The polarisation the controversial Bangladeshi writer is able to produce is amazing. One renowned English daily has gone to the extent of pleading for grant of Indian citizenship to her. Another gentleman, who happens to be UNESCO goodwill ambassador, calls her the living ambassador of secular culture. BJP also has immense love for her and extends its unconditional support to her. They are also for grant of citizenship to her as a respectable crusader for freedom of expression. Thank God that they do not propose to make her their president. The public memory is proverbially short, yet people have not forgotten the role this party plays in spreading hatred and stoking the fire of recurring communal riots. It was silent when Tehelka exposed involvement of its cadres in killings and mayhem in the infamous Gujarat massacre of 2002. Whatever Taslima writes against Islam and Muslims, however rabid and distorted it may be, is sweet music to BJP fundamentalists.
We categorically make it clear that we are against resort to violence in any form and denounce all those calls for any sort of violence against her. But decency demands that she remains within the limits of decency and does not indulge in denigrating Islam, Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be with him). She must remember that she can have her freedom of expression but her freedom ends where another person’s nose starts.
Those among Muslims, who are demanding her head, should not forget that through their outpourings they are not serving the cause of Islam which stands for peace and dialogue. Their violent shouts only help in distorting the image of Islam in the eyes of common man. They are doing a disservice to Islamic teachings and giving weapons in the hands of the opponents of Islam. Islam is based on universal truths. Falsehood cannot dislodge or harm it. It has stood the test of times. History bears witness that Islam was under attack for long centuries from mischievous writers of the West. Again it is under attack in India from communal and fascist elements. Blasphemous writings of Taslima cannot harm it. Of course, they have the potential of instigating people now and then. That is what she means and stands for. There is no dearth of people in India who would support her wholeheartedly in her hateful objectives. It is not certain principles, or freedom of expression that is dear to them. Rather it is a wrong concept of freedom of expression or a misconception-based hatred of Islam which makes them support her.
Literary critics have strongly disapproved the quality of her writings. There are plenty of lustful, obscene and pornographic descriptions in her writings. She does not have any sense of shame or hesitation in openly describing her own sexual encounters with some literary figures of West Bengal. She is a vulgar writer par excellence who excels in crude, indecent and licentious writings. She should be allowed the freedom to stew in her own vulgarity. Right thinking people have the more serious job of shaping the future of society on sound moral principles. Therefore she and her writings should be dismissed as an aberration and attention should be concentrated on inculcation of permanent ethical values with a view to ensuring development of a healthy society which is free from hatred and violence.