Tamil writer Perumal Murugan has announced that he is quitting writing and also withdrawing all his previous works.
Perumal Murugan, a 48-year-old Tamil author, has said he will not write anymore and has withdrawn all the seven books and four short story and poetry collections he has written so far.
"Author Perumal Murugan is dead. Only the teacher Perumal would be alive. People could have issues with my other books, that's why I've decided to withdraw them all...I shall pay due compensation to publishers..Don't indulge in protests and let me go," he announced on Tuesday on his Facebook page, which has 800 followers, many of whom have requested him to "not give up."
Mr Murugan's drastic decision comes after raging protests against his book, 'Madhorubagan', by local groups who allege that it defames Tiruchengode, the northwestern Tamil Nadu town it is based in, and its women.
'Madhorubagan' was published in 2010 and was recommended for the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award. Translated and published in English as 'One Part Woman' in 2013, it is the story of a childless couple and the tradition of childless women opting for consensual sex outside marriage in the hope of having a child.
Since last month, local groups have hounded the author with protests and even called for a bandh. The protests have focused on the portrayal of traditions related to the Ardhanareeswarar Temple in Tiruchengode, where the presiding deity is part-Shiva and part-Parvati, in one idol. The Tamil title of the book, 'Madhorubagan', is another name for the deity.
Mr Perumal has said the book is a work of fiction and had agreed to remove any reference to Tiruchengode, which is also his hometown. The protests have largely been at the local level and have continued despite the state government stepping in.
The author, a university professor, has left his hometown, and now is not accessible. In a recent interview, he said, "Please do not hold any more protests. I request people of Tiruchengode to not give others a chance too."
Other books written by Mr Perumal include 'Karithaal Theriyavillaye Thambi'and 'Kongu Sirukathaigal', which the author has now said he will withdraw.