December 1, 2021

Penguin postpones Varavara Rao’s book amid UAPA accusations

Hyderabad: A victim of the Prevention of Illegal Activities Act (UAPA), poet Telugu Varavara Rao’s book of poetry is not expected to be published anytime soon. The poet’s collection of poems has been suspended by publisher Penguin Random House. Penguin explains the reason for the same by stating that he is concerned about the nature of the charges against him.

Rao was arrested in November 2018 as part of the UAPA for his alleged role in the Bhima Koregaon case. Currently on medical bail, he is stationed in Mumbai.

Penguin Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Kuruvilla speaking to The Straight said the pandemic could have delayed publication. However, Penguin, after taking legal advice, decided to release the book only after the court resolved Rao’s case.

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The collection titled ‘Varavara Rao: the revolutionary poet ‘, which was to contain 65 poems, was to be published between June and July 2021.

This raises concerns as there is no clarity on when and if at all the trial in the Bhima-Koregaon case will begin. In the meantime, Rao’s poetry, which testifies to his convictions, does not see the light of day.

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