Thursday, March 20, 2008

Taslima Nasreen castigates Indian Govt while leaving

In a stinging criticism of the Indian Government, the Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen has left the country, and accused them of being hand-in-glove with the Muslim fundamentalists who have harassed her. In a talk with reporters on her way out of India, she bemoaned the fact that the Indian Government did not support her, harassed her and kept her under surveillance:

"If I disclose my destination my security will be compromised. My face has now become recognisable and I could be target of religious fundamentalist", Taslima said, adding that she will not hesitate to discuss what she said the traumatic experience she allegedly went through during various international seminars lined up in Europe in the next few months.
"I was put under tremendous stress but I could not speak out as I was under their (government) surveillance and could be harassed by them," she said in a choked voice.
"The government is no better than religious fundamentalists," she said.

Of course, we all know that the Indian Government was also under a lot of stress since her presence in the country was very uncomfortable for it. The Government could not have kicked her out because of the adverse publicity, but at the same time, could not allow her free reign because of the feared reaction from the Muslim community. So the Government essentially buckled down and made her a prisoner, unable to move out and kept in a Government security house.
Nobody comes out of this with any praise. The Congress Government in Andhra Pradesh did not prosecute the politicians who led an attack against her, the central Government even refused to giver here the barest of support, instead warning her that she should behave or else ... The Left Government refused to provide her security, instead kicking her out of Calcutta. Everybody has got a bad name out of this, and India is seeming like a country where you cannot speak freely without offending people, and where the Government will not protect you for political reasons. Shame on Manmohan Singh.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 1:51 AM