Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The other side of Taslima

I am an executive member of West Bengal PEN chapter till today, but the writings that I have written here donot represent the PEN west Bengal Chapter in any way. Like other human being, I am also made of blood, flesh and emotion. Beyond this organisation, the PEN West Bengal chapter I am also an individual and I have my expressions on some on going events. So, read it as Albert Ashok's personal view and expression, I do not and never represent any writings for this organisation that I belong. I donot give any credit to the west Bengal PEN chapter. because The secretary of the organisation has other means of publication, they donot use this blog. From the beginning I have been collecting news/ information from different sources and publish here for the benefit of writers and common people, and credit goes to the source of information where from I collect it excluding my personal views.

I started this blog when I was not a member. My purpose was to project the news of The P.E.N. and its centers from West Bengal. It is very hard to face always fear and anxiety and rendering a service for greater world - Albert Ashok

I have another blog for pen news :


The other side of Ms. Taslima Nasrin the feminist writer

Ms Nasrin has some misconception about PEN West Bengal, she is angry because Indian government could not provide adequate security for her stay in India. So, she wants a revenge and made a complain to an international organization without context and provocation on 22nd june 2009, in a time when it is very critical to West Bengal chapter of Indian PEN center for some reason. The mail is published here. This is a reply to Ms. Nasrin's mail.

It all started one day when I came to pick up an email of Taslima Nasrin from a website page of International PEN in 2008, (probably) month of May.( so far I can remember)

As my occupation is writing books and a stark defender of ‘Freedom of Expression’ it was my policy to defend and keep a vigil all the charters of UN covenant. I made many blogs where I post all the news that Article 19, IFEX, and PEN International and its centers world wide and other sources publish. I do it by my own pocket money, I could have used my time and my money enjoying my life as it is my hard earned money. I am a freelancer, I have no job guarantee, I have my family. I can give my son something he need for his study. But I think I am doing something great for this world, like me there are many people ( in comparison, very few numbers in thousand) doing and thinking this. This is the way how the world moves. So, if you expect more how shall I give you. Be contented what you are having.

Ms. Nasrin was in problem and in trouble. International PEN had an appeal to Indian government to look into Ms. Nasrin’s Problem. Someone has to take initiatives to support or defend her cause. I stepped forward; I told my PEN members/ colleagues in West Bengal. We had a discussion as how to help her. We have no fund to start action and campaign. We decided personally we shall try our best level, influence people and do the necessary according our strength, and we did it for Ms. Taslima Nasrin.

The intellectuals in Kolkata, West Bengal, personally have defended ‘taslima’ the woman, and made speech in favour of her through different Media. Its recorded documents.

From early 1993, probably when she started attacking some persons (not the system) in media in the name of literature, from then on I had a close observation on her ( my sentiment is after all she is a writer I should defend her) like many defenders of Freedom of Expression. I have stored many important published news from different sources in my collection. From Hanifa Deen’s (an Australian author of Pakistani origin, ) ‘The crescent and the pen’ to many assorted news journals and her books. So, with out document I hardly speak.

Mr Sunil Gangopadhyay to Madam Mahasweta Devi, many came down to street to defend her. Our late president of All India PEN center, Mr Annada Shankar Roy had taken many initiatives to support Taslima in 1994, and it is a published news document. How come she says a lie to an international body! Is it a conspiracy to degrade a community and attract the attention of media, fooling all?

What you see is not the whole world, beyond your knowledge the world does exist too, it has the rest massive part. You are an ignorant, irresponsible and small creature when you make a comment what you do not know.

I sent a mail to Ms. Nasrin who is exhorting polygamy in society through interviews in media,as a feminists view, she retorted me: She replied on Saturday, 3 May, 2008

i did not know there was a PEN in west bengal. did you do anything when the west bengal government threw a writer out of the state?

(The exact mail with out editing what she sent to me)

I assured her in my mail a strong support next day.

