing the rounds on WhatsApp. Several netizens raised questions as to how the entire manuscript was illegally released and was being circulated freely. A perusal of the manuscript indicated that it was the copy that was with Bloomsbury and was being freely and illegally circulated on WhatsApp. The second page of the manuscript clearly said that it was a copy that was being published by Bloomsbury.
De-platforming of the book
The book, which is a factual account based on investigation and interviews conducted by the authors, was scheduled to be published by Bloomsbury in September. 100 copies of the book were printed and handed over to the authors, and it was available for pre-order on Amazon. However, following the outrage by Islamists and left-liberal jamaat on social media, Bloomsbury issued a statement announcing the withdrawal of the book.
The backslash from the Islamists came as a blessing in disguise for the book, as people rushed to place orders for the book just after it was announced that Garuda Prakashan will publish it. Due to overwhelming demand, the server of the publication house had crashed, and publishers had to make alternate arrangements for receiving orders. Within a week, the book had crossed 30,000 pre-orders.