CHENNAI: Offering a dissenting note to the verdict delivered by the Madras High Court in favour of writer Perumal Murugan, PMK founder-leader S Ramadoss on Monday said the protest against his controversial novel, Madhorubhagan involved a lot more issues than just creative freedom.
“It seems the Madras High Court decided the case, not based on the merits of arguments put forth by both sides, but from a narrower view that raised a question whether some organisations have the right to ban the freedom of expression in speech and writing,” Ramadoss in a statement said, adding that this was not a matter of freedom of expression alone.
The novel had said that on a particular night every year the women of a community in Tiruchengode were involved in sexual relationships with random men, who, in turn, boasted about the number of women they slept with on that night. In the land that worshipped Kannagi, this was bound to hurt the feelings of the community, he said.
On the other hand, he added, if the ban was slapped on Maxim Gorky’s The Mother or Karl Marx’s Capital, books that teach the society many things, there was a need to rise in protest to protect the freedom of expression. The modern-day revolutionaries believe that speaking against reality and majority communities is progressive and revolutionary. That is why some progressive writers in the State approached the court on Murugan’s behalf, he said on a sarcastic note. Terming their stand duplicitous, Ramadoss said the same persons did not back the idea of freedom when revolutionary writer Pudhumai Pithan’s short story, Thunbakkeni, was removed from the Madras University syllabus after protests from a community. Similar was the experience when Vannanilavan’s Kadalpurathil, too, was taken off the syllabus, he said.
“Is it just to be biased even in matters of creative freedom?” Ramadoss asked, saying that the freedom accorded by the Constitution was a blessing that has to be handled with a sense of responsibility.