In The Daily Telegraph, London, Dean Nelson reports the plight of the BBC’s “Voice of India”, Sir Mark Tully, “who has come under extraordinary attack in a thinly disguised novel which portrays him as a heartless philanderer and supporter of fanatics.”
“The book is clearly modelled on my career, even down to the name of the main character,” Sir Mark is quoted as saying. “That character’s journalism is abysmal, and his views on Hindutva and Hinduism do not in any way reflect mine. I would disagree with them profoundly.”
John Eliot, the former Fortune correspondent and a long-standing friend of Sir Mark’s, said the book is an “outrageous misrepresentation” of his life and work.
“Mark Tully is well-known as a thoroughly decent gentleman and one of the finest journalists ever posted to India. This is a badly-written book which should never have passed a lawyer or a publisher. It totally misrepresents his personal life and his work.”
The Telegraph says the suspected author, veteran French correspondent Francois Gautier, had issued a statement denying he had written the book.
The Indian Express quotes Gautier as saying:
“I have never hidden behind a pseudonym to say what I think. I have been one of the rare western journalists to defend Hindus. I have done it openly, in my own name, with dedication and courage and that has cost me a lot.”
The Daily Telegraph: Former BBC correspondent attacked in novel
The Indian Express: An irritant foreign body
Also read: Has Twitter found Mark Tully‘s character assassin?
It is very surprising that a well-known publisher like Roli Books should have brought out a book without the author’s name but with only a nom-de-plume. The author of the book should have had the courage to disclose his/her identity instead of remaining anonymous, leading to much speculation by readers, who are now asking: