Sheela Reddy Interviews Taslima Nasreen

Recently, the Indian state of West Bengal banned the third volume of Taslima Nasreen’s autobiography, Dwikhandito. She eventually caved and removed the controversial lines. In Outlook India, an interview with her just prior to the redaction:


[OI] You have been a writer who has courted controversy even before Lajja was published. What made you take on the fundamentalist Islamists head on?

[TN] I was a newspaper columnist writing on women’s issues. Whenever the fundamentalists didn’t like what I wrote, they showed their anger. I got a lot of support and my writing was very popular. Readers liked the way I wrote, maybe because what I wrote shook them up.

But the fundamentalists were much more angry with me because I wrote about women. Because when I wrote about women’s rights, I also wrote against the fundamentalists. Women’s rights and fundamentalism can’t go together; the latter are against liberal thought and equality.