Taslima Nasreen: A Controversial Writer
17 August, 2007
By Tanveer Jafri
Taslima Nasreen, a 45 years writer of Bangladesh origin, has been getting fame as a controversial writer for the last one and half decade. I desired to write about Taslima for many years but I was in a fix to what to write about her personality or about her scribble. Because just like her near and dear ones, I have also the same opinion on this issue i.e. Taslima is either a brave woman or a very silly person. Taslima was born in a respectable family & her father was a physician professor in a medical college in Bangladesh & her mother a religious simple housewife. Taslima's father wasn't so much orthodox about the Islami thoughts but at the same time he didn't believe in the religious criticism just as Taslima did. Now the question is why Taslima adopted so much revolutionary thoughts on the Islam religion, the Islamic teachings & the condition of women in Islam religion. To know all this, it is necessary to look into the early life of Taslima.
As Taslima has herself given a detail of it that many a time, in her childhood, her own relatives had harassed her sexually. It may be that she might not have taken it seriously in her childhood, but later on when she realized that whatever had happened to her was unsocial, unmoral & irreligious. She began to hate the religion & religious teaching of those sinners instead of hating the sinners. Taslima felt that women are being exploited sexually everywhere in the world. Being a Muslim woman, she began to feel that the Muslim women are the most exploited women among the women of the world. Although her sexual exploitation didn't end in Bangladesh in her childhood. A few years back Taslima accused a respectable writer of Kolkata for it that he has established relation with her bodily. Happening of such incidents in the personal life of Taslima & to reveal them herself & get it published through her articles or books, on one excuse or the other & to link them directly with a religion to disgrace it proves something else. By showing herself an expert in the religious criticism compels one to think that in reality Taslima is a brave writer or a fool.
In Asian countries the women have occupied a different place in comparison to those of the Europe or America. In Asia specially in Middle Asian or South Asian countries, the women are seen at the very high esteem. Shame, modesty & veil like thinking have been directly associated with the women. This is the reason that sex & having sexual relations are not commonly discussed. At such time the open confession of Taslima to give detail of such happening occurred in her life reveals her personal manners but it also hurts our tardyons & assumptions. The happenings occurred in the personal life of Taslima are not her individuals. Thousands of the women in the world like as Taslima Nasreen become a prey of body exploitation even in the worse ways. Even as some bad characters kill the women after the evil deeds. Now days, it is heard that some innocent girls in their childhood are falling in the wrong hands. No religion or its teachings be held responsible for such mental disabilities. These mentally handicap or mad persons can be found in any religion, country, class or community. Then is it proper to associate these personal matters with a religion or religious teachings & to criticize that.
Taslima has been awarded many a time for her free writing in India, Bangladesh, Sweden, Norway, America, Belgium, France, Germany, and Britain & European Parliament. She has got many awards from the government & non-government institutions in many countries. Many universities in the world have awarded the Doctrate degrees of their university to Taslima. Usually, in Europe & America those Asian writers are seen with respect who dare to criticize & spit poison against their religion & society. Such writers are given many degrees, medals & awards. They are presented as the heroes of freedom of expression. Salman Rushdie & Taslima Nasreen are among so called brave writers.
On the last August 9, Taslima Nasreen was attacked at the time when she was in Hyderabad, capital of Andhra Pradesh in India. She was there to take part in a function in the Press Club in Hyderabad. She had come there to take part in the function held on the occasion of inauguration of the translated publication in Telugu language of her book 'Shodh.' The sorrowful aspect of this attack was that besides the other persons involved in attack three Members of Legislative Assembly were also physically involved. These members belonged to a regional political organization All India Majlise Ittehadul Muslemin. These persons attacked Taslima Nasreen by throwing flower pots, vases, heavy books, chairs etc. on her, when the media persons came to rescue Taslima & closed the door of her room. The angry assaulters broke the door of the room. According to Taslima she was face to face with the death at that time. The thoughts that came to her were that these assaulters would shoot her or would behead her. But in this atmosphere of fear, the role played by the media persons was praiseworthy & beyond description as the police was not present at the spot so the media persons had to do this job. Both the assaulters and media persons were injured.
As the criticisms of Islam by Taslima Nasreen cannot be called just similarly the actions by the self styled custodians of Islam are not justified. An attack by hundreds of men on a woman & a try to kill her is inhuman. After that their feeling of sorry, that they could not succeed in their mission & to warn Taslima to be careful about her life in future & threaten to kill her, are anti-Islamic & irreligious thoughts. Such cruel incidents are responsible for establishing Taslima as a revolutionary writer. Such incidents work to make her a hardcore revolutionary of her such thoughts.
So where as Taslima Nasreen shouldn't criticize any religion or a great man of a religion, there as any fundamentalist or any organization have no right to issue a religious order to kill a woman or try to kill. Happening of such incidents in a secular & democratic country like India is a subject to worry. Writing or criticism should be reciprocated in the same way & never in violence. There should be strict action against such assaulters. At the same time Taslima Nasreen should keep in mind that freedom of expression doesn't allow to hurt the feelings of any community. Just as MF Husain is a famous painter of the world but he has no right to hurt the feelings of any community by drawing unclad pictures of Gods & Goddesses of any religion.