After Bloomsbury India announced withdrawing “Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story”, following outrage over a virtual pre-publication launch event featuring BJP leader Kapil Mishra, Garuda Prakashan on Sunday said it will publish the book. Also Read - Bloomsbury Says it Won't Publish Book on Delhi Riots After Social Media Backlash
Notably, the book authored by Monika Arora, Sonali Chitalkar and Prerna Malhotra was abruptly withdrawn by the publishing house under pressure from UK Office.
Garuda Prakashan made the announcement on Twitter on Sunday and announced pre-sales on its website:
“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.
The book is expected to hit the stands within 15 days and will be available in both English and Hindi.
Why did Bloomsbury withdraw the book?
Bloomsbury India faced massive backlash online on Friday after an advertisement of the book launch on Saturday with BJP leader Kapil 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.
Film director Vivek Agnihotri, OpIndia editor Nupur J Sharma and the authors were other guests at the event. Many said that by inviting the aforementioned people, the publication house was furthering a communal agenda.
Following the outrage, Bloomsbury India issued a statement saying it strongly supports freedom of speech but also has a deep sense of responsibility towards society. The authors have alleged that Bloomsbury UK was pressurised by some international authors and social activists for not publishing their book.
“These people have not read this book and without reading they have pressurised Bloomsbury to withdraw the book. This is killing of freedom of expression. It is killing of 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.
(With PTI inputs)