Apprehensive that her latest book ‘Nishiddho’ will be pulled out of the ongoing Kolkata Book Fair and be banned, controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasrin Monday said such restrictions are the “real death” of a writer.
A year after the launch of her book ‘Nirbasan’ was cancelled at the Fair, Nasrin feels nothing much has changed in West Bengal and she has no hope of returning to the city of joy.
“Situation in West Bengal is exactly like Bangladesh. Bengal government has also made me a persona non grata as they are not allowing me to enter, banning my books besides the TV drama series scripted by me. They are not allowing me to participate in the ongoing Kolkata Book Fair. It happened during the CPM regime and I thought the situation would change when Mamata Banerjee comes to power but that did not happen,” she said.
Her book ‘Nishiddho’ (forbidden) is featured in the Kolkata Book Fair but she is not sure whether it will remain till the Fair ends on February 9.
“I am so apprehensive that I tweeted that those who want to buy it, buy early. They are banning my books or release of my books, which is the real death of a writer. They have done it in 2012 and can again do it. If it continues like this, then Bengal will be like another Bangladesh or Pakistan where there is almost no freedom of expression for those who have different opinions,” she said.
The exiled Bangladeshi writer said despite her feminist writings, women leaders have not been sympathetic towards her. “It is strange that I have been writing on women issues for the last three decades but three women (Sheikh) Hasina, Khalida (Zia) and Mamata (Banerjee) have made my life difficult. There is no hope for Bangladesh. And I miss Kolkata because culturally I connect with the city. But I have now given up all hopes of returning to the city,” said the writer.
She has also decided against donating her body to Kolkata Medical College after her death. “I will rather donate my body to AIIMS although I had taken a pledge to donate my body to Kolkata Medical College,” she said
The writer feels she is a victim of vote bank politics in India. “Fundamentalists are after me but bengal government did not support me either. They did all this to woo Muslim voters,” she said. “Since there is no political party or social outfit supporting me, they are not afraid of harassing me,” said the writer, who was exiled from Bangladesh in 1994 for hurting religious sentiments with her writings. PTI