Award winning Malayalam writer S Hareesh has withdrawn his novel Meesha after receiving threats from some right-wing groups on social media.

Hareesh’s novel was being serialised in Mathrubhumi weekly for the past few weeks. So far, three chapters were published.

It is alleged that he was threatened by some right-wing groups. Mathrubhumi weekly editor confirmed on Saturday (21 July) that Hareesh had decided to pull back his novel.

As the magazine hit the stands last week with the publication of a controversial part from the novel, Hareesh was facing threats on social media.

The writer had complained that there were several posts on Facebook indicating people would physically attack him and his family. The negative messages and threats forced Hareesh to deactivate his Facebook account.

Editor Kamalram Sajeev tweeted the novelist’s decision and said was “darkest day”.

“S Hareesh withdraws his novel Meesha, literature is being mob lynched, darkest day in Kerala’s cultural history, lightless days to follow (sic),’’ Sajeev wrote on his Twitter page.

Sajeev also said that some of the protesters were trying to attack the author and his family.

"Protesters are trying to attack him as well as his family physically. So he has decided to withdraw the novel. Mathrubhumi did not ask Hareesh to remove the novel, it was his own decision,” Sajeev said.

Hareesh won the Kerala Sahitya Academy award this year for his collection of short stories titled Aadam. He works in the Kerala state revenue department. Meesha is his third work. He debut with Rasavidyayude Charithram.

According to reports, members of some right-wing groups and fringe elements had been complaining against Hareesh and the publishers. They alleged that the novel is insulting to temple-going Hindu women and their traditions.

On 21 July, BJP Mahila Morcha members marched to the head office of Mathrubhumi in Kozhikode, demanding the novel’s withdrawal. The novel, narrated in a Dalit background, depicts caste system that prevailed in Kerala about half-a-century ago.

Several right-wing organisations have also protested this week in different parts of Kerala. Members of Hindutva outfits and temple priests’ associations marched to the State Secretariat protesting against the novel for allegedly insulting Hindu traditions and rituals.