Controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen has said from Paris that although she cannot see herself return to her homeland in the near future, she is still hopeful of returning to Kolkata – her “second homeland.”
Addressing a press conference here recently over phone from the French capital, where she is currently living, Ms. Nasreen said she never wanted to leave Kolkata, but was “pressurised by the government” to do so.
“I still hope that the government will change its mind and I will be allowed to return to Kolkata,” she said.
“I have been shuttling from one country to another – one day Paris, the next day New York and then Sweden, I’m not being able to settle and it is affecting my writing,” she said.
“I still long to go back to Bangladesh because that is my first home,” she said although conceding that there isn’t a chances of her returning to her country are.
Expressing gratitude to those who are voicing their support to her, Ms. Nasreen said that while the campaign was for her individual rights, it was at the same time about human rights and for the freedom of speech.
“I write for human rights and women’s emancipation,” she said adding that “those who oppose her have no reason to be angry with her as what she has written is not new, it has all been stated before.”
She left Kolkata in November 2007 following protests by the State unit of the All India Minority Forum demanding that her visa be revoked. Subsequently she was put up in an undisclosed location near the capital.
Ms. Nasreen has since left the country periodically, the last time being in August 2009, shortly after her residential permit was renewed by the Indian government for yet another six-month period.