Thursday, February 2, 2012

Islamic fundamentalist threat stalls release of Taslima’s autobiography in Kolkata Book Fair, 2012

Guild, Bengal Government capitulate shamelessly

No physical appearance is needed any more; just the phone of any Islamic fanatic or fanatical organization is enough to stall the voyage of truth (unflinching criticism of Islamic notions and its consecrated viewpoints) in Kolkata.

Kolkata Book Fair, 2012 witnessed this development on February 01 disgracefully when Publishers and Booksellers’ Guild, chief organizer of the worldwide acclaimed Book Fair, citing hurt of minority sentiment and security reasons called official release of the seventh part of Taslima Nasrin’s autobiography, Nirbasan (Exile), a halt. Even if the People’s Book Society, publisher of the book, went on with the formal release near its stall and outside the official venue for book releases in the Fair defiantly, Guild’s capitulation to an anonymous threat has both demeaned and scourged sane minds in the cultural capital of India. Is this going to be the fate of whole Bengal soon? That such an apprehension is not baseless was proved when this worry was found to reverberate among people partaking in the Fair.   

What did happen in reality? It has been learnt from Mr. Tridib Chatterjee, general secretary of the guild, members of an Islamic organization phoned him in the morning and giving vent to their anger against the release of Nirbasan (Exile) stated that it would disrupt communal harmony and none could be deemed responsible for any ‘untoward incident’, hence,. On the word of Jawed Shamim, Joint Commissioners (Headquarters), Kolkata Police, “An organization by the name of Twahad-e-Milli came to us and expressed their reservation against the official release of the book. We informed the Guild about this. But we did not ask the authority to stop the scheduled program.”  

Who came to whom then? Who is truthful? Will the administration be considerate enough to let people know the reality ever? There shall not be any such and it can be said with conviction.

Here is another version from Mrs. Sibani Mukherjee, publisher of the book. She said, “Just a few hours before the program was to commence, we were told by the Guild that our booking has been cancelled.”

Taslima, in the wake of this incident, wrote on Twitter, “Kolkata Book Fair committee cancelled my book release program today at Kolkata Book Fair. Why? Some religious fanatics don’t want it to happen.”

The state government remains perfect in sustaining a weird silence in this regard but Mr. Idrish Ali, president, All India Minority Forum, detests concealing his views. As per him, “Our chief minister Mamata Banerjee does not want this book to get officially released if it hurts the sentiment of a community. She does not want a ruckus at the fair ground.” It must be noted, the same All India Minority Forum played a key role to hound out Taslima Nasrin from Kolkata on November 21, 2007. The organization created a bedlam in the city to oust the author; even if deployment of army finally saved the metropolis from turmoil, Taslima was expelled outright. And Mr. Idrish Ali’s role then was no less.

The issue may die down before long but the nemesis of Islamic fundamentalism, all set to bruise democratic institutions and right to freedom of speech, fortified more from now on, has become the hardest obstacle to the Indian democracy.   


  1. এই বাংলু (বাংলাদেশী) পাগল গুলারে কেউ খ্যাদাও এপার বাংলা থেকে!! এরা বিহার কিম্বা বাংলাদেশে যাক!! যোগ্য জুড়ি পাবে!!