Tuesday, January 8, 2008

** India not theocracy’

Taslima on Live chat: ‘India is not a theocracy’
Thu, Jan 17, 2008 - IBN:CNN

New Delhi: Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen achieved a meteoric rise to fame in the 1980s for her strong feminist views, which are often seen as criticism of Islam and religion in general.

Her literature has won her millions of admirers all over the world. At the same time, she has been dogged by controversy from the day her book, Lajja, was published. She currently lives in India in exile.

In her first-ever web chat, the Bangladeshi author had interacted with readers on IBNLive for well over two hours and fielded their questions on a range of issues including literature, philosophy, on life in general, social issues and gender questions.

She did this interaction from a laptop and on the phone from an undisclosed location where the Indian Government is keeping her.
Here we reproduce the full text of the chat.

Raj:Hi Madam, how does it feel being away from Kolkata? Secondly, has your perception changed about Indian politics now, I mean about the type of secularism, freedom and democracy we are having here?

Taslima Nasreen: I feel very depressed, forced to live out of Kolkata after being thrown out from the city I had been living in. I don’t want to lose my faith in Indian secularism. I hope that I will be allowed to go back home.
Paritosh: Do you wish to go back to Bangladesh, your own motherland?
Taslima Nasreen: The Bangladesh Government does not allow me to go back to my own country. My citizenship rights have been violated and trampled upon for 13 years.

Canadian Desi: Hello Taslima, I’m from Canada. When I heard about the tragic scene of your press conference, I was totally devestated to learn that this thing is still happening in India. A lady can’t write her feelings and experience openly in 21st Century. I’m proud of India, but that incident had shaken me. Keep up the good work.

Taslima Nasreen: I am also proud of India. It is only a handful of fanatics who cause trouble of this kind. Otherwise most Indians, I believe, are liberal.

Silent Moderates @ http://worldmonitor.wordpress.com/2007/12/08/islam%e2%80%99s-silent-moderates/