Viewers Column

The Statesman, Thursday 15 Oct reports that the famous writer and dissident Ms Taslima Nasreen had come to India in August but was refused permission to stay. This news is not carried by any other newspaper of the day. Taslima’s website corroborates the report. Many people in India are puzzled why the news media remain silent when it comes to the denial of human right to a persecuted Bangladeshi writer, who has enriched Bengali literature.

I wonder if our reputation as a democratic country is untarnished in the face of this denial of residence to this noted writer, a champion of women’s rights, and protester against the oppression of the minorities in Bangladesh. Why should a spirited writer and poet be denied her right to stay in Kolkata, where she owns a house, or in any other part of India, unless she signs a slavery bond? Why are the media in India silent? The question goes a-begging. Why are the champions of free speech, who are batting for the return of Hussain the nudist to India from his safe haven in Dubai, silent about Taslima? The question goes a-begging.

Kalyan Chatterjee

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