Taslima hits out at ‘state terrorism’

via Hindustan Times published on March 19, 2008

Before leaving India on Tuesday, exiled Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasrin said the treatment meted out to her by the Government of India was nothing less than “cold-blooded state terrorism to drive her out of the country.

In a no-holds barred interview, Taslima said that the rulers were as crude as those who are despised because of their religious fundamentalism. She said she was deprived of human rights and tortured by the Centre.

“And to expose the mask of this government, which was out to kill me, I will paste all that I experienced on my website,” said Taslima.

Relieved that her “house arrest in a free country” was ending, Taslima said that she would write and tell the world about her harrowing experience in the State of the World Forum, where she has been invited to speak by the former USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev.

Amnesty International and International Human Rights Organisation have also approached her to narrate her nightmarish experience in India, she said. Taslima said she is planning a lecture tour where she would speak about her days inside a room with no view and also how she was “treated like an animal”.

“Fundamentalists do not torture you to death. They just finish you off. But the Indian Government slowly pushed me towards death. My terrible experience has shattered all notions about a secular and democratic India,” Taslima Nasrin told the Hindustan Times.

“For 20 years, I have been hitting out against fundamentalism. There has been no physical attack on me. But India, when it failed to break me psychologically, destroyed me physically by denying treatment to an ill person,” added Taslima.

She pointed out that her own country Bangladesh had driven her out in 1994 but did not inflict psychological or physical trauma that could lead to the heart and eye diseases. For that matter, Taslima said in Kolkata too, the state government did not impose a ban on her movement.

Talking about her dilemma and frustrations, she said she would very soon write in international dailies on how a handful of hooligans made the Centre to toe its line and punish an author. The political parties of India are so secular that they were scared to defend a person who is anti-Islam, she said.

Taslima’s six-month residential permit in India is expiring in August.

She said that before its expiry she plans to return here. “Just to check whether I can stay in Kolkata. If denied I will pack up and leave India for good.”    

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