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20 December, 2007

Indian government succumbs to fundamentalist pressure

Taslima Nazrin

By asking the Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nazrin to remain in New Delhi and stay away from public activities, the Government of India has exposed itself as lacking the courage to stand up to political and religious bullies

Nazrin, who fled Bangladesh after religious fanatics held out murder threats, was living in exile in Kolkata until recently, feeling quite at home amidst people who speak her language.

That Muslim fundamentalists were not happy with her presence in India became clear a few months ago when a group of hoodlums, led by two State legislators, attempted to assault her while attending a function at the Press Club of Hyderabad.

Last month demonstrators in Kolkata raised slogans against her during a protest against the atrocities in Nandigram, called by a Muslim organization. On November 21 the Kolkata police whisked her away from her city home and dropped her in a government guest house in Jaipur, capital of BJP-ruled Rajasthan. The Rajasthan government, which was not willing to play host to her, shifted her to the Rajasthan House in New Delhi. From there the Government of India shifted her to an undisclosed destination.

Taslima Nazrin’s Indian visa is due to expire in the next few days. NDTV reported that she wants to stay in Kolkata and wants to leave the country if she is not allowed to go back to that city.

According to media reports, the Indian government has told her that she must remain in New Delhi and stay away from public functions. Although it has cited security reasons for the restrictions sought to be imposed on her, it is evident that it is succumbing to fundamentalist pressure.

The Hindu quoted Taslima Nazrin as saying she is ready to remain in Delhi if she is not able to go back to Kolkata.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

indian goverment let her live in culcutta.