The Supreme Court of India, on Wednesday, September 5, ruled against the censorship of Malayalam novel Meesha. A petition had been filed against the novel for seeking a ban on it for its alleged objectionable portrayal of temple going women. Publishing house DC Books released the novel Meesha on August 1 after its author withdrew his novel from a weekly, citing threats from groups from a certain community. S Hareesh withdrew his novel from a Malayalam weekly, Mathrubhumi on July 21 citing threats from organisations of a certain community as one of the main reasons to do so.
The publication house DC Books published the novel and released it on August 1. As per reports, the publication house said that if Meesha was not published, they could end up in a situation where it would be impossible for one to publish a story or novel in Malayalam.
The petition was filed by one N Radhakrishnan from Delhi who objected to a particular dialogue between two characters of the novel who allegedly insulted women of a certain community. As per reports, the petitioner also alleged that the comments of the author about a certain class of a community amounted to casteist or racial slur.
The Supreme Court of India, however, dismissed the petition seeking a ban on the Malayalam novel Meesha for it alleged objectionable portrayal of temple going women. The Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra said that the imagination of a writer cannot be curbed.
The Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra further went on to say, "A book should not be read in a fragmented manner, but as a whole.” Adding to that the Chief Justice of India said, "Subjective perceptions about a book should not be allowed to enter the legal arena when it comes to censorship."
As author S Hareesh withdrew his novel, he received the support from the Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan. Hareesh also received support from the former Cheif Minister of Kerala and Communist Party of India leader VS Achuthanandan. Writers like M Mukundan, K Satchidanandan, Anita Nair, Unni R, and KR Meera also came out to support the author.
S Hareesh works at the State Revenue Department and has won the Kerala Sahitya Academy Award in 2016 for his collection of stories, Aadam. His first collection of stories was Rasavidyayude Charithram.