The Chief Minister is the latest to speak for Hareesh, many other authors and politicians have already extended their support for the author.

Best response to haters is to keep writing Pinarayi tells Hareesh
news Controversy Monday, July 23, 2018 - 16:26

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has spoken out in support of writer S Hareesh, who was forced to withdraw his serialised novel Meesha following threats from Hindutva right-wing activists.

“The state government is with the writer on this matter of freedom of expression. This attack on the freedom and the right to write, won’t be allowed. Creativity will  bloom only in a fearless environment. There will be no compromise on anything which will harm this environment. Hareesh, the writer of the novel of Meesha shouldn't get upset on the controversies”, he said, adding, “The appropriate reply he should give to the creators of the controversies should be to move ahead, strongly and bravely,  in the path of writing. He shouldn't abandon writing. He should overcome the hurdles using the strength of writing.”

The Chief Minister is the latest to speak for Hareesh, many other authors and politicians have already extended their support for the author.

Senior CPI (M) leader and Kerala Public Works Minister G Sudhakaran spoke up against the threats, while veteran CPI (M) leader and former Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan has asked the writer to reconsider his decision to withdraw the novel.

Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala stated that it was a matter of shame that Hareesh had to withdraw the novel, while writer Saradakutty and renowned poet Sachithanandan have expressed their support for Hareesh.

On Sunday, a protest gathering was organised in support of the author.

On Saturday, Hareesh withdrew his novel Meesha (Moustache) after he received threats from Hindutva right-wing elements. Meesha was being serialised by Mathrubhumi Weekly, with two extracts released over two weeks.

Hareesh, who is the 2018 Kerala Sahitya Akademi award winner, received a series of abuse on his Facebook wall with Hindutva right-wing activists calling the novel an insult to Hinduism. The Facebook comments included threats to his family and to the writer. Following the threats on social media, Hareesh has deactivated his Facebook account.

“I have decided to withdraw my novel because of the threats and attacks against me and my family,” Hareesh told the Mathrubhumi News television channel, adding, “I am too weak to take on the people who rule the country. I worked on the novel for five long years.”

The right-wing activists have taken offense to a conversation between two characters in the novel, where they suggest that women dressing up to go to the temples are subconsciously making a declaration that they are ready for a sexual relationship. The character also says that when women don’t visit the temple for four or fives days in a month, it is to make it clear that they are not ready for sex on those days.

Read more: Three arrested for circulating fake photo of Kerala CM feasting at police station

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