Eminent writer and secular humanist Taslima Nasrin is known for her powerful writings on women’s rights and unflinching criticism of religious fundamentalism, despite forced banishment and multiple fatwas calling for her death. She has been living in exile since 1994. Exile is a chronicle of Taslima Nasrin’s struggles in India over a period of seven months. Dark, provocative and at times surreal, this memoir will resonate powerfully with readers in the present socio-political scenario.
On 22 November 2007, the city of Kolkata came to a rude, screeching halt as a virulent mob of religious fanatics took to the streets. Armed with a fatwa from their ideologues, the mob demanded that Taslima Nasrin leave the city immediately. While the police stood watching, mere dumb witnesses to such hooliganism, a morally, intellectually and politically bankrupt Left Front government, tottering under the strain of their thirty year-old backward-looking rule, decided to ban her book and drive her out of the city she has always considered her second home.
This inextricable nexus of petty political conspiracies, vote bank politics and minority appeasement saw Taslima being hurriedly shifted, first to Jaipur and then to Delhi, confined to an obscure safe house, and facing incessant pressure from senior officials and politicians to leave India. Set against a rising tide of fundamentalism and intolerance.
The book is published by Penguin.