The Unraveling of Joe D'Cruz

Navayana had signed up to publish a translation of Aazhi Soozh Ulagu (Ocean Ringed World), the 2005 debut novel of Joe D’Cruz, who subsequently won the Sahitya Akademi award in 2013 for his second novel Korkai. The translation was done by V. Geetha, feminist writer and translator, and the English edition was due in late 2014. In the light of D’Cruz publicly endorsing Narendra Modi’s candidacy for prime-ministership, both Navayana and Geetha have decided to cancel the agreement signed with D’Cruz and withdraw the book.


S. Anand, publisher, Navayana, said: “It is both appalling and disturbing that D’Cruz, who captured the rich and unique history of the seafaring community of Tamil Nadu in an epic tale spanning three generations, should call a fascist like Modi a ‘dynamic visionary’. Initially, I did not believe this till Joe told me over the phone that this was indeed his stand and that his decision was personal. However, there cannot be a place for such an author in a political publishing house like Navayana. Navayana is more sad about Joe’s decision than about having to withdraw from this publication. But we are glad we came to know Joe’s stand before the novel was published.”


Geetha, in a statement, said: “I was terribly distressed when I read Joe D’Cruz’s statement of support for Modi. He is entitled to his political opinion, but I don’t want to be associated with anyone or anything linked to Modi. Modi in my opinion is not only a political disaster, but downright evil. We can’t forget Gujarat 2002—no one must be allowed to, either. I still stand by his novel, which I think is a fantastic saga of fisher life, and I am sorry Joe has decided to trade his considerable gifts as a novelist for a politics that is fascist and dangerous. I have therefore decided to withdraw my translation.”


What follows is Joe D’Cruz’s statement in support of Modi:


Why do I want Mr.Narendra Modi to be the Prime Minister of India?


Being a proud son of our great nation, I want my Mother India to be strong and prosperous among the world nations… Who can do that?


A person who knows the problems of ordinary persons like you and me and a billion others!


Like you and me he was born in humble surroundings … son of a tea vendor … working in the railway platform even in his school days and today he represents the heart and hope of India because he personifies honesty, integrity, determination and patriotism…

He is a leader who has evolved from the bottom of the pyramid to become the Himalayas…

Today he is a seasoned politician, with passion for development, who takes responsibility for his actions and who is a determined servant of the nation.


He is a dynamic visionary, a quick decision maker, who knows the pulse of every rural and urban citizen of the nation.


He has delivered efficient governance and able administration. He is an established statesman who respects the strengths of our human resources.


He respects our culture. His 5 ‘T’s are set to transform India: he has understood the innate strength of the nation: talent, tradition, technology, tourism and trade.


A revolutionary, bold and committed visionary who thinks not for the next election but the next generation… solar revolution over the Narmada river – the first of its kind in the world, the education for the girl children… all these are schemes not for the next election but for the next generation… for the children of you and me….


He has shown himself to be above politics and hence he is the need of the hour for India. Envied by global policy makers, even before he has become the PM the world nations have started taking India seriously.


Here is a leader who spoke through his actions than his words. Here is a leader who can make India great once again through his sweat and sacrifice.


And here is the leader who understands the life of Coastal India.


I am sure he will lead the country to unprecedented zenith and regain our pride and a glory greater than our past. We want our children to be proud of our rightful choice. We want generations to thank us for giving India her best PM. Hence I want Mr.Narendra Modi to become the Prime Minister of India.


Let us think different and come together to commit our support for this great visionary-doer to come to power.



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