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Saturday 4 February 2012

Bengal: Where the Mind is now WITH fear

Didn't the Bengalis believe anymore in what Tagore wrote:

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free ...

চিত্ত যেথা ভয়শূন্য, উচ্চ যেথা শির, জ্ঞান যেথা মুক্ত ...

India is no longer the heaven of freedom that Tagore thought it would be after it became independent.

ভারতেরে সেই স্বর্গে করো জাগরিত॥


Taslima book launch cancelled after threats

Kolkata: Controversial author Taslima Nasreen's book launch scheduled to be held at the Kolkata Book Fair today was cancelled by the organisers amid threats of protests.

Sources said that organisations like the Milli Ittehad had complained to the police, warning of trouble over the book's release. The police informed the organisers, the Booksellers and Publishers Guild, who reportedly also got independent calls protesting against the proposed book launch. The organisers then told Taslima Nasreen's publishers that the book could not be released at the official auditorium.

The book was, however, released later by the publishers at their own stall at the fair venue by noted author Mahasweta Devi's son and writer Nabarun Bhattacharya.

'Nirbasan' (Exile), which is the latest instalment in the series of Taslima Nasreen's memoirs, gives an account of the author's plight following her expulsion from Kolkata in 2007. The West Bengal government whisked Taslima away to an undisclosed location following protests which escalated into a riot-like situation in November 2007. Taslima was then moved to Sweden in 2008 as the West Bengal government refused to accommodate her, citing law and order problems.

Fundamentalists issued three fatwas in Bangladesh against her while four were issued against her in India.

Today's incident came barely a week after protests over his book, The Satanic Verses, and security threats forced author Salman Rushdie to stay away from the Jaipur Literature Festival. Protesters at the fest venue also prompted the cancellation of a proposed video link with Rushdie from London on January 24, the fifth and last day of the event.

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