A court in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday asked Shashi Tharoor, the member of Parliament from the constituency, to appear before the court on May 10. The Additional Chief Magistrate Court 's direction is based on a petition that accused Tharoor of portraying women from the Nair community in bad light in his book 'The Great Indian Novel'.
Earlier the court had issued an arrest warrant against Tharoor for not appearing before the court despite issuing summons against him. The petitioner, Sandhya Sreekumar, is a member of the Nair Service Society Perumthanni Karayogam - local unit of NSS ,an organisation that represents the dominant Nair community.
The petition was filed in April 2019 during the time of the Parliament election as per a Times of India report. In the petition it is said that certain portions of 'The Great Indian Novel,' were defamatory in nature to Nair women and the sale of the book in the current form should be banned by the court. The petition also said that page number 85 in the book portrays Nair women in bad light.
Tharoor had however claimed that he was unaware of the summons and thus justified his failure to appear before the court last time.
'The Great Indian Novel' is a satirical novel penned on the Indian epic Mahabharata in the context of the independence movement. It was published in 1989.
According to the official communication from Shashi Tharoor's office in December 2019, the initial court summons didnâ€™t have a specific date and that was why he reportedly failed to appear before it. And Tharoor's advocate had filed a plea in the court reportedly to issue a fresh summons with a date which was not received.
The Congress leader recently has been entrusted with the task of interacting with people especially the youth to prepare the election manifesto of the United Democratic Front in the upcoming Assembly elections in the state.