Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Taslima Goes Back to the West

Persecuted, traumatised, ignored, maligned, pilloried, Taslima Nasreen, author of “Shame” has been forced to flee to the West for her own good and her health. She was even denied medical care that any ordinary person can expect as a right. All because she supported the cause of the minority Hindu community in Bangla Desh. Most people who haven’t read “Shame,” and actively (or, rather passively) persecuted her, do not know that “Shame” is all about a Hindu girl who went missing in Bangla Desh and her brother’s vain attempt to find her. She makes a few incisive statements about Bangla Desh society in the novel.

How can the Muslims of India claim that the book offends religious sentiments when there is no offence meant in the novel? I have read the novel, and if memory serves me right, throughout the book the author doesn’t mention one word that would offend the religious beliefs of Muslims. That shows that none of the people who wanted her out of the country have read her novel. Ring a bell? Yes, who among the fundamentalists who have put a fatwa on Rushdie read Satanic Verses?

This shows an absolute lack of respect for the rights of a writer, and the writing and the reading and publishing community in general. Actually, the reading, writing public in India is too emasculated to even raise a finger of protests. Where are our crusading writers, activists, so to speak? Why haven’t they spoken? What is holding back those people who can go on for hours about freedom of expression, artistic licence, et al?

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