The release of Taslima Nasrins book Nirbasan (Exile) at the Kolkata Book Fair was cancelled on Wednesday following protests. However,Peoples Book Society,the books publishers,went ahead with the launch near its stall outside the official venue fixed by the Publishers and Booksellers Guild,the organisers of the fair.
Allegations and counter-allegations were levelled as the Guild and Kolkata Police blamed each other,saying they did not deliberately stop the launch. Guild secretary Tridib Chatterjee,however,accepted that they feared possibilities of communal disharmony.
A group of Islamic activists spoke to me on Wednesday and asked if Nasrins book was being released. I said her publishers have organised a book release in a hall in Milan Mela premises. They said the launch could lead to communal disharmony, said Chatterjee.
While Nasrin refused to take calls,she was active on Twitter,expressing her discontent. Kader adeshe boi mela chole,kader onguli nirdeshe proshason chole? (The book fair is run under whose directions,who runs the administration?) she asked on Twitter,pointing a finger at the governments refusal to intervene and look into the matter.