Authors of the book Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story file complaint against William Dalrymple, Quint and others
“I even received a legal notice from Ms. Nandini Sundar questioning the Foreword and one chapter of the book,” Arora said.
New Delhi: The authors of Delhi Riots 2020: The Untold Story filed a complaint against Bloomsbury India for withdrawing their book and leaking its PDF version to hamper any future sales on Thursday.
The complaint was filed with Delhi Commissioner of Police SN Shrivastava and the cyber crime cell against Bloomsbury India, which withdrew publication of the book, news websites The Quint and Newslaundry, academic Nandini Sundar, writer Aatish Taseer, activist Saket Gokhale, journalist Arfa Khanum Sherwani, authors William Dalrymple and Meena Kandasamy and other “unknown persons”.
Riots book author Arora said that on August 22, the publisher called up just half an hour before the event and said that it was considering withdrawing the book on account of pressure from its parent company Bloomsbury UK, and “from certain other persons on social media”.
“While the book launch event was live, a statement came to be issued by the Publisher that it had decided to withdraw the book,” Arora said in her complaint. “The book was taken down from the Amazon website, by which time it had already become the number one Bestseller in the ‘Political’ category. This left a large number of interested readers high and dry as they were left with no other medium/platform to place their booking orders.”
Despite repeated pleas from her, the publisher refused to budge, Arora said.
The author claimed that the maximum sales of any book usually occur on the date of its launch. “The Publisher through deliberate and dishonest means attempted to scuttle the Author’s voice, freedom, reputation and goodwill by rescinding from its obligations on the date of the launch,” the complaint said. “The Publisher gave in to pressure and intimidating tactics of certain individuals having a despicable agenda who had not even read the contents of the book, and who did not want the book to see the light of the day or let the truth of Delhi riots be shown to the people of India.”
Arora also claimed that a group of individuals known as the “Urban Naxal Gang” on social media went all out to stop the publication of the book by “pressurizing, intimidating, bullying and blackmailing the Publisher”. The author attached tweets to prove her point.
Arora said that on August 27, she was informed that a PDF copy of the book was circulating online. She said articles were then published by The Quint and Newslaundry “critiquing the book and attempting to discredit my work”. “I even received a legal notice from Ms. Nandini Sundar questioning the Foreword and one chapter of the book,” Arora said.
Arora added: “The Publisher till date has not returned the final text of the book to the authors along with any of the previous drafts. The author’s copyrighted material and intellectual property is still in the publisher’s possession. No official communication has been made by the Publisher to the Author explaining its actions.”