Why do they hate her so?
Driven out of West Bengal after Left Front chairman Biman Bose indirectly declared her as persona non grata -- "if Ms Taslima Nasreen's stay disturbs the atmosphere of peace in the State, she must leave," Mr Bose had said -- the dissident Bangladeshi writer has already spent three weeks in virtual house arrest in an undisclosed place in Delhi.
It's not only the Left Front Government of West Bengal that bowed before violent Islamic fundamentalists on the rampage in Kolkata, the UPA Government hasn't shown any spine to stand beside the beleaguered woman either -- both eyeing the Muslim vote-bank. A stoic Congress-led Government at the Centre has said it is ready to provide shelter to Ms Nasreen, but expects the writer to refrain from activities and expressions that may "hurt the sentiments of the people".
"Those given shelter in India have always undertaken to eschew political activities in India or any actions which may harm India's relations with friendly countries. It is also expected that the guests will refrain from activities and expressions that may hurt the sentiments of our people." This statement read in Parliament by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, in an oblique reference to Ms Nasreen, smacks of appeasement of the fundamentalist forces.
If Ms Nasreen's prospect of returning to her home country Bangladesh is remote, her chances of returning to Kolkata in the milieu of her linguistic community of Bengalis are dim. This, despite her decision to delete three 'objectionable' pages from her autobiography Dwikhandita. For the first time in the country, a famous woman writer has been disgraced due to vote-bank politics. In doing so, pseudo-secularist Union and State Governments have suavely brushed aside the Indian philosophy of "atithi dewo bhawa" (a guest is godly). This is a dishonour to the Indian culture as well.
A woman is being disrespected by two 'secular' fundamentalist Governments that have, on another front, failed to deport Bangladeshi infiltrators who pose a serious threat to national security. Come election, these political parties shamelessly compete with each other for a bigger share of the illegal immigrants' vote-bank pie.
A defenceless woman, who showed rare courage to speak out against growing Islamic fundamentalism, has come in the way of the UPA and Left Front Government's greed for votes.
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Taslima's 'house arrest' a national shame: BJP
The BJP on Friday said the "shocking news" of the house arrest of noted writer Taslima Nasreen was a matter of shame for the UPA Government, especially in a country that proudly propounds the age-old philosophy of Athithi Devo Bhava.
Party spokesman Prakash Javadekar said it was even more shocking that for the sake of their political survival and acting completely under pressure from the CPI(M), the Central Government had gone ahead and conveyed to Taslima that she cannot go back to Kolkata, a city that she loves.
"This has thrown up an extremely relevant and important question as to how a victim of persecution is being treated by a civilised State in which the victim has sought refuge. Taslima is a victim of religious persecution in Bangladesh. She is now a refugee in India," Javadekar added.
Criticising the UPA and the CPI(M) for their dismal display of conduct in Taslima episode, Javadekar maintained it clearly established their complete submission to Islamic fundamentalists. He demanded freedom of movement, safety and just treatment to Taslima, as also to allow her to follow her wishes.
On CPI(M)'s attack on the party in its mouthpiece People's Democracy, the BJP said it was a sign of the growing insecurity amongst its leadership and cadre. "They have falsely charged the BJP with going back to basics of aggressive communal polaralisation. This precisely reflects the complete insecurity and frustration of the CPI(M), in face of the growing popularity of the BJP," Javdekar claimed.
Amused at Prime Minister's admission that Left-wing extremism was growing, the BJP said it was the Congress politics, which was responsible for proliferation of Maoist activities.
The BJP demanded that instead of mere statements, the Union Government must display the resolve and follow it up with a specific action plan to conclusively combat and defeat Maoism across the country.
Meanwhile, a day after the Government told Taslima Nasreen that she could either continue to stay in the national Capital confined or leave the country, the controversial Bangladeshi writer appealed to the Government to "change its mind". Nasreen, who is living amid tight security in a safe house here, told NDTV: "I appeal to the Government to change its mind." She also asserted that she would leave India if she is stopped from returning to Kolkata, which she considers her home, adds IANS.