news Monday, February 09, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | February 09, 2015 | 05.20 pm IST The reverberations after protests against Perumal Murugan’s book ‘Mathorubagan’ have far from settled in Tamil Nadu. On Sunday, a Hindutva group, the Hindu Makkal Katchi (HMK) organised a meeting panelled by some writers who condemned the book reported, Times of India. Speaking to The News Minute, Arjun Sampath, founder of HMK , accused the author of using funds from a Christian NGO in order to get the book published. Saying that some “Christian NGOs” had helped the author in publicising the book after the controversy, he accused Christian and Marxist-leaning groups of exceedingly propagating a book , which the author himself had given up on. “He has written about something that was not the tradition of the region,” he said. Intentionally, people will think that girls will sleep with everyone and have children, he said. “It will become an idea that Tiruchengode is a bad place,” he said. Perumal Murugan’ s fictional book revolves around a story involving a tradition allowing consensual sex for childless women based at Tiruchengode in Namakkal. While come claim it to be history, others have called the historical, ritualistic depiction of consensual sex for childless woman depicted in the story a myth.  He also questioned the ‘casteist’ label attributed to the protests against Perumal Murugan by media. “ All political parties including the communists and the DMK organised this, he said. Left-wingers ask in the region, “Are you from Tiruchengode”, he says explaining that what they mean is whether they were referring to the story depicted in Perumal Murugan's book about children born to childless women during an annual temple tradition which allowed consensual sex with strangers.  If Perumal Murugan himself has apologised and recalled his controversial book, why are all these groups doing propaganda, in the name of freedom of expression? , he questioned. Rama Ravikumar, HMK’s General secretary, said “they say freedom of expression, does that mean anybody can write anything . You should write something that doesn't hurt society. Kannan Sundaram,of Kalachuvadu Publications which published Perumal Murugan’s book , clarified the funds that the group is referring to was not about an NGO but a foundation which is available on the website. “There is an India Foundation for the Arts. Perumal Murugan had applied for research to write his novel. They sanctioned funds “ he said. “Perumal Murugan has acknowledged this in his novel,” he said. TATA is one of the funders for the Indian Foundation for the arts, he added. On the allegations he said,” It is their government at power in the Centre. They should ask for an investigation for the funding agency and get the matter cleared,” he said. He reaffirmed that Kalachuvadu Publications had not taken any money from any NGO to publish the book.

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