Kolkata

City intellectuals back residential permit for Taslima Nasreen

Taslima Nasreen  

When Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen claimed on Saturday that Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had assured her of a residential permit, it invited angry response from several Muslim personalities in the city. However, many intellectuals have backed the Centre’s decision.

Civil rights activist Sujato Bhadra said freedom of expression permits Ms. Nasreen to write freely.

“India is not an Islamic State which is intolerant to anti-Islamic content. Readers should be given the authority to accept or reject her work.”

Mr. Bhadra had opposed the ban on one of Ms. Nasreen’s controversial novel, ‘Dwikhandito’, in the Calcutta High Court in 2004 and won the case.

Expressing satisfaction over the Centre’s decision, author Jaya Mitra said: “Anyone is free to live in India as it is a democratic nation. Banning Ms. Nasreen for writing in an anti-Islamic tone is equal to fascism. India is a secular country and allowing Ms. Nasreen to stay in the country upholds India’s secular nature.”

Arguing that Ms. Nasreen had every right to criticise Islam, as it was her own religion, author Nabaneeta Dev Sen said religion should open up people’s minds and allow free thinking.

Ms. Nasreen was forced to exit the State after riots broke out in the city in 2007 and Muslim clerics issued a death warrant against her. Although the CPI (M) government was replaced with the Mamata Banerjee-led All India Trinamool Congress in 2011, the ban on her entry into the State remains.

“As a Bangladeshi, Ms. Nasreen shares cultural similarities with Bengal and it would be a welcome gesture if she is allowed to re-enter the State,” Ms. Mitra said.

“It would be great if Ms. Nasreen is allowed to come to Bengal. She is a friend and I want her to be safe and stay in India,” Ms. Dev Sen said.

Social activist Miratun Nahar said India should work as a mediator and try to help Ms. Nasreen’s re-entry into Bangladesh

“It has been a long time since Ms. Nasreen was exiled from her homeland and living as a guest in India,” Dr. Nahar said.


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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 2:41:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/city-intellectuals-back-residential-permit-for-taslima-nasreen/article6286580.ece

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