Organisers cancel launch of Taslima’s book at scheduled venueFebruary 1st, 2012 - 7:06 pm ICT by IANS
Kolkata, Feb 1 (IANS) Close on the heels of the Salman Rushdie controversy at the Jaipur Literary Meet, the seventh volume of controversial author Taslima Nasreen’s autobiography was not allowed to be released at the scheduled venue at Kolkata Book Fair Wednesday, following objections from fundamentalists.
“We were told (by organisers) in the afternoon that we won’t be allowed because some of the fundamentalists have objected to it. Then we asked for permission to release the book in front of our stall. They denied that even. But we have released the book in front of our stall,” said Shivani Mukherjee, of Peoples’ Book Society, publisher of the memoirs “Nirbasan” (Exile).
In a series of tweets, Nasreen recounted the sequence of events through the day.
“Kolkata Book Fair committee canceled (sic) my book release program today at Kolkata Book Fair. Why? Some religious fanatics don’t want it to happen.”
“Kolkata police asked Kolkata Book Fair committee to cancel my book release program. Book Fair’s AC hall was booked for the program.”
“The PBS publisher with friends have released my book under the open sky at Kolkata Book Fair. Book release in the AC hall was banned.”
The latest instalment of the Bengali autobiography details the circumstances of her forced exile from Kolkata in 2007 following threats from Islamic fundamentalists and the hardships she faced after losing her “adopted home” as she called the metropolis.
Contacted for comments, a top official of Kolkata Book Fair organizers Publishers’ and Bookellers’ Guild initially said the programme was cancelled as the hall was not ready.
“The hall was not ready as the Kolkata Literary meet has just ended yesterday so we had to cancel the scheduled book release programme,” said Guild general secretary Tridib Chattopadhyay.
Asked whether the scheduled release programme was cancelled due to threats from fundamentalists, Chattopadhyay said: “We cannot allow any such thing to happen inside the Book Fair premises which can hurt the interest of the common people coming to the fair.”
Nasreen shot to fame with her controversial book “Lajja” and has been the target of Islamic fundamentalists. She has been in exile from Bangladesh since 1994.
During her exile, she has lived in various countries, including France, Sweden and India - in Kolkata. However, she was dramatically bundled out of West Bengal in 2007. Despite her wish to return to the state, the Left government did not pay any heed to her request.
Earlier Islamic fundamentalists had issued fatwas against her both in Bangladesh and in India.
Late last month, in a volatile mix of religion and politics, Asia’s largest literary fest - the Jaipur Literary Festival - found itself dogged by controversy over British Indian novelist Rushdie first having to call off his visit and then his much-anticipated video address following security threats triggered by some Islamic groups’ protest over his book Satanic Verses, banned 24 years back.
- Mahasweta Devi slams cancellation of Taslima's book launch - Feb 04, 2012
- First Rushdie, now Taslima - end of cultural tolerance? (West Bengal Newsletter) - Feb 05, 2012
- Book banning helps fundamentalists: Taslima Nasreen (Interview) - Feb 28, 2012
- Fatwas outrageous, laugh for sanity: Iranian writer (Interview) - Jan 23, 2012
- Buddhadeb threw me out, now he's losing, Taslima tweets - May 13, 2011
- Taslima tweets praise for Mamata, sarcasm for Buddhadeb (Lead) - May 13, 2011
- Vikram Seth attacks government, terms Rushdie affair madness - Jan 26, 2012
- Kolkata litterateurs to protest 'persecution' of 'Satanic Verses' readers - Jan 24, 2012
- Sentiments vs freedom: Rushdie issue festers - Jan 29, 2012
- Sahmat sends open invitation to Rushdie - Jan 23, 2012
- Kolkatans demand return of Bangla author Taslima Nasreen - Nov 23, 2010
- 'Black farce' says Rushdie as shut out of Jaipur even via videolink (Intro Roundup) - Jan 25, 2012
- Rushdie should have been allowed to come: Jaitley (Lead, changing dateline) - Jan 24, 2012
- Now Pranab, Omar drop out of conclave - Mar 17, 2012
- Tweets that made headlines (2011 In Retrospect) - Dec 28, 2011
Tags: autobiography, bengali, controversial author, exile, fair committee, general secretary, hardships, instalment, islamic fundamentalists, kolkata book fair, launch, memoirs, metropolis, objections, open sky, organizers, pbs, religious fanatics, salman rushdie, sequence of events