Yesterday I read a tweet on my twitter account by Taslima Nasreen, whom I follow. She wrote , “ If India turns its back on me, I have nowhere to go. No country or home to return to.” You can easily fathom the pain and melancholic state of her mind. A lonely woman, driven out of her own country by her own people and fanatic, dogmatic and fundamentalist clergy, took shelter in India. Here again she is hounded by religious orthodoxy, though our constitution proclaims that we are a secular nation. She made Kolkata her home, but fundamentalist elements attacked her and forced her to leave Kolkata. Congress government at centre, instead of giving her protection, advised her to leave the city and settle elsewhere. Even her Visa is not permanent. It is periodically renewed. You can understand Taslima Nasreen‘s mental pressure and agony. She was physically assaulted in a programme in Bengaluru. Congress government, which is so eager to see Narendra Mody behind bars, maintained its stoic silence in this case.
Media, the torch bearer of democracy, the vanguard of freedom of expression and the protector and votary of secularism, remained passive onlooker. For the record they made some noises, but more or less it was a half-hearted and lackadaisical effort. Leaders of Media, who are so vehement and vociferous for the justice of Muslims of Gujarat, keep a mysterious silence in case of Taslima Nasreen. They are baying and crying for Narendra Modi‘s blood, but attackers and tormentors of this lonely, hapless lady are roaming around without fear of retribution. Media maintains a Dhritarashtra-like attitude. Why two different yardsticks are used and followed for M. F. Husain and Taslima Nasreen ? As per media’s perception, M. F. Husain has all the rights against Hindu fundamentalism, but Taslima Nasreen has none against Muslim fundamentalism. Why this differential treatment ? Will I ever get an answer ?
Whenever I think about Taslima Nasreen, I cry. Away from her home and hearth for no fault of hers, away from the city of her liking and choice, she is hounded persistently and continuously with vehemence and vengeance and the all-powerful government of India, the secular Indian National Congress and the righteous, megalomaniac media maintain their stoic silence. Why M. F. Husain has all the sympathy and Taslima Nasreen has none ? Why Narendra Modi should face the trial and attackers of Taslima Nasreen should not ? Sometimes I feel that Hindu organisations like RSS and VHP are right . It is not secularism, it is simply appeasement of a religious minority.
I never had any faith in Congress. I have lost faith in media as for as this case is concerned. Can thinking and conscientious people of India and true secular intellectuals of our nation will ever shed even a drop of tear for Taslima Nasreen ? I do and shall keep on doing this unless she is given protection, her tormentors are put behind bars and she is given permanent visa and eventually the citizenship of India.
Filed under: Eulogy