Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's growing popularity as BJP's prime ministerial candidate may be a very tangible reality for a large chunk of the nation and yet, for supporters like writer Joe D'Cruz, their allegiance has proved to be detrimental. This was observed, when, earlier this week, the translation of Sahitya Akademi award winner Joe D'Cruz's book Aazhi Soozh Ulagu (Ocean Ringed World) was cancelled on account of his support for Modi.
D'Cruz's publisher, 'Navayana' rejected the release of his copy on the grounds that he declared support for Modi and that they refused to be associated with someone they believe to be a 'fascist'. Even his translator V Geetha, a feminist, believes that his support for Modi was completely unfounded, quoting the 2002 Gujarat riots.
In an email interview with dna, D'Cruz defended his stance and said that his support of Modi was founded on the fact that he truly believed in Modi's development model and effective leadership.
In your opinion, why was your book's translation cancelled? Do you think this is a form of backlash from the elitists in Delhi?
It is because of my opinion expressed on Facebook as Narendra Modi is the right choice for PM. I think their actions show the form of narrow mentality.
In a democratic secular state like India, do you believe that it is wrong to chastise you or anybody for their personal support of a particular candidate?
Son of a tea vendor becoming the prime minister of India is a symbolic victory of Indian democracy.
It is the right wing that has been typically considered fundamentalist. Do you think the cancellation of your book is a form of fundamentalism on the part of the generally liberal left?
Of course it is fundamentalism of the people who wear liberal mask.
The Left often claims that if Narendra Modi comes to power, the Right will impede on the freedom of the populace. Do you think that even before Modi has come to power, the left is personifying the same evil they accuse him of?
What has been your overall experience after revealing yourself as a Modi supporter?
I have not revealed myself as a Modi supporter but expressed my view that if Narendra Modi come to power the marginalised sections including Coastal India will improve.
Finally do you have a statement to issue against your publisher and translator for the cancellation of your translation's release?
Attacks on me are panic reactions. I am not bothered the least; those who have attacked me have revealed their real nature. Creative writer is not an indentured labourer of some beliefs.