NB: The game is quite easy to understand, really. The Sangh Parivar and its allies wish to set themselves up as sole representative of Hindu ‘sentiment’; and the sole interpreter of what Hinduism is. They dream of becoming the Head Quarters of Religious Truth for the Indian people. It is a replica of the harassment of Turkish author and Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk by the Erdogan government. And it is similar to the punishment of Boris Pasternak by the Soviet government for writing Dr Zhivago.
This is why they make threats when something outside their ideology (and beyond their comprehension appears); and this is why they use the police and state power to crush the freedom of the mind. This is why they campaigned against A.K. Ramanujan’s The Three hundred Ramayanas, and this is why they will not rest until all thought in India has been subjugated by their ideology. They will not succeed. My warmest congratulations to Geetanjali Shree. DS
Several noted Hindi litterateurs and writers have slammed the targeting of author Geetanjali Shree nee Pandey through the attempted registration of an FIR against her in Uttar Pradesh, calling it another “despicable” moment of great alarm and shame. Shree brought laurels to Indian literature when the English translation of her work, Ret Samadhi (Tomb of Sand), became the first Hindi language novel to win the prestigious International Booker Prize this year. A complaint was filed against Geetanjali Shree by a Hathras resident who claimed that her book Ret Samadhi had hurt Hindu sentiments.
However, Hindi writers who have known Shree for years and have read her works believe that this is just politicking of a very low order. They also point out that after she won international acclaim, no one in the government stepped up to congratulate her. Instead, she was unreasonably targeted on social media as several fundamentalists attacked her because she had done her post-graduation from Jawaharlal Nehru University.
‘Instead of being felicitated by the State, Shree was unfairly targeted’: As well-known Hindi poet and writer Bharat Tiwari said, “When it comes to Geetanjali Shree, we have seen that since she received the Booker, and became the first author in Hindi to get one, neither did the Prime Minister nor the UP chief minister congratulated her. In fact, on social media, we saw a lot of hate against her – she was described as part of the ‘JNU gang’.”
“Everyone knows the tilt of the state. They would have been on the hunt for an opportunity, on the lookout for something in her work to target her with and create a controversy,” he said, referring to the registration of the FIR, which led to the cancellation of a felicitation programme she was invited to in Agra….
Gitanjali, Geetanjali For the first time ever, a book written in an Indian language has won the prestigious Booker Prize, Geetanjali Shree’s Ret Samadhi or Tomb of Sand…
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