Writers in India today are not fully censored, but their freedoms are imperfect and broken, says Nilanjana Roy: FT
We are backstage at one of Delhi’s older auditoriums, in a green room crowded with stiff, governmental furniture. The writer Perumal Murugan, a quiet man with the watchful eyes of a kestrel and a gift for stillness, is here to celebrate his court-ordered resurrection.
Murugan declared his death as a writer in January 2015, going into seclusion and requesting that his publishers remove his books from circulation. There was a rare sense of jubilation at seeing this Tamil novelist and poet with a large and loyal readership return from the brink of exile after the Chennai High Court ruled that he must be free to write. So few of the writers and artists, from the late MF Husain to Wendy Doniger or Salman Rushdie, who have been targeted by extremists from Hindu, Muslim or Christian hardline groups, had recovered their lost freedoms.