ECSAS 2023 – Turin 26-29 July

India’s Censorship Conundrum: Examining Controversial Literatures and Evolving Discourses


Abdul Kader Fujeena - NIT Rourkela, Humanities and Social Sciences, Rourkela, India


22 – The present democratic crisis in South Asia: causes, distinctive elements and historical precedents


 The controversy surrounding the English translation of Madhurobaagan (2010) by Tamil author Perumal Murugan as One Part Woman (2013) gained international attention. It brought to light the issues of censorship and freedom of expression in India. The author and his book faced widespread criticism for portraying Hindu women. In contrast, the translation of the Urdu text, Angare (1932) as Angaaray (2014), received little attention despite being a controversial publication in pre-independent India, which still contains elements that provoke Muslim sentiments. Despite the centrality of its banning in 1933 and the subsequent formation of the All India Progressive Writers Association (AIPWA) in 1935, academics have paid little attention to this event. By juxtaposing the controversy surrounding One Part Woman with Angaaray of the same historical moment, the paper aims to empirically examine the discursive conditions in 2013-2014, a period marked by political change in India. By closely examining these two events, this study will also investigate the resilience of writers and their texts in contemporary India despite repressive regimes. Additionally, this study will analyze the literary censorship landscape in India to contribute to the existing body of literature on censorship and freedom of expression in the country.