Only a week ago, Bloomsbury India decided to withdraw the publication of the book “Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story” from the authors of Monika Arora, Sonali Chitalkar and Prerna Malhotra. In a statement, the publishing house cited a “virtual pre-publication launch organized without our knowledge by the authors” as one of the reasons for its decision. Bloomsbury India said they planned to publish the book, a factual account based on an investigation and interviews conducted by the authors, in September 2020, but overturned their decision.
Essentially, the publishing house gave in to “liberal” harassment and decided to withdraw the book that was about to be published and was due out in September 2020.
Now the post is accused of something very serious.
A manuscript of the book that was dropped by Bloomsbury has made the rounds on WhatsApp. Several netizens raised questions about how the entire manuscript had been illegally distributed and was not being distributed freely.
First page of the disclosed PDF. It is a copy of Bloomsbury. pic.twitter.com/Ii7kFRGAJ0
– Arihant (@haryannvi) August 28, 2020
Dear @advmonikaarora and @GarudaPrakashan PDF version of # DelhiRiot2020UntoldStory is widely disseminated by a certain lobby. Certainly, I see a malafid here. Please consider this. And quickly need to identify the source from which he leaked first.
– Suresh N (@surnell) August 28, 2020
A reading of the manuscript indicated that it was the copy that was with Bloomsbury that was circulating freely and illegally on WhatsApp.
The second page of the manuscript makes it clear that this is a copy which is published by Bloomsbury.
Interestingly, other than the authors, the publisher, and the publisher, this manuscript in this form would not be available with anyone else. It is obvious that the authors would have no interest in disclosing the manuscript, thus hurting the sales of the book which is now published by Garuda Prakashan.
Thus, this raises the question of whether it was the publishing house that disclosed the copy of the manuscript.
Interestingly, before the manuscript was released on WhatsApp, one of the first portals to access the manuscript was the Left portal, TheQuint.com.
In their report which sloppily attempted to “verify the facts” of the book, The Quint clearly mentions that the book’s manuscript was viewed by them.
TheQuint, in fact, specifically mentions that they accessed and scanned the “Bloomsbury draft” of the book.
The question therefore arises as to how TheQuint managed to access a confidential book manuscript in the first place when access to the manuscript was limited to the authors and the publisher. More curiously still, the draft of this book was viewed by TheQuint after the book was published with Garuda Prakashan and the authors served legal notice on the publisher.
The needle of suspicion, according to many, is obviously pointing to Bloomsbury, the publishing house that bowed to liberal pressure and ditched the book in violation of the contract it had signed with the authors.
It is relevant to note that the book ‘Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story’ has been pre-ordered over 15,000 times after Gaurda Prakashan opened the booking platform.