1984

The ayatollah issued fatwa against Salman Rushdie for insulting the prophet and Islam in his book ‘The Satanic Verses’, marked one of the first battles against extremist and literary figures. The indian born author’s works were pulled off the shelves in India by the government in all its wordly wisdom. Since then Salman Rushdie has had to live a life of a refugee largely underground in europe. His recent knighthood by Britain raised several protests, some resulting in loss of life and property in the non western world.
I’ve wanted to find out what the fuss was about regarding his works and got hold of a copy of the satanic verses. The book was uneventful for the most part and actually rambled on making it difficult to keep up with, IMO. A poorly written book, should be no excuse for the author to have to live in constant fear of life.
His case was recently repeated again. Taslima Nasreen wrote about the persecution of Hindus in Muslim majority Bangladesh – a book which was very well written IMHO. Fleeing from bangladesh after the issuance of a fatwa on her head, she first took refuge in europe before coming to India. She’s repeatedly expressed an interest in staying permanently in India, but the government well versed in playing vote bank politics has repeatedly denied her application.
Ms. Nasreen recently published her autobiography which didn’t go down with a minority section of the population. The protests forced her to move out of Kolkata, with the government of West Bengal failing to have the will to protect freedom of speech and expression.
As a foot note of Orweillein injustice, Ms. Nasreen withdrew the “objectionable” elements of her autobiography, so that she could continue living in Kolkata and India. The government in its usual attempt to sweep things under the carpet has now called for all parties to forget this minor misunderstanding amongst all parties.
Unfortunately the Indian government has certified its position of not standing up for its citizens or for truth and right.