The Hindu on August 28, 2019 12:19PM IST Black books are available in most major bookshops in India, but the country’s major booksellers are not as welcoming to the genre as they should be.
On Wednesday, a day after the bookshop owner was beaten up by the customers of a large bookstore in Uttar Pradesh’s Jharkhand district, a group of black bookseller customers started a protest outside the shop, demanding that the bookshopping outlets in the area be shut down.
According to a police report, the bookseller was beaten with iron rods and then set on fire by a mob.
The incident took place on Tuesday night at a shop in Vashi.
The shop owner was allegedly beaten by the mob, and later died on the spot.
A group of five customers started shouting slogans against the bookstores.
“Black books are not for sale here.
It’s a crime that you are selling them here,” one of them, who is not identified in the police report but is seen in the video, told NDTV.
The black bookstores in the region are predominantly owned by Muslim community, and their owners are mostly members of the Hindu community.
A recent survey conducted by the Centre for Research on Black Culture (CRBC) showed that there are 1,539 black bookshoppes in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
According to the CRBC survey, there are around 4,700 black book stores in the country.
“We are not here to sell black books, we are here to help them, especially those who come to us with children,” a customer of a black bookshop in Rajasthan told NDtv.
“The only reason we are buying books is because we want to have books for our children to read.
We want them to learn about Indian history, history of the country, Indian culture,” said a bookseller from a large bookshop who was also not identified.
“I have been here for over 40 years.
When we started selling books, I was not happy.
I didn’t think that this bookshop would be the last black book shop in India,” he said.
The protests came on the heels of a recent attack on a black shop in the same region, which also led to the death of a man.
On January 17, police in Uttar Kashi, the capital of JhARKhand state, used a battering ram to attack a black store.
The store owner succumbed to his injuries in the hospital later that day.
The local bookseller, who was on duty at the time of the attack, told CNN-IBN that the police did not take any action against the owners of the shop for the act of violence.
“They were in charge of the store, and the owner of the book shop was not taken into custody,” he added.
The CRBC study also found that the Black Book Store Owners Association of India (BBLOI), which represents bookshippers in the district, is one of the most influential bookshipping organisations in the world.
“The bookshipper’s association has been organising bookshoots for the last 25 years.
They also organise bookshoppers’ events.
It is one big body,” said Anurag Prakash, general secretary of the BBLOII, which represents around 4.5 million bookshipped booksellings across India.
The bookseller added that the association was in touch with the police about the case.
“There is no record of a bookshop attack in the village.
We are in touch and they are taking the complaint,” he told ND TV.
The BJP government in Uttar Panchayats is yet to respond to the protest.
“BJP is not in favour of selling books in any bookshop.
Our party has never supported books in shops.
We have been against books for years,” a leader of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) told ND to NDTV on Thursday.