Mukto-Mona condemns attack on Dr Taslima Nasrin in Hyderabad, India
Published on August 10, 2007
Taslima being attacked by radical Muslim MP & his
gang. Picture source: www.deccan.com
Recently in Hyderabad, India, at a meeting to release the Telugu translation of her new book, "Shodh", prominent feminist author and secular humanist activist Dr. Taslima Nasrin was physically attacked by three State Legislators of the Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen (M-I-M) who were accompanied by a horde of fundamentalist thugs. The legislators, Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri, Afsar Khan and Moazzam Khan seemed determined to live up to the common joke about politicians in India entering this profession in order to escape prosecution for crime, leaving some of her hosts bleeding. Reports have suggested that two of the three legislators were filmed throwing chairs at her and demanding that she be handed over to them when the organizers of the book release function took her away to save her life, forming a cordon by putting themselves between her and her attackers.
It must be noted that the M-I-M is an ally of the ruling Congress Party in the State of Andhra Pradesh and that the Central (federal) Government is also one in which the Communist Party of India Marxist, a component along with the Congress, has been responsible for banning Dr Nasrin's works in India and also opposing her petition for Indian citizenship. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board has supported a Rs 5 Lakh fatwa on Ms Nasrin's head by the fundamentalist Ittehad Council under it's Chief Taqi Taza Khan, again, a potentially murderous action in response to which the Indian Government has done little more than warm it's collective cushions. Indeed, the only action that the Central Government took when International Opinion began to turn into outrage was to send Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi to mouth a whiny regret for the attack and nothing more.
Are these the true colors of the Indian government, considering that the Communists in West Bengal who have been responsible for banning some of Dr Nasrin's works and of opposing her citizenship application and the State Government of Andhra Pradesh which is led by the ruling Congress Party, are, for all practical purposes, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's underlings? We hope not. As a rationalist organization that counts members from South Asia as the majority of its membership, Mukto-Mona condemns the fundamentalists who tried to murder Ms Nasrin and to intimidate a leading voice of rationalism in the world. We condemn the Indian Government's hemming and hawing on an issue that has caused physical injury to leading rationalists and freethinkers and which threatens to silence them considering that the activities of murderous fundamentalists are being allowed to continue unchecked.
This is not the first time that the Government of India and the Manmohan Singh government in particular, have sat idly by when thugs among its allies have worked to intimidate outspoken women. The memories of the judicial intimidation of South Indian actress Khushboo by the Pattali Makkal Katchi led by Union Minister for Health Dr Anbumani Ramdoss have hardly receded into the past when a second government ally has savaged an outspoken woman. We urge the Indian government not to sit idly by while its allies behave like an Indian Taliban in savaging and attempting to silence those whom they disapprove of.
We are watching, and hope soon the Indian government shall take initiatives to punish those responsible for the cowardly and barbaric attack on Taslima Nasrin, one of the leading secular voices of our time.
Mukto-Mona Moderation Team