“Indian secularists selective,” says Taslima Nasreen

Thiruvananthapuram: Exiled Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen today said she sometimes felt that “Indian secularists are very selective.”

“..They fight against Hindu fanatics, but very silent about Islamic fanaticism,” said Nasreen, who is in the city as part of launching her latest book ‘Exile’, a memoir, here.

“I think secularism is practised in India. But, sometimes I feel, Indian secularists are very selective….”

“I protest against all types of fundamentalism and I think that is the good way to do it,” she said at an interaction with the audience.

Stating that she was forced to leave her country, she said “after long years of exile, now I believe that people who love me, support me, express solidarity, secularists and human right activists are my home and country…You are my home and you are my country,” she said, amid cheers from the audience.

Asked about “Islamophobia” in some Western countries, she said the situation was alarming and “I think secular, humanist, peace loving Muslims should fight the extreme right wings and also the Islamic terrorist.”

In this regard, the writer said she was against US president-elect Donald Trump, who she said got elected only because of his speeches “against Muslims”. “There are many peace loving Muslims and their percentage is much higher than those who advocate Islamic terrorism,” she pointed out.

The writer, who resided in West Bengal for a long period after her exile from Bangladesh, said she failed to understand why she was “kicked out” of that state by then Left front government.

“Some writers in West Bengal also wanted me to leave that state. I do not know why they said that. Some time I wonder why do they do that,” she said while giving details of her journey from one country to another.

On criticism about her work that it lacked ‘literature’, she said “my books are read by ordinary people. I am not greedy for any big prize, award…”

Later talking to reporters, she welcomed the Allahabad high court observation on triple talaq and said “it is high time that India abolished it.”

The writer also batted for a uniform civil code and said every citizen should follow single law.

To a question on entry of women in Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala, she said women of all age groups should be allowed to have darshan at the hill shrine.

The writer said natural process should not be considered as a reason for preventing women from entering the temple, where women of menstruating age are banned as per tradition.