Thursday, March 17, 2005

Shame: Taslima Nasreen Revisited

The Government of West Bengal is opposing Taslima Nasreen's plea for permanent Indian residency. The reason per a senior official of the West Bengal Home Department, who wished to remain unnamed: most of the state's Muslim citizens found Ms Nasreen "unacceptable".

This is an outrage -- it's surely not for the Muslim population of Bengal to veto a genuine political refugee's plea for asylum. Besides, we cannot imagine that the majority of this population is so closed-minded -- in reality, the West Bengal Government is pandering to the most narrow-minded elements of the community.

This is a matter of great shame for secular India.


Bear said...

A Travesty of Democracy.

Ashish Gupta said...

Its not as shame if you think that she was denied (or was she, as Govt denied such news?) based on simple law that any foreigner cannot be granted visa before 10 years of stay. Also, we may not like fundamentalist's attitude towards her as democratic nation, and shouldn't permit such towards any Indian writer, doesn't mean that we should give refuge to all and sundry. We must have our interests in mind first of all.

A close examination, beyond what popular media presents, of the reasons of her exile is also important before we show any sympathy to her. She has been intentionally provoking and insulting the Islam by her writings repeatedly, which is illegal in Bangladesh - irrespective of wheather we agree or not.

I don't know how does secular-right-india feels towards Arndhati Roy, but Taslima Nasreen may be like her, that is, writing consistently and intentionally provoking and insulting our constitution and government. We of corse, wouldn't exile Ms Roy, but then can be deny Bangladesh right to do so to its citizens?


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