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Book with ‘offensive’ title taken off shelves

Book with ‘offensive’ title taken off shelves

LAHORE: A recently published compilation of the columns of noted journalist Suhail Warraich titled — Yeh Company Nahi Chaley Gi (this company won’t work) — ran into a controversy when it was removed from book stalls within a few hours of its arrival, it was learnt on Tuesday.

The buzz on the social media on the day was that the entire print order of the new Warraich volume had been “confiscated” and the writer had been forced to delete his promotional tweet Monday night within hours of tweeting it. However, later it was confirmed that the copies of the book displayed on the stalls were seized, and it could be back on sale after a change of its ‘objectionable’ cover.

The book is a compilation of the columns Mr Warraich penned during the last few years, both for Urdu daily Jang and Urdu website of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Warraich only confirmed: “I also learnt that a caricature of Prime Minister Imran Khan, sitting on the floor close to Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa’s chair, is termed derogatory. Normally, caricatures are drawn, and taken, in a lighter vein and this was precisely the spirit behind this one as well. However, if it is taken as offensive, it can be changed.”

The action to pull the book off shelves added to the unease in the journalistic circles in the country.

In recent days, legal cases have been initiated against three journalists for their alleged attempts at bringing national institutions into disrepute.

The action against the book by a prominent journalist not exactly known for saying it loudly, will strengthen the argument of those who see a definite pattern emerging here.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2020

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