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Upendra Bharti | HENB | New Delhi | Jan 23, 2017:: Atheist Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen, now in exile in India, on Monday waded into the Uniform Civil Code debate, saying it was an essential need for India.
“Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is necessary to protect women’s rights, irrespective of religion,” she said during a surprise session at the Jaipur Literature Festival. The session was kept confidential by the organisers till the last minute.
The liberal crusader against the Radical Islam hints that it will be an aggravated situation of the Sharia People, if the UCC is not introduced in time. “The measure is urgently needed to empower people with their rights before turned as an Islamic hell in India”, the author explained.
“If you have a set of laws for Hindus, if Hindu women can divorce their husbands and have a say in their property, and we have seen how progressive that has been, then why are Islamic fundamentalists against a uniform civil law? Is not having a uniform civil law democratic?” she asked.
In the impromptu session at the Jaipur Literature Festival here, the author who has been living in exile since 1994 after facing the ire of fundamentalists, said the Islamic society needed to be more tolerant towards criticism to make progress.
“It is necessary for Islamic society to be tolerant and accept criticism without which they cannot progress. Uniform Civil Code is urgently required for empowering people with human rights,” she said.
The writer, who was in conversation with Salil Tripathi, a former board member of English PEN, slammed religious fanatics saying she did not believe in terms like “nationalism” or “religious fundamentalism”.
“I don’t believe in nationalism, religious fundamentalism. I believe in one world. I believe in rights, freedom, humanism and rationalism. Until Islam accepts criticism, no Islamic country can be considered secular. Whenever I criticise, people want to kill me.”
Citing the treatment meted out to her by the West Bengal government, that issued a fatwa against her in 2007, she questioned why secular writers were forced to leave the country or murdered.
“Why are secular writers being forced to leave the country or murdered, while religious fanatics are sheltered. I was attacked in Kolkata. Fatwa was issued against me by Mamata Banerjee’s people,” she said.
“Secularism doesn’t mean to save and shelter such people just to cash in on Muslim votes. Hindu and Muslim fanatics have equally attacked me, but they were never punished,” she said.
Unfortunately, the writer quietly lost her balance to judge the Hindu sentiments and responses around her to give her protection in India as the land of Hindus in fact.
The present BJP Govt in the center issued a residential visa of almost permanent nature in Aug 2014 so that she can stay in India with a Hindu protection. Obviously, the Muslims in India always want to do a harm with her, Hindus not certainly.
As a common Islamic trend in favour of Sharia hegemony, the members of the Rajasthan Muslim Forum staged a protest against the author near the festival venue on Monday. They also shouted slogans against the organisers for inviting her discretely and “hurting their sentiments” and demanded to “hand over the anti-Muslim writer” to them.
Taslima must keep it mind that due to the National Sentiment of Hindus, the Islamists in India are still incapable to drive her out from India.
If, Nasreen wants to abuse Hindus as the famed Bengali writer Sunil Gangopadhyay wanted to sexually abuse her or Mamata Banerjee’s party sympathisers wanted to kill her, the offences were not hatched by the Hindus. Those were committed by a beefeater communist Gangopadhyay or a pro-Islamist Banerjee, never by any Hindu at all.
Taslima Nasreen must not demeaning the large Hindu support in India and abroad for her immense struggle against the fundamentalism and forces against the liberty of women.
Nasreen rose to fame after her 1993 novel Lajja, which garnered severe criticism in Bangladesh and forced her to leave the country.
She escaped to Sweden in 1994 and spent the next 10 years in exile in Europe and America. Coming to India in 2004, she settled in Kolkata where she lived till November 2007 and then moved to New Delhi. She again moved to Sweden in 2008 and later worked as a research scholar at New York University.
From Jaipur Lit Fest Taslima tweeted, “I criticise religions but i stand by people whenever they are attacked for being Hindus,Muslims,Christians, Jews.”
The controversial writer also said that criticism of Islam is the only way to establish secularism in Islamic countries. In conversation with Salil Tripathi, the chair of the Writers-in-Prison Committee of PEN International, Nasreen said: “When I or anyone else criticise Hinduism, Buddhism or other religions nothing happens. But the moment you criticise Islam, people come running after your life.”