Taslima Nasreen wants to return to Kolkata while the West Bengal government is reluctant to have her back for fear of once more causing mass unrest.
Meanwhile intermediaries of the central government are pressed for time as they rack their brains to find a way out for the controversial Bangladeshi writer. She has been holed up in Rajasthan House in Delhi for the last few days.
AdvertisementAccording to sources, Taslima is being asked to shift out temporarily to some safe house somewhere else in the country. Yet the author, who was moved out of her 'second home' Kolkata last week following violence over her stay does not want so.
"My food and lodging is being taken care of... but you cannot imagine how I am spending my days here. It is terrible", she says.
There was short-lived hope Sunday afternoon, when television channels aired reports that West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had decided to welcome her back. A statement to the contrary followed soon , dashing all joy for the writer.
As she spoke about life in the past four days, Taslima, who was taken out of Jaipur a day after she reached there ( the state government feared unrest over her presence) was reported that she felt like being treated like a football - kicked around.
"I am at Rajasthan House. My food and lodging is being taken care of by a party and my security is in the hands of the Centre. But you cannot imagine how I am spending my days here. It is terrible," Taslima says.
Those who called on Taslima on Sunday were two functionaries of the All India Progressive Women's Association and two Delhi University professors of the political science department.
Taslima appeared relaxed but a little disturbed about her uncertain future, reported a senior Rajasthan government official who accompanied her from Jaipur.
Speaking out on the unrest over her, Taslima, who fled Bangladesh in 1994 following fatwas against her by fundamentalists, opined that Muslim outfits were putting pressure on the Left Front government in Bengal and campaigning against her . She insisted that ever since she started staying in Kolkata, she had not written anything that would hurt Muslim sentiments.
"These fundamentalists are quoting from my old writings that appeared in Dwikhondito in 2003. The book was banned and subsequently the high court also lifted the ban. So the whole campaign against me of committing a blasphemy is baseless," Taslima defends.
She emphasizes that Islam is not her subject, nor is Islam bashing her passion. "I have got nothing to do with Islam. My focus areas are women's rights, humanism and feminism," Taslima says.
Doctor Taslima Nasreen was born on 25 August 1962. She is a Bengali Bangladeshi author , secular humanist, feminist and human rights activist. Her denouncements of religions that make slaves out of women have earned her death threats from Islamic fundamentalists. She is most famous for her novel 'Lajja" which spoke about the persecutions of the Hindus in Bangladesh.
She was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought (1994) and a Humanist Award in 1996 by the International Humanist and Ethical Union.
Islam is considered as a male-dominated religion where women have few , if no rights. Yet most muslims believe that the Quran revealed through the prophet Mohammad , gave women more rights than they had , before it came to being. Still it can be said that women are generally considered much inferior to men in most Islamic states.