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'Delhi Riots 2020' gets another publisher

Delhi Riots 2020 gets another publisher

New Delhi: Following the withdrawal of the book 'Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story' by publisher Bloomsbury India, another publishing house Garuda Prakashan has stepped in and confirmed taking over its publishing, it said in a statement on Sunday.

The publisher, committed to giving voice to "Indic issues" said the book is expected to hit the stands within 15 days. The publishing house called the dissociation "shocking", adding that it believes that "in literature, no voice can be suppressed and each point of view must have a fair chance to reach audiences".

The original publishers, Bloomsbury had dissociated themselves from the book's launch programme, which they disowned and clarified that they had not authorised the function. Bloomsbury also disapproved of the notified presence of controversial figures like Kapil Mishra, who had made a provocative speech on anti-CAA protests in Delhi which is widely seen as a major trigger for the anti-Muslim violence that followed.

Sankrant Sanu, CEO of Garuda Prakashan said in a statement that the publisher is "committed to an authentic narrative of Indian history - both ancient and contemporary. It is sad to see that other publishers are being driven by extraneous events rather than the content of the book. We support eminent authors of the book to bring out the true picture of Delhi riots."

Written by Monika Arora, Sonali Chitalkar and Prerna Malhotra, the book is on the violence in northeast Delhi earlier this year. The authors and Garuda Prakashan have decided to join hands and publish it and noted that "curtailment of the freedom of speech at the hands of the publishing organisation Bloomsbury India, following pressure from its UK headquarters, that led to cancellation of the contract in an unprofessional manner last-minute". Critics of the book however have not demanded banning the book so far, but attack the publication as a move to make a biased narrative of the riots against the actual incidents.

Publisher Bloomsbury India had said on Saturday that it was withdrawing the publication of the book 'Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story' planned for September "in view of very recent events including a virtual pre-publication launch organised without our knowledge by the authors, with participation by parties of whom the publishers would not have approved."

"Bloomsbury India strongly supports freedom of speech but also has a deep sense of responsibility towards society," the publisher said in a statement.

A storm had been brewing since late Friday after a purported invitation on social media, with the Bloomsbury logo at its bottom left, stated that BJP General Secretary Bhupendra Yadav would launch the book with party leader Kapil Mishra, besides the authors, as also filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri, among others, attending the virtual event.

In response to this, Bloomsbury issued a statement on Friday evening denying it was involved in the launch. The authors however allege that Bloomsbury withdrew at the last minute before the ceremony, after having signed a contract with them, and even providing 100 preview copies of the volume, which was under pressure from Bloomsbury UK and international authors and a section of Twitterati.

(with inputs from IANS)

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