Taslima Nasreen: Muzzling Expression

The indefinite ‘postponing’ of a TV serial scripted by Taslima Nasreen in Calcutta, and the refusal of the intelligentsia to speak out for her, yet again underlines the culture of intolerance, says Garga Chatterjee in the Outlook.

taslima_nasrinCalcutta, the so-called ‘cultural capital’, has demonstrated the increasing emptiness of the epithet, yet again. Taslima Nasreen, one of the most famous Bengali authors alive, had scripted a TV serial named ‘Doohshahobash’ (Difficult Cohabitations) portraying three sisters and their lives— standing up to kinds of unjust behaviour that are everyday realities for the lives of women in the subcontinent. Nasreen has long lent a powerful voice to some of the most private oppressions that women face, often silently. The private channel where the serial was slotted ran a vigorous and visible advertising campaign— Nasreen’s name still has serious pull among Bengalis and the channel knew it. Nasreen had made it clear that the serial had nothing to do with religion. However that was not enough for the self-appointed ‘leaders’ of the Muslims of West Bengal who issued warnings to the effect that the serial not be aired.

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