Updated: Apr 21
Taslima Nasrin - Lajja (Shame)
Author : Taslima Nasrin
Publisher : A Penguin Book
Language : English
Paperback : 216 pages
ISBN : 0-14024051-9
Type - Fiction
Idetest fundamentalism and communalism. This was the reason I wrote Lajja soon after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on 6 December 1992. The book, which took me seven days to write, deals with the persecution of Hindus, a religious minority in Bangladesh, by the Muslims who are in the majority. It is disgraceful that the Hindus in my country were hunted by the Muslims after the destruction of the Babri Masjid. All of us who love Bangladesh should feel ashamed that such a terrible thing could happen in our beautiful country. The riots that took place in 1992 in Bangladesh are the responsibility of us all, and we are all to blame. Lajja is a document of our collective defeat.
Lajja was published in February 1993 in Bangladesh and sold over 60,000 copies before it was banned by the government five months later—their excuse was that it was disturbing the communal peace. In September that year a fatwa was issued against me by a fundamentalist organization and a reward was offered for my death. There have been marches on the streets of Dhaka by communalists clamouring for my life. But none of these things have shaken my determination to continue the battle against religious persecution, genocide and communalism. Bangladesh is my motherland. We gained our independence from Pakistan at the cost of three million lives. That sacrifice will be betrayed if we allow ourselves to be ruled by religious extremism. The mullahs who would murder me will kill everything progressive in Bangladesh if they are allowed to prevail. It is my duty to try to protect my ‘beautiful country from them and i call on all those who share my values to help site defend my rights.
The disease of religious fundamentalism is riot restricted to Bangladesh alone and it must be fought at every turn. For myself, I am not afraid of any challenge or threat to my life. I will continue to write and protest persecution and discrimination. I am convinced that the only way the fundamentalist forces can be stopped is if all of us who are secular and humanistic join together and fight their malignant influence. I, for one, will not be silenced.
While this is a novel and all the characters in the narrative are the product of my own imagination, and any resemblance they bear to actual people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental, I have also included in the text numerous incidents, actual historical events, facts and statistics. I have verified these to the best of my ability; my sources of information include Ekota, Azker Kagoz, Bhorer Kagoz, Glani (The disgrace), "Communal Persecution and Repression in Bangladesh", "Communal Discrimination in Bangladesh: Facts tl and Documents", and "Parishad Barta.
Dhaka March 1994
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