The Weekend Leader - Taslima meets Rajnath, assured of visa extension

Taslima meets Rajnath, assured of visa extension



Seeking long-term extension of her residence permit, controversial author Taslima Nasreen Saturday met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.

Nasreen had expressed her anguish after the government Wednesday refused her a one-year visa giving instead a temporary permission to stay in India for two months.

"I met Singh today (Saturday) and he assured me that my stay in India will be extended. I gave him my book 'Wo Andhere Din' (Those Dark Days) and in return he said my dark days are over," Nasreen told IANS.

Following her outburst on a social networking site, support for her has been pouring from various quarters with Press Council of India Chairperson and former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju demanding permanent visa for the 52-year-old who has been living in exile since 1994.

Nasreen, however, expressed her surprise over intellectuals from Kolkata - her "home" remaining silent on the issue.

"I am surely surprised that people in Kolkata known for their righteous stand have chosen to remain silent. But at the same time I must admit I have gotten used to this. There were not many voices to come out when I was thrown of my home - Kolkata," she said.

Exiled from Bangladesh in 1994 for "hurting religious sentiments" with her novel "Lajja", Nasreen took refuge in the city in 2004. But after violent protests in the city November 2007, the erstwhile Left Front government whisked her away to New Delhi where she has been living since then.

Eager to come back to Kolkata, Nasreen said so long as the Mamata Banerjee government in the state continues to accede to the whims of religious fanatics, her return to the city is not possible.

"By banning my tele-serial Dusahobas, this government denied me a slice of livelihood. I have been repeatedly writing to Mamata Banerjee expressing my wish to come back to Kolkata, but so long as she continues to listen to the fanatics my return will never be possible,a she added.

She said "Dusahobas" a story of three sisters and their triumph over the injustices meted out by the patriarchal society, would have been a source of inspiration at a time when crime against women was on the rise in the state.

Following protests by minority religious groups, the TV serial was refused telecast. - IANS

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