SC agree to hear plea seeking ban on publication of Malayalam novel 'Meesha'
The Supreme Court today agreed to hear a plea seeking a ban on the publication of Malayalam novel 'Meesha' on the grounds that it allegedly depicts temple-going Hindu women in derogatory light.
The petitioner, N Radhakrishnan, has also alleged that certain comments in the book about Brahmins, who perform 'puja' in the temples, amounted to "castiest slur".
It has also alleged that the Kerala government has not taken necessary steps to stop the publication, online sale and dissemination of the novel.
"The publication caused public outburst and protests across the nation, especially in the state of Kerala as the matter was published in Malayalam language. Post the publication of the incriminating article, Hindu women visiting temple were subjected to ridicule and embarrassment through various social media platforms," the plea has alleged.
"Trolls, which appeared and were circulated on social media, have caused deep pain and anguish to the temple going Hindu believers," it claimed.
The petition claimed that if the government fails to take appropriate action, it would indirectly invite the public to react and it would not be far before there is "a 'Charlie Hebdo' kind of backlash in India".
In January 2015, two persons had attacked the office of French satirical weekly newspaper 'Charlie Hebdo' in Paris, accusing the paper of hurting religious sentiments. 12 people were killed in the incident.
"...ensure that no person under the guise of freedom of speech and expression as envisaged under the Constitution be permitted to meddle with the communal fabric of the nation and fix responsibility for such work on the person or medium promoting or propagating such materials," the plea has said.
The novel was being published in a serialized form in a Malayalam periodical. The publication of subsequent parts of the novel in the periodical was discontinued after the controversy.
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