Garuda Prakashan to publish book on 2020 Delhi riots cancelled by Bloomsbury

PTI, Aug 23, 2020, 9:18 PM IST

New Delhi: Garuda Prakashan on Sunday said it will publish “Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story,” a day after Bloomsbury India announced withdrawing the upcoming book following outrage over a virtual pre-publication launch event featuring BJP leader Kapil Mishra.

Garuda Prakashan, which claims to promote “Indic narrative,” said the book is expected to hit the stands within 15 days.

“Garuda Prakashan 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,” said Sankrant Sanu, CEO of Garuda Prakashan.

Bloomsbury India on Saturday announced that it will not publish the book after there was outrage over a virtual pre-publication launch, which it said was being organized without its knowledge.

The publishing house faced massive backlash online on Friday after an advertisement of the book launch on Saturday with BJP leader Mishra as a guest of honour did the rounds on social media.

There have been allegations that several leaders including Mishra made inflammatory speeches targeting anti-citizenship law protesters before the violence broke out in Northeast Delhi on February 23.

Bloomsbury India issued a statement saying it strongly supports freedom of speech but also has a deep sense of responsibility towards society.

The virtual event, where the book was “released” by BJP MP and national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav, went ahead as scheduled with Mishra in attendance among other guests.

The authors – advocate Monika Arora and Delhi University teachers Sonali Chitalkar and Prerna Malhotra – have thanked Garuda Prakashan for agreeing to publish the book and supporting freedom of expression. They have alleged that Bloomsbury UK was pressurized by some international authors and social activists for not publishing their book.

“The book launch was planned on 22nd August, at 4 pm. At 3:30 pm Bloomsbury India tells us that Bloomsbury UK has pressurized them to withdraw this book. They said that Bloomsbury UK was pressurized by international authors and other social activists who have tweeted and tagged Bloomsbury UK not to publish this book. These people have not read this book and without reading they have pressurized Bloomsbury to withdraw the book. This is killing of freedom of expression. It is killing writers’ right to write. We want to tell Bloomsbury UK that black lives matter, brown lives matter too,” the authors said in a joint statement.

Publishing house Garuda Prakashan’s earlier books include “Urban Naxal” by director and author Vivek Agnihotri, “India Facts: Hindu Human Rights Report 2017” by author Mayank Patel and “The English Medium Myth” by author Sankrant Sanu.

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