After then I tried to keep a communication with her but she found she has no interest in us. Because this Bengal ( including Bangladesh) know her critically.

The western countries are very busy how they would expose themselves above all as a big champion of freedom of expression and Human rights, they don’t judge what they are doing in most cases.

Is there any precaution or punishment for those who abuse the rights freedom of Expression?

Do you think Freedom of Expression is for killing millions? Hurting millions? All pornography writings? Waging wars? Rioting ? Communal disharmony?

This question has arisen in me.

All I knew we want a better world. Taslima Nasrin is not matched with Salman Rushdie, We defended him for his good literature.

In early 90 when Lajja was published it was not a literary work, it is not that the fact she wrote, many criticized about her writing skill, many said it was not literature. Many individuals and organisations, the defenders of ‘Freedom of Expression’, supported many writers, reporters who were not like Ms. Taslima Nasrin.

Does she not wear the title as irresponsible, ungrateful and stupid woman when she says to International PEN ( the following mail ) :

Hi Caroline !

I just cant resist myself to inform you that during my stay in Kolkata, (West Bengal, India) the government of West Bengal banned my book called 'Dwikhandito', a several fatwa was issued against me by the Muslim fundamentalists, they set price on my head, i was physically attacked by the fanatics, I was forced to live under house arrest by the the government, after a violent protest against my stay in Kolkata I was bundled out of Kolkata which was my home for 4 years ( 2004-2007), I was again forced to live in solitary confinement in Delhi, and finally I was thrown out of India by the Indian government. A writer, because of her writings, and because of her views that are different than the extremists has been banished, banned and blacklisted in the ''largest democracy'', and PEN kolkata did not do anything to protest against the fatwas, or attacks or harassment.

I don't think PEN is at all a known organisation in Kolkata.

I am now having a nomadic existence in the West, living out of a suitcase. My home is still in Kolkata, and I am not allowed to return to my home.

I hope you will try to find some efficient writers to be involved in PEN kolkata who can support the persecuted writers.



Because of PEN centers she is enjoying a VIP status, (she has exploited a lot people’s sentiment, we become emotional easily and illogically sometime!)

Ms. Taslima Nasrin is Bangladeshi national, she has lived there all her life,Bangladesh has a PEN centers of International PEN, did she ever complain against the center to International PEN or somewhere else because it could not provide security? Or is she taking revenge that we could not do adequate arrangement for her shelter in India? So far I know Indian government has extended her Visa, but she is free to speak a lie.

Or Is she exercising her freedom of expression this way? Or does she think it is a way to earn more dollar and live in news? Sometimes artists and writers do this intentionally its a trend to live in news.

Do feminists think it is her expression of feminism?

By the comment above she made, she did not insulted only the Bengal in India, the Bangladesh also will feel insulted and appreciate what a ungrateful genius it has brought forth.

Every one in a country is not a evil. Most people are good and can be trusted.

Stop Ms. Nasrin, commenting untrue and lies. You are creating a hostile environment in Bengal. If possible please, co operate us, to help the dissidents and persecuted writers. We, who defend you don’t discourage us, don’t steal our ground beneath our feet to stand for Freedom of Expression. This is our self willed service not by the fund of any generous or philanthropic organization. And West Bengal PEN chapter always a follower of International PEN, It works according its own strength.

Your comment the Bengal will keep as a treasure and remember you for ever.

I don’t think doing this you will earn more from the ignorant westerners.

Your comment has put us in an embarrassing position, it gave us pain and deep wound as a reward and in face of our hard working voluntary service. The damage you have done to us you can never restore.

We request the government of Bangladesh where she was born to treat her properly and secure her living, and Ms Taslima should return to her homeland where she can fight her cause and mission. We wish her the best.

I have studied Ms. Taslima Nasrin’s a few years ( 1993 to 2009), I can not resist to tell all about her rise and western countries should know her well so that she will get more comfort all over the world. I shall post it with in few weeks. Promise.

writen and posted by Albert Ashok

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