Controversial Bangladeshi writer, Taslima Nasreen has raised questions on the double standards of writers who had returned their awards protesting against the growing intolerance in India.
In an interview with TOI, Nasreen said that most of the writers were silent when her book was banned by West Bengal government and when five fatwas were issued against her in India.
Nasreen said that she was thrown out of West Bengal and was kept under house arrest in Delhi for months. She said that she was forced to leave India.
She said that a mega-serial based on her work was also banned and she has been struggling alone for the right to live in India with complete freedom of expression.
The controversial writer of ‘Lajja’ revealed the hypocrisy of some writers who themselves appealed for a ban on her book.
“Not only they were silent, famous writers like Sunil Ganguly and Shankha Ghosh appealed to Buddhadeb Bhattacharya, the then CM of West Bengal, to ban my book.”
Though she expressed her concern over the growing intolerance in India, she said she was more worried about the societal pattern which showed a skewed view of secularism.
When asked about her views on secularism in India, Nasreen said that most of the secular people are anti-Hindu.
“They protest against the acts of Hindu fundamentalists and defend the heinous acts of Muslim fundamentalists.”
Nasreen said that politicians appease Muslims for vote bank in India. She said that Muslims are given favours that agitated many Hindus.
Nasreen pointed out that it is not just Muslims alone who get tortured because of their faith. “It happens with other religious communities as well,” she said.
She illustrated her point with the example of Canning in West Bengal, where in 2013 around 200 houses of Hindus were burnt down by Muslims protesting the death of a cleric.
“If Muslims were brutally persecuted in India, they would have left India for neighbouring Muslim countries like Hindu minorities have been leaving Bangladesh and Pakistan since Partition.”
Calling those writers who have returned their awards as “grown-up-people”, she said it is up to them whether they want to return their awards or not.