Taslima Nasreen Says Indian Secularists are Pro-Muslim and Anti-Hindu

Taslima Nasreen

Questioning the intention of protestors of increasing religious intolerance in India, renowned Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen recently slammed hypocritical intellectuals, saying most secularists in the country are either pro-Muslim or anti-Hindu. Nasreen demanded a response from those writers, who recently decided to return their Sahitya Akademi awards to protest against growing sectarian strife in the country, about why they did not adopt a similar stance when her books were being banned and fatwas were being issued against her.

“They have decided to raise voice against injustices by returning their awards. There is nothing wrong with it. Sometimes somebody gets an idea, others like it. But, many writers are guilty of double standards when it comes to dissent,” Nasreen said in an interview with Times of India.

The interview was published only days after Nasreen tweeted about the hypocrisy of Indian writers, who refused to take a stance when Muslim fundamentalists were threatening her with her life.

“Most Indian intellectuals say nothing when Muslim fanatics attack me. But I stand by them when they're attacked. Because I'm not a hypocrite,” she posted on Twitter.

She elucidated that at the time, not only did all authors stay quiet while she was struggling to stay in India and fight for her right to freedom of expression, but many of them also supported the banning on her books.

“Many writers are guilty of double standards when it comes to dissent,” she said.

Nasreen went on to explain that India’s pseