Writer Taslima Nasreen Says She is Under Virtual House Arrest

by Gopalan on  January 5, 2008 at 10:50 AM Celebrity Health News
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Writer Taslima Nasreen Says She is Under Virtual House Arrest
Bangladesh writer Taslima Nasreen has complained that she is virtually under house arrest in Indian capital New Delhi.

The plight of this exiled Bangladesh Muslim writer came to the fore in India again as her e-mail communication to some of her supporters was made public Friday.

She said that her visitors had to take permission from 'higher-ups' in the government and their time and the duration of meeting her was fixed by them.

Nasreen was bundled out of Kolkata, capital of the eastern state of West Bengal, in November last,  following widespread violent protests by a Muslim group for her alleged anti-Islamic writings.

The writer regretted that those who had indulged in arson and violence had not read her book Dwikhondito (Split into two). The book was even banned once by the Marxist-led coalition government in West Bengal state, where a quarter of the population is Muslim.

In her e-mail Nasreen pointed out that her book was published three years ago but there had been no violence all this time, even after the West Bengal government withdrew its ban.

The controversial author said that since she had withdrawn the allegedly offending portions of Dwikhondito and there had been no protests after her action, there was no reason why she should not be allowed to return to Kolkata.

Nasreen said that if important people could freely move around with security, without causing law and order problems, she saw no reason why she cannot do the same.

When contacted, she told news agency PTI that she had sent the communication to a meeting of intellectuals who had come out in her support at a rally in Kolkata two days ago.

Many have warned of the toll the traumatic events of the past few months on the mental health of the hunted writer.

Sometime ago she had said she was depressed over having to live in such humiliating conditions.

Taslima, who writes in her native language of Bengali, is a much hated figure in orthodox Muslim circles. Her allusions to the situation of women in Islam has enraged them.
She has been on the run for more than a decade now and she took refuge in India only three years ago. Her visa is being periodically extended.

She prefers Calcutta because of language affinity. Before the catastrophic partition in 1947 on communal lines, Bangladesh was part of the Bengali-speaking region of India.

The issue has become a hot potato for the Indian government. It doesn't want to antagonize Muslim opinion leaders, but is also hesitant to deport her. Besides it is horrified at the thought of a possible assassination attempt on her on Indian soil. In the circumstances it has chosen to keep her secreted somewhere in the national capital.

But obviously Taslima Nasreen, fighting for the dignity and freedom of women in Islam, has had enough of her stifling life even in a country known for its tolerance and liberal values.

Source: Medindia

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