Rally in Kolkata for Taslima

Government of West Bengal has been cowed down by a few fanatics. Today any one who can create chaos in the society, or even threaten to do so is heard and feared. 

Honest law abiding citizens are unheard.

This is because the governments of the day are not willing to face problems squarely and deal with perpetrators of crimes against society.

Taslima Nasreen’s case is an example of a government cowering in fear, unable to face bad guys. The same government has no problem bullying simple law abiding people. 

At last people of Kolkata have come out on the streets.

Saturday, December 22, 2007 (Kolkata)

In Kolkata, the friends and supporters of the Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen held a rally protesting the manner in which she had been confined by the government and demanding that the writer be allowed to return to the city she so loves. A month after central Kolkata erupted in violence over Taslima Nasreen, the message at a rally by the author’s friends and supporters is clear, ‘get her back’.Following the violence, Taslima was asked to leave the city, a move the rallyists interpret as humoring the fundamentalists.

Now lodged at a Delhi safe house, she was given an ultimatum by the Centre a couple of days ago that she wouldn’t be allowed to go to the City of Joy. No wonder, those rallying in her favour are far from happy.

One month to the day Park Circus in central Kolkata erupted in violence over the alleged offensive writings of Taslima Nasreen, the message at a rally by the author’s friends and supporters says they want her back.

”Taslima Nasreen is virtually a prisoner of the central government. She must be released and number two, fundamentalists have forced her out of Kolkata, she must be brought back to Kolkata,” said Dipankar Chakraborty, Secretary, ANIK.

Intellectuals fear that the Bengal government has set a bad precedent, which goes against the state’s social fabric.

”If the Hindus also demand the expulsion of some people because they consider some people anti national, what will happen? Just trouble will break out, it may lead to communal trouble also. They are playing with fire,” said Swajan, Member, Bibhash Chakarborty.

In the past several months, Kolkata has been seeing many protests and this will go down as another one. But clearly the message here is not just for the state and central governments. It’s just as much for that segment of the Muslim community who have been protesting against Taslima Nasreen’s writings.

Bano Haralu, NDTV

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