Penguin’s Varavara Rao Book in Limbo? Co-editors say they trust the publisher
A recent report from The Quint said the book “Varavara Rao: The Revolutionary Poet” could be postponed indefinitely – at least until the start of the trial in the Bhima Koregaon case.
Does Penguin plan to postpone indefinitely the release of “Varavara Rao: The Revolutionary Poet” – a collection of poems by the revolutionary poet translated into English? The book’s co-editors said they were convinced the publisher, Penguin, wouldn’t do this. In a joint statement released on Tuesday, November 10, journalist and translator N Venugopal, and writer and poet Meena Kandasamy, said they trusted publisher Penguin Randomhouse India to publish the book, which is a compilation of 65 poems written by Varavara Rao.
The statement came following a report by The Quint which said the book could be delayed indefinitely as the poet is currently under investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) under the law on illegal activities (prevention).
“The Varavara Rao book and the delay surrounding its publication have been in the news today. We, N Venugopal and Meena Kandasamy, the co-editors of the volume, reiterate our confidence in Penguin Randomhouse India and await a favorable second legal opinion. The volume reflects 60 years of VV’s work and more than two years of our joint collaboration, ”the statement read. Varavara Rao is commonly referred to as VV.
The statement added: “We hope that this book will be published in the near future. In this difficult hour, our thoughts are with VV, who is undergoing surgery tomorrow. We ask everyone to respect our need for calm and strength during this difficult time. “
– Dr Meena Kandasamy இளவேனில் மீனா கந்தசாமி (@meenakandasamy) November 9, 2021
Varavara Rao, who espouses ultra-left ideology, was arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case on August 28, 2018, along with 16 other people. He is currently in Mumbai, having been released on health bail in March 2021. He is undergoing surgery for a hernia.
According to The Quint, the book was due for release by July 2021. However, after consulting with the legal team, the publishing house decided not to release the book until after the start of the trial in the case. A second legal opinion also failed to materialize, The Quint reported. Although Varavara Rao was arrested in 2018, the trial in this case has not yet started, which means the book could be delayed indefinitely.
Speaking to TNM, Varavara Rao’s nephew and one of the book’s co-editors, N Venugopal said, “The contract states that the book will be published within 24 months of signing the contract, which leaves us time until October 2022. Before that, everything we say is speculative. We hope the book will be released. The process is underway. There may be problems, but the process continues, ”said Venugopal.
The other activists arrested in this case are Jyoti Raghoba Jagtap, Sagar Tatyaram Gorkhe, Ramesh Murlidhar Gaichor, Sudhir Dhawale, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Shoma Sen, Rona Wilson, Arun Ferreira, Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, Antdeu, Teltumkha and Father Stan Swamy. Adivasis rights activist Father Stan Swamy, 84, died in custody on July 5, 2021. His death was called a failure of justice for failing to grant bail for a fight against the disease. of Parkinson’s.
On December 31, 2017, Rao and other activists held the Elgar Parishad conclave in Pune, marking the bicentennial celebrations of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon. The next day, violence took place. The Dalits who gather every year at the Vijay Stambh (Victory Pillar) in the village of Bhima Koregaon, to pay homage to the Mahar soldiers who fought the Peshwas and emerged victorious, have reportedly been attacked by conservative Hindus.
In the violence, one person was killed. Pune police later arrested Varavara Rao and others who had participated in the event, claiming their “inflammatory” speeches had led to violence. The case was later picked up by the NIA after the investigation uncovered an alleged plot to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi. A private investigation by Arsenal Consulting, a forensic team based in Massacheusests, concluded that the offending material found on the electronic devices of Rona Wilson, one of the arrested activists, had been planted.
Meanwhile, after several pleas, Varavara Rao, whose health was deteriorating rapidly and who contracted COVID-19 in Taloja prison, was given six-month bail in the case in March of this year. The bail was then extended due to his state of health.