Just a place where people talked

A little more from Joseph Anton, which is an encyclopedia of the kind of bad thinking that’s been going on for the past week. It takes place in France, which is fitting, and mentions a beloved friend of mine.

At the first meeting of the so-called “International Parliament of Writers” in Strasbourg he worried about the name, because they were unelected, but the French shrugged and said that in France un parlement was just a place where people talked. He insisted that the statement they were drafting against Islamist terror should include references to Tahar Djaout, Farag Fouda, Aziz Nesin, Ugur Memeu and the newly embattled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen as well as himself. Susan Sontag swept in, embraced him, and spoke passionately in fluent French, calling him un grand écrivain who represented the crucial secularized culture the Muslim extremists wished to suppress. [p 397]

Plus ça change, eh?

Nirbashito

There’s a film about Taslima; it won an award. Well we can’t have that, can we.

Trinamool Congress Lok Sabha MP from Basirhat, Idris Ali has termed exiled Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen as a ‘loose charactered woman’ on Sunday.

“Taslima Nasreen is a loose charactered woman who plays the communal card. People who support her, eventually end up spreading communal tension,” said Ali. He also targeted author Salman Rushdie saying, “Rushdie was barred from entering West Bengal as this is a secular state and communal elements like him should be kept at bay.”

The communal card, for heaven’s sake. It’s Idris Ali and people like him who are doing that, not Taslima. [Read more…]

One can imagine the pressure

Taslima has a guest post by a neuroscientist at MIT, Garga Chatterjee.

Many Bengalis take a lot of pride about Kolkata, as a centre for free thought and artistic expression. Kolkata, the so-called ‘cultural capital’, has demonstrated the increasing emptiness of the epithet, yet again. Taslima Nasreen, one of the most famous Bengali authors alive, had scripted a TV serial named ‘Doohshahobash’ ( Difficult cohabitaions) portraying 3 sisters and their lives – standing up to kinds of unjust behaviour that are everyday realities for the lives of women in the subcontinent. Nasreen has long lent a powerful voice to some of the most private oppressions that women face, often silently. [Read more…]

But suddenly everything is dead. Everybody is silent.

Taslima wrote a post about banning and censorship two days ago, when the axing of her serial was threatened but not yet a reality. Go read it and look at it; it’s full of pictures of Taslima on billboards advertising the serial. There was a huge buzz about this serial.

But suddenly everything is dead. Everybody is silent. The channel, the producers, the artists all are shocked.

[Read more…]