LUCKNOW/KOLKATA: An FIR has been lodged against controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen for allegedly hurting religious sentiments following a complaint by a prominent Muslim cleric of Uttar Pradesh, a charge which the author said shocked her.
The case was lodged at Kotwali police station by Hasan Raza Khan Noori Miyan, son of the “sajjadanasheen” of Dargah-e-Ala Hazrat Maulana Subhan Raza Khan Subhani Miyan, who objected to certain tweets by Nasreen against clerics on November 6, police sources said here on Thursday.
In the complaint, it was alleged that with her remarks against clerics on Twitter the writer had hurt the feelings of the Muslim community.
A community doesn’t have feelings. People have feelings; groups of people don’t. Nobody gets to decide that the feelings of all the people in some putative “community” have been hurt, much less that that would be a reason to arrest someone.
Taslima said she was shocked to hear about the FIR as she had only spoken the truth.
“I do not know what wrong have I done with those tweets. I only spoke the truth and once again they are after me,” Taslima told PTI from New Delhi.
“I am shocked to hear this. How can this happen in a democratic country like India where the Constitution guarantees the freedom of speech and expression,” wondered the 51-year-old author who was forced to flee from Bangladesh after threats from fundamentalists for hurting religious sentiments.
After Arvind Kejriwal sought support for his Aam Aadmi Party from controversial UP cleric Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan, Taslima had criticised the meeting on Twitter.
In 2007, the Maulana had announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh on the author’s head if New Delhi did not restrict her entry to the country.
Following violent protests over renewal of her visa later on, she was bundled out of Kolkata by the authorities to Delhi.
Noting that her freedom of speech and expression has always been in danger, the author said, “Fundamentalists do not believe in human rights and so I am never allowed to speak even the truth.”
It’s so outrageous. Taslima comments:
They claim I hurt religious feelings of the entire Muslim community. Did I commit a crime or hurt Muslim community by telling the truth about Tauqeer Raza Khan that he was against my free speech, and he issued a fatwa? The cleric set price on my head. I tweeted that the cleric set price on my head. They now claim that my tweet hurts their religious sentiments. Religious sentiments are very dangerous things. These sentiments go against individual freedom and plurality of thoughts — the essential parts of democracy.
The truth only hurts liars and hypocrites. All Muslims in India are not afraid of truth, nor are all of them liars, hypocrites or fundamentalists. Some are. And they always use the name of whole community for their own political interests. Should this trend be continued? Should fatwas continue to be issued, Court cases continue to be filed and FIRs continue to be registered against writers, artists, and women, specially courageous women?
And they always use the name of whole community for their own political interests. Don’t they though! It’s revolting.