Penguin postpones Varavara Rao’s book amidst UAPA charges

Hyderabad: Unlawful Activities Prevention Act’s (UAPA) victim, Telugu poet Varavara Rao’s book of poetry is not likely to be published anytime soon. The poet’s collection of poems has been put on hold by publisher Penguin Random House. Penguin explains the reason for the same stating that it is concerned about the nature of charges” levelled against him.

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

Penguin’s commissioning editor Elizabeth Kuruvilla speaking to The Quint stated that the pandemic could have delayed the publication. However, Penguin, after taking a legal opinion had decided to publish the book only after the court had resolved Rao’s case.

The collection titled ‘Varavara Rao: The Revolutionary Poet’, which was expected to have 65 poems, was scheduled for publication between June and July 2021.

This raises concerns as there is no clarity on when and if at all the trial for the Bhima-Koregaon case will commence. In the meantime, Rao’s poetry, which stands as a testimony to his beliefs, is not seeing the light of day.

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