Days after Penguin decided to pulp American author Wendy Doniger’s book ‘The Hindus: An Alternative History’ following an out-of-court settlement, at least two authors hit back asking the publisher to withdraw their books, nullify their contract and pulp their books too in protest.
Academic Jyotirmaya Sharma, who has published two books with Penguin, and journalist and author Siddharth Varadrajan said they are outraged at the leading publishing house capitulating before a fringe outfit called Shiksha Bachao Andolan which alleges that the 2009 book insults Hindus.
“I am a writer. I want to be published. But we have to do this to save the liberal space,” Jyotirmaya Sharma told NDTV.
Siddharth Varadarajan, whose book ‘Gujarat: the Making of a Tragedy’ was published by Penguin in 2002, says, “If you are in the publishing business, it is assumed that you will write, edit and publish something that somebody might not like. And that’s part of what living in a free democratic society is all about… Penguin should have fought it out rather than capitulate at the lowest court.”