Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday extended his government’s full support to writers, days after a noted author decided to withdraw his novel following alleged threats from right-wing groups.
In a statement issued here, Vijayan said his government was with the writers in the matter of freedom of expression and it would not allow any attack on them.
“The government will not allow any infringement on their freedom of expression. Let the creativity flourish in an atmosphere sans fear. There will be no compromise on anything that will crush it,” the chief minister said in a Facebook Post.
Novelist S Hareesh, who had announced the withdrawal of his novel, “Meesha”, should not be “disturbed” by controversies, Vijayan said.
“He should strongly and boldly go ahead with his writings and that is an appropriate reply he can give to the makers of controversies,” the CPI(M) leader added.
“Do not stop writing. The difficulties should be overcome by the strength of your literary creations,” he said.
Hareesh, a short-story writer, had withdrawn his novel, “Meesha” (moustache), which was being published serially in the “Mathrubhumi” weekly after he allegedly received threats.
Eminent writers, including M Mukundan, K Satchidanandan, Anita Nair, Unni R and K R Meera had expressed anguish over the development and said it was a threat to freedom of expression.
Political leaders had also expressed solidarity with the writer, with veteran CPI(M) leader V S Achuthanandan asking Hareesh to reconsider his decision to pull out the novel.
State minister G Sudhakaran and Opposition leader in the Assembly Ramesh Chennithala were also among those who had extended their support to the writer.
A group of writers held a protest gathering here yesterday to express solidarity with Hareesh.
“Meesha” found itself embroiled in a controversy after three parts of the novel were published in the weekly.
Certain right-wing activists have alleged that the novel portrays women visiting temples in a poor light.