Taslima Nasrin is now a “sensation” of another kind in India. She has attracted the attention of those segments of Indian media that love to sell anything that brings Islam and Muslims related controversies into the public domain. The BJP is espousing her cause. Probably she is a rebel (some would say heretic) Muslim. Anyway, her uninformed rant should not be taken seriously.

I had seen her controversial book Lajja or Shame and found it to be a mediocre book – full of invective, half-baked stuff and provocation galore.

She had to leave Bangladesh and moved to Europe and then we found out that she had landed in India, later in Calcutta to be close to her Bengali roots. But of course, this was not to be.

I am not sure what will happen to her. However, she has become an overnight star – once again. A woman expelled from the Muslim bounds of culture and religious acceptance.

Perhaps she is wronged. Perhaps not. But one thing is clear that BJP support will do her no good.

The reason why I was thinking about her was to do with the poem and article that was sent by SA. The poem is not bad at all. It is a little self-conscious and over the top in parts but has a few soulful lines and a striking central concept:


Why wouldn’t Eve have eaten of the fruit?
Didn’t she have a hand to reach out with,
Fingers with which to make a fist?
Didn’t Eve have a stomach for feeling hunger,
A tongue for feeling thirst,
A heart with which to love?
Well, then, why wouldn’t Eve have eaten of the fruit?
Why would she merely have suppressed her wishes,
Regulated her steps,
Subdued her thirst?
Why would she have been so compelled
To keep Adam moving around in the Garden of Eden all their lives?
Because Eve did eat of the fruit,
There is sky and earth.
Because she has eaten,
There are moon, sun, rivers, seas,
Because she has eaten, trees, plans and vines.
Indeed, my muse has made me think with these lines when he rather [melo]dramatically stresses how the sky is falling at Nasrin’s treatment:“…the sky is falling because no thinking mind from the Muslim world has come out in support of Nasrin. .. Sky is falling because tradition of thinking has died in Muslim world which produced people like Averroes, Ibne Sina, .. the sky is falling because the books of muslim theology are filled with  great debates between Imams and atheist philosophers. These atheist philosophers of course lived and flourished in Muslim world and were called in courts to debate with muslim Imams….

… in 9th century Ibn al Rawandi could live in Islamic caliphate … publish and defend his works and live freely. .., but in 2007 Taslima Nasrin can’t do so, not in Bangladesh, not in secular India. This is post philosophy, post enlightenment world…”

I have been made to think. And, I treasure such rare moments in the eternal rut of mediocrity that life can be sometimes, most of the times!