22 November 2007

Taslima forced to leave Kolkata

The Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, who had been living in exile in Kolkata for the last three years, has moved to Jaipur, Rajasthan after an Indian intelligence agency informed her that it was too dangerous for her to remain in Kolkata. According to an unnamed intelligence officer, "she agreed to leave after some initial grumbling." Eearlier, as many as 43 people were wounded in a riot caused by Muslim protesters calling on India to expel Taslima from its territory (BBC).

It's sad that the Indian government can't ensure the safety of its guests, but, at the same time, it makes sense for Taslima to get out of West Bengal for a while and stay in a place where little is known about her. But then she might as well move back to Norway, where she lived before Kolkata. It's a shame that the space for dissent in South Asia seems to be shrinking in many parts of the region.

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