2019 was a big year form India, whether you like Modi or hate him. On August 5, the special status of J&K was repealed. And on December 12, 2019, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) 2019 passed through the Indian parliament. What followed is entirely in the world public domain. Monika Arora book Delhi Riots 2020 chronicles the events of February 2020 in Delhi.
The protests in Delhi organized by anti-CAA people who were not mere bunch of ordinary Indians but a global group of vested interests who wanted to bring India on its knees and through bucket loads of money into the anti-CAA protests. Yes, the alleged phone call from a Pakistani based in the UK and payment of Rs 5 crore to Deepika Padukone to attend the protests and stand side by side with JNU protesters be it in the name of promoting her now super-flopped movie Chhapak.
And as Delhi burnt, atrocities were planned and committed on ordinary people – all in the name of protesting against the CAA. Tahir Hussain, the infamous AAP Councillor has been committed to stand trial after admitting to abetting and instigating rioting in Delhi.
A Delhi Advocate Monika Arora joined two professors Sonali Chitalkar and Prerna Malhotra to chronicle the events that took place in Delhi in a book titled Delhi Riots 2020, published by Bloomsbury India.
The book was already on sale at Amazon and was advertised to be launched by Bloomsbury India online August 22. And while the program was underway – minutes before it;s official launch, Bloomsbury India withdrew the book launch and informed the authors of its very awkward and illegal decision, leaving Monika Arora and her co-authors totally shocked and nonplussed.
It is being reported that Bloomsbury India succumbed to the pressure from Social media in making the decision.
Some believe the inclusion of former AAP and now BJP politician Kapil Mishra as one of the guests for the launch casued the whole fracas. Author, Producer and Director Vivke Agnihotri who was asked to deliver the Keynote address blamed it on another ánti-India’ but India based author William Dalrymple – who he said carries a big clout in Bloomsbury UK and put pressure on them to push their Indian counterparts in India to withdraw. The statements made to the media and some websites by Monika Arora seem to partially corroborate that view.
Here are some excerpts from what Advocate Monika Arora told the Indian media and online:
“Over the last three months, we have communicated regularly though email, SMS and WhatsApp.
We sent them a draft, they okayed it. They signed the contract. We sent the final draft. They suggested changes. We worked on the changes. They signed off. Their legal team vetted the book…approved the book. They sent the final PDF to us. We said, this was final.”
The book was then published (by Bloomsbury India) and the authors received their copies to send to other authors and readers for their comments. But as it happened, just minutes before the launch, Bloomsbury India decided to withdraw from the Book launch.
“On August 22, the book launch was at 4 PM. I logged in at 3.30 PM on Cisco Webex for the launch, and I get a call from Bloomsbury India that ‘some Jokers have tweeted and tagged Bloomsbury UK and they are pressurizing to us to withdraw’.
I said, ‘What’s there to withdraw? It’s your book too. Send them a copy of the book and ask them to read it’.”
— 🚩Shambhu 🇮🇳 © (@Shambhu_HJS) August 26, 2020
According to advocate Arora, Bloomsbury India told the authors that Bloomsbury UK was being pressurized by their international authors, and therefore, they wanted to Indian entity to withdraw publication.
“We have not received a single message from them, even till date, that they are withdrawing from the book and here are the reasons. There is not a line till now.
I wrote to them, no matter what you say on public domain, you are still our publisher, atleast give us a reply, whether you have withdrawn and if possible give reasons for your withdrawal.”
However, despite emailing the publishing house and posting the email of Twitter, the authors received no response.
Arora questions the intent of Bloomsbury India.
“There was a contract. They published it. They put it up for sale on Amazon. It was a number 1 best seller in a particular category. They suddenly remove that link from Amazon, they go into a huddle and have no communication after the launch.
There is a breach of trust and breach of contract. There was a professional trust that has been breached, we as authors, and they as publishers.”
The authors now have a new publisher Garuda Prakashan. The Indian media reported that the new publishers have been besieged by the size of orders for the book. Their website crashed, and they even had to create a google form to keep up with the demand and hundreds pre-ordered the book.
Advocate Arora says more than 15,000 copies of the book were sold in 24 hours.
The book is currently available for pre-order in both Hindi and English at a discounted price of Rs. 199.
High sales of the book is good news for Bloomsbury India because it will only help lessen their liability for damages to the authors if they go after them for breach of contract.