STATEMENT FROM PUBLISHING NEXT IN SUPPORT OF NATASHA SHARMA, PRIYA KURIYAN, AND KARADI TALES
We condemn the harassment of Natasha Sharma, Priya Kuriyan, their publishing house Karadi Tales, and publisher Shobha Viswanath, who have been subjected to a large volume of threats and intimidating messages in recent days for their book THE ART OF TYING A PUG.
The messages instigating death threats and violence against the writer, illustrator and publisher are deeply shocking. We reiterate that intimidation, threat and harassment of writers, artists and publishers, in any form, are acts of violence. Without exception, these actions are unacceptable in a civilised society. They go against the spirit of dialogue and discussion — values that are essential to remain rational and democratic — which are being diminished intentionally in these times.
We wish to inform the reading public, as well as self-appointed guardians of religions, that democratic forms of expressions such as reviews and criticism are the lawful, ethical and moral means of expressing differences of opinion. Campaigns of harassment and violence have no place in our society.
THE ART OF TYING A PUG is a beautiful book for children of all faiths. It builds empathy for animals while also creatively explaining a ritual of religious significance in an intimate family setting. The writer’s work, emerging from her experiences of being a member of the faith that is represented in the book, produces compassion and builds deeper understanding in our diverse country. It is highly regrettable that the publisher was left with no choice other than to withdraw the book, if only to protect the authors and themselves from having to face further trauma.
We urge our community of publishers, booksellers, writers, artists, and thinkers to speak up unanimously, and in a unified voice, against the harassment of the authors and publishers of THE ART OF TYING A PUG. Please support them in every way possible and condemn the harassment. We invite you to share this statement with your endorsement, across social media platforms.
For Publishing Next:
Queenie Rodrigues Fernandes
Team Tulika Publishers
Team Yoda press
Ajitha G S