On being Offended and Taslima Nasrin

There’s something so disturbing about this incident. When you read these words

A group of 20 All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) workers, led by MLAs Afsar Khan, Ahmed Pasha and Mozum Khan, stormed the Press Club premises and raised slogans against the author.

They attacked her with bouquets, flower pots and virtually anything they could lay their hands on at the concluding session of the book release. The police later took the legislators and their supporters into custody.

you don’t really think “violence”. You think maybe they threw these objects in the general direction of the author, Taslima Nasrin. But watching the video footage makes me livid with rage. Three MLAs? Even as there was someone capturing all of this on camera !?!

People have the right to protest. You don’t like the book, don’t buy it. Encourage others not to buy it. But interfering in someone else’s right to read, write or speak just doesn’t cut it for me. That’s not protest. That’s plain old intimidation.

What’s also scary is that this is in a city that I don’t associate with hardliners of any kind. I’ve lived there for a brief while, and loved the city for its liberal values. It’s not a city that cries itself hoarse saying it has liberal values like Bombay, but has them nevertheless. Well, at least the Police took the three morons (MLAs) into custody I guess. Though they’ve been granted bail.

On a related note, for a change, Times Of India has an interesting article on how the Media runs to the “extreme” camps for soundbytes.

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19 Comments

Filed under Books, India, Politics

19 Responses to On being Offended and Taslima Nasrin

  1. I agree with you whole heartely. It is a shame on every indian whether they live in India or outside. How can this happen in India? Everybody has a right to express their own views. But violence! Are we giving away too much to this jihadist extremism? The people who started the riot should not be granted bail.

  2. Dee Shah: This is NOT jihadi extremism. It’s extremism – but has little to do with Jihad. It sounds more like political propaganda to corner Muslim votes in AP. As for the riots – it looks like Bal T is going to have his way. Damn.

  3. Miss Vishvanathan
    I beg to defer with your opinion. What is happening in Mumbai, Delhi, a place near Calicut, Kerala shows the islamic influence is getting bigger and bigger.

  4. I hope Manmohan sleeps well at night.

  5. I

    Islam is a threat to the world.

  6. You know, the problem isn’t religion as such, because we see idiot nutters like these from Sikh and Hindu groups in India too. The problem is that the law isn’t enforced properly and strongly enough.

    Lock these chimps up for ten years each every time, to make a point, and you’ll see such incidents fall away. Half the population of India think they can take the law into their own hands :|
    Especially against women.

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  8. Dee Shah: And why exactly is “increasing Islamic influence” bad? Do you have a general issue with the religion or extremism. I tend to agree with Sunny. There are morons who assert ownership over religion. Last I heard, some idiots who believe that Sivaji is a matter of Hindu and Maratha pride shouldn’t be discussed, and chose to burn a library in Pune.

    If the law enforcement is tight enough, most of these morons – regardless of their religion wouldn’t dare do what they do so openly.

  9. Vikrant

    FYI Neha those idiots who burned the library in Pune werent Hindus. They are group called Sambhaji Brigade ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sambhaji_Brigade ). They are your Marathi equivalent of anti-Brahmin DMK. They follow some nutjob religion. They have been propped up by Congress as a counter weight to Shiv Sena.

    They didn’t burn the library coz it helped Laine with translations (btw Laine merely presented Marathi accounts of Shivaji, not original commentary on his life), but because it was Brahmin owned/run :P.

  10. Vikrant: Fair enough, it might have more to do with Maratha Pride. But the revival of Sivaji is more a matter of collusion than just an intellectual movement. Popular Sivaji revival movement definitely has more to do with the politics of religion than just linguistic or geographical identity.

    Besides, that only proves that there are idiots across the spectrum. Some devoted to personalities, some devoted to some notion of a God, some others devoted to something else.

  11. ellarum orre intelligenta irukka. onnume puriyala.

  12. Such deranged religious zealots, are responsible for giving a bad name to otherwise liberal societies. It’s a miserable loop – they bring bad name to their religion – defend it when people react in extreme tones, and then unleash a fresh wave of hatred. We don’t need such hot-headed morons at the helm of affairs. Imagine trying to swot a woman like a fly, because she subscribes to unconventional beliefs! Truly pathetic…

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  14. hmm.. isn’t it easy to blame religion when we’re just talking abt a bunch of intolerant extremists?

  15. Sunil

    Its a national embarrassment. Not that we expect anything else from these illiterate goondas (a.k.a politicians). But the fact that these cowards ganged up on a defenseless woman is proof of their gender – napunskas! But guess what, they will get away with it. Our pathetic system will crucify a Sanjay Dutt but lick the arses of freaks like these MLAs, who deserve to be spat on!

  16. the mad momma: Completely agree.

    Sunil: What the hell does their sex or gender have to do with what they did? Gosh! It’s people like you who are intolerant. How fair is to compare a person with a different sexual status/ preference/ orientation to an intolerant person. Frankly your comment is as intolerant as their action was.

  17. Vikrant

    @Neha: Vis-a-vis Maharashtra its just competing intolerance between Congress and Shiv Sena at play. It would be unwise to conflate that incident with this one.

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