Thursday, February 17, 2005

BANGLADESH: Taslima Nasreen seeks Indian citizenship [2 NEWS CLIPPINGS]

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+Taslima was specific that she was not seeking political asylum. "I have not asked for political asylum in India. I have just asked for having residential permit or citizenship in India," Nasreen said in a telephone interview. +

Taslima Nasreen seeks Indian citizenship

New Delhi, India Feb 17 (IANS) Controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen now wants to settle in West Bengal!

The writer has sought Indian citizenship because, according to her, she is neither safe in Bangladesh nor getting appreciation for her work in that country.

Taslima reportedly faxed a letter to Home Minister Shivraj Patil Thursday, expressing her desire to make India her home after shuttling between India and Europe for the past few years.

Talking to Indian TV news channels over telephone, Taslima, who has been living in Sweden for 10 years, said she felt at home in West Bengal.

"I have been visiting West Bengal very frequently and I feel at home with its culture. I enjoy speaking the Bengali language. I like spending time in West Bengal, hence I want to reside in the state," she said.

"(Bangladesh) has already closed the door for me. It would be wonderful if I am allowed to stay in Kolkata or anywhere in West Bengal," Taslima, who was in the Indian capital Thursday morning, told the NDTV channel.

But Taslima was specific that she was not seeking political asylum.

"I have not asked for any political asylum. I have just asked for residential permit or citizenship," said the author who has been in self-exile in Europe and the US ever since she left Bangladesh in 1994.

Taslima became a controversial figure after her novel "Lajja" (Shame) was published in 1994. Based on violence between Muslims and Hindus in her country, the novel invited the ire of Muslim fundamentalists, who issued a fatwa or religious edict against her.

Her other works - "Amar Meyebela" (My Youth) and "Utal Hawa" (Strong Wind) -- also faced severe criticism from fundamentalists.


17/02/2005

Taslima Nasreen seeks Indian citizenship
NDTV Correspondent


Controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen has sought Indian citizenship.

"I have not asked for political asylum in India. I have just asked for having residential permit or citizenship in India," Nasreen said in a telephone interview.

Nasreen had to leave Dhaka after a fatwa was issued against her following the release of her book Lajja.

"I have been living in exile for ten years. I recently started visiting West Bengal and I really liked to be there," the writer said.

Yearning for home

Nasreen said being a Bengali she feels at home in West Bengal and likes to speak and hear her mother tongue.

"Because I'm a Bengali writer it's very important for me to be with the Bengali people. So I dream of living in Bengal. Either east or west.

"But east has already closed the door for me. So I it will be wonderful if could live in Kolkata or any part of West Bengal in India," Nasreen said.

Nasreen has been living in Sweden after she drew the wrath of fundamentalists in Bangladesh with the publication of her novel Lajja (Shame) in 1993.

Lajja portrayed the persecution of a Hindu family in Bangladesh after the demolition of Babri Masjid at Ayodhya in India in December 1992.