”It is discouraging how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.”— Noel Coward
Religious fanatics issue fatwas and demand the book banning of the writers who challenge them. Their demonstrations and processions end to a cul-de-sac or to a mosque.
But megalomaniac, misogynistic, macho male writers and their male dominated media are able to go far beyond mosques and can ban you, blacklist you, and banish from your land if you ever dare to challenge them. They are much more influential than moulavis and mullahs, much more clever and dangerous than idiot ignorant zombies.
Islamic fundamentalists in the Indian subcontinent can not ban books. It is the government who ban books to please the fundamentalists. They often fulfill the demands of fundamentalists for their own political interests. We know about politicians. Don’t we? But we expect writers and intellectuals to protest against banning and censorship. They do, but not always. If you are not submissive to big male writers and if you do not follow all the patriarchal rules of literary world, your life will be hell. They could not tolerate that me a much younger writer selling more books than them, and I was not scared to challenge their male dominated fake literary world full of lies and hypocrisy. They are powerful, because they control male dominated media and keep very good relation with corrupt corporates and people in the power.
They are lords. They can do anything they want. One of them was Syed Shamsul Haque, an abuser and a liar. He not only banned my book, he filed a million dollar libel case against me. What was my crime? My crime was I wrote what he told me about his emotional relationship with his sister-in-law and how he dishonored me. He knows very well that I will not be able to defend myself, the government does not allow me to enter Bangladesh and there is no one in the country who has courage to stand beside me, and he is in the land where no democracy but idiocracy rules, and in this situation, it will be very easy for him to file case against me and ban the book. He committed crime by banning the book in 2003. It’s 2012, the book is still banned. It was not banned by the government but was banned by the high court because of the law suit of SSH, the famous hypocrite writer, the supporter of banning and censorship. No trial took place. Only the heinous crime against the truth took place. What have the local human rights activists or women’s rights activists been doing? They love to keep silent. They are mostly power worshipers, anti-feminists, pro-religion.
Another famous writer from the West part of Bengal took initiative to ban my book. He is Sunil Gangopadhyay, a famous Bengali literary guru and the president of Sahitya Akademi. He was behind the banning of my book Dwikhandito in 2003 and was the supporter of my banishment from West Bengal in 2007.
Sunil Gangopadhyay said to Inter Press Service, “The book has passages of tirade on religion which could incite riots. It is not literature. . . it is almost pornography. It should be banned as it misuses freedom of expression.”
‘Author Sunil Gangopadhyay, one of those who support the ban said, ..people who bother to read it will be disappointed.’ Another Indian newspaper wrote, ‘Several noted authors including the poet Sunil Gangopadhyay, the novelists, Dibyendu Palit, Nabanita Deb Sen, and Syed Mustafa Siraj, the Bangladeshi novelist, Sams-ul Huq, the singer Suman Chatterjee, as well as the Trinamul Congress leader and Kolkata mayor, Subrata Mukherjee, among others, have come out openly against the book and have supported the decision by the state LF government to get the book banned.‘ They just copied the news from CPI(M)’s mouthpiece People’s Democracy (07.12.03).
And a whole book (Nishiuddho mot, Dwikhandito poth) was published with all the historical documents related the banning of Dwikhandito, Government’s ban order, Sunil and other writers proposals to ban the book, and the High Court verdict to lift ban on the book. The book is available in Bengal. .
It was all over Bengali media how the writer Sunil Gangopadhyay insisted to ban another writer’s book. He was a very good friend of former West Bengal government who finally banned the book. In his interview in Aajkal, a Bengali newspaper, he said in details how he played an active role to ban the book. aajkal1 , Aajkal2
Everybody knew how Dwikhandito, the 3rd part of my autobiography was banned. Here the journalist says, ‘Writer Sunil Gangopadhyay says that he finds the sexual content of the book “distasteful” but supports the ban only on account of two pages that harshly indict Islam. Commenting on Taslima’s discussion of her sexual relationships with eminent writers, he says, “Everybody knows that adults enter a sexual relationship on the basis of an unwritten pact, which is why they close all doors and windows. If someone breaks that trust then it is a breach of contract and confidentiality which is not only distasteful but an offence”.
I would not have reminded him about his role to ban my book if he did not lie that he was against the banning of any book and he protested against the banning of my book Dwikhandito.
While I was thinking of his lies, I shared my painful experience that he sexually exploited me once, and also many other girls and women. I was a well established feminist writer, if he did not spare me, then whom did he spare? Even though he said, ‘.. if she has been sexually harassed by me, which must happened long time ago. ‘, some media and some men try to blame me for ‘lying against the saint’. They are definitely angry with me. I must not accuse a famous male writer of any abuse or anything no matter whatever his crime is. The media financed by the political party that stands against his political ideas using my statement against him, for their own political interests. Does the anti-Sunil media supports me? Not at all. They are very much against my thoughts and ideals. Sex abuse issues are human rights issues, but human rights activists are silent as usual, they are silent because it is not politically correct to support me, who challenges patriarchy and religion, especially Islam. It is an unforgivable crime to speak against the status quo in the Indian Subcontinent.
Defenders of abusers are now asking why I am complaining now, why did not I do then when it happened? As if, if I don’t share my painful experience within a certain time,I should be disqualified. As if, if I complained then, something different could have happened, as if people could have blamed him! No, the same thing would have happened. I would have been harassed again by media and men for telling the truth.
For telling the truth I was thrown out of Bangladesh, my country. For telling the truth I was bundled out of West Bengal, where I settled to live for the rest of my life. For telling the truth I have been banned, blacklisted, and banished from the lands I was born and brought up or I chose to live. I am a social and political pariah, because I tell the truth. The male dominated Bengali literary world has been so far successful to blackout me. My crime is I have told the unpleasant truth about religion and I disclosed the secrets of those sex-abuser gurus who pretend to be philosophers and intellectuals, defenders of human rights and freedom of expression.
They want us to shut our mouth. If we don’t, they get very angry with us, and they say all the bad things about us, and all the lies about us. But thousands of silent women know that I am telling their untold stories. They are not coming out of the closet. But one day they will. I will not see that to happen in my lifetime, but I am trying to create an environment for them. In the meantime I will be violently abused, I will be deported, I will almost be killed by influential and powerful misogynists.