Taslima Nasrin

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Every ban and censorship hurt. But banishment hurts the most.

Taslima Nasrin (born 1962) is a Bangladeshian writer.

Quotes[edit]

  • Religion is against women's rights and women's freedom. In all societies women are oppressed by all religions.
  • The Islam religion and their scriptures are out of place and out of time. It still follows the 7th century laws and is hopeless. The need of the hour is not reformation but revolution.
  • Every ban and censorship hurt. But banishment hurts the most. Banishment took away the ground from beneath my feet. What I need now most is a firm footing to stand up somewhere to fight for the freedom of expression. I was banished from both East and West Bengal.
    • Taslima Nasrin, Inteview with Firstpost, [1] (2016)
  • Many of my books are banned in Bangladesh. My book was banned in West Bengal too. Its government not only banned my book, it forced me to leave the state too. The new government ban­ned the release of my book Nir­basan in 2012 and a few months ago forced a TV channel called Akash Ath to stop telecast of a mega serial I wrote. The serial was about women’s struggle and how three sisters living in Calcutta fight aga­inst patriarchal oppression to live their lives with dignity and honour. She (Mamata Banerjee) ban­ned me to app­ease some misogynist mullahs.
    • Taslima Nasrin, quoted in Outlook India, [2]
  • Politicians are all on the same platform when it comes down to me. I think it’s because they think that if they can satisfy the Muslim fundamentalists they will get votes. I believe I am a victim of votebank politics. This also shows that how weak the democracy is and politicians ask votes by banning a writer ... Even though I am not staying there, she (Banerjee) has not allowed my book ‘Nirbasan’ to be published. Also, she has stopped the broadcast of a TV serial scripted by me after Muslim fundamentalists objected to it. She is not allowing me to enter the state… This is a dangerous opposition ... I wrote to Mamata Banerjee. But there was no response to that… No I am not going to write to her again. I do not think she will consider my request. I feel very hopeless because I expected something positive. I think when it comes down to me, she has similar vision like that of the Left leaders.... I do not consider India as a foreign country. The history of this country is my history. It’s the country of my forefathers. I love this country and in Kolkata, I feel at home because I can relate that place to my homeland. ... I have sacrificed my freedom and have been sacrificing for a big cause… All these (problems) are because of my writings. I could have stopped writing against fundamentalists and possibly the bans would have been removed and I had got back my freedom and allowed to enter my motherland again. But I will never do that. ... I have spoken of humanism and equal rights for women and secularism stating that religion and nation should be treated separately. One should not get confused with nation and religion. Rules should be made based on equality, and not on religion. ... I know that only by writing I will not be able to change an entire society. The laws need to be changed. Equal rights cannot be established in a short time, it requires a long time and huge efforts ... I have got many awards but the best is when people come forward and tell me that my writings have help them change their vision,... I do not think I would have been treated in the same manner if I was born there (Europe). I am a writer, not an activist... I write with a pen and if you have any problem why do not you pick up a pen to protest.... The surprising thing in this part of the world is that they have picked up arms against me because I have expressed my views. I have never enforced my thoughts on anybody ever, then why they are trying to kill me. I am not a supporter of violence.
  • “The producer and director were developing my story to a mega series. They had shot around 100 episodes after which the ban was imposed. The Muslim fanatics in Bengal, supported by the ruling Trinamool Congress played havoc when the serial was to be aired. The chief minister was instrumental in imposing the ban. It is interesting to see that the same person (Mamata Bangerjee) is now advocating for freedom of expression and calling it super emergency,” “This is sheer double standard..... If some people do not like a representation of art, there are other ways to counter it. I never support violent attack on artistic freedom. I also do not support the trend of issuing fatwa. But, there are politicians, who support or protest on the basis of religion. Why are rules being tweaked for one particular community in Bengal? Why did Mamata Banerjee’s government never allow me to work there, allow my books to be published? Freedom of expression, the most important character of a democracy, is always under attack for vested political interest. Nobody criticises things neutrally,”
  • I have told the story of a progressive, educated, Hindu family of this country in Lajja. The family falls victim to communal violence, where a rationalist and atheist young man gradually transforms into a staunch Hindu, becomes a fundamentalist and gets destroyed in the process. The state destroys him, the government destroys him and gradually mushrooming religious fanaticism destroys him. He is defeated. Many young men in this country are transforming from human beings to Hindus. They are being repeatedly victimized by the state, in educational institutions, workplaces, business and trade, all because of religious discrimination. They are being labelled second-class citizens. Why should I not speak the truth? The truth will always be valued. The ones who make a truth controversial, the fault lies with them and not with the truth. And the ones who blame the truth support the actions of the miscreants. The Hindus getting into trouble here is a bad excuse. Those who like to stay silent for the sake of convenience are responsible for eroding human strength and courage. They are cowards and exploiters. They are the biggest threats to all minority communities. They believe if you point out a wrong it will lead to trouble. The same argument works for the Muslims there.
    • Nāsarina, T., & Chakraborty, M. (2018). Split: A life.
  • Lajja is a humanist appeal so that unpleasant things don’t happen any more. So that people can manage to coexist in mutual respect and to help religion truly embrace humanity.
    • Nāsarina, T., & Chakraborty, M. (2018). Split: A life.

About Taslima Nasrin[edit]

  • With its extreme dependence on foreign aid, Bangladesh is understandably concerned about not offending Western sensibilities too much., Its government did not insist on implementing the prison sentence pronounced by a court against feminist author Taslima Nasrin for her 1994 book Shame, much less the death sentence pronounced by individual Muftis. Instead it preferred to send her into exile and be rid of the whole controversy. Her latest book, Wild Wind, is the object of yet another ban by the Islamist-leaning government of Khaleda Zia, the reason given being that it “destroys the socio-political amity of the country” and “contains anti-Islamic statements.”
    • Koenraad Elst: Afterword: The Rushdie Affair's Legacy, in Pipes, D., & Elst, K. (2004). The Rushdie affair: The novel, the Ayatollah, and the West. New Brunswick [u.a.: Transaction Publ.
  • We have praised Taslima for speaking for Muslim women who do not have many spokesmen in the Muslim world. But her real glory is that she has also spoken for the persecuted Hindus in her country - for whom no one speaks, not even the Hindus.
    • Ram Swarup, Woman in Islam, 2000

External links[edit]

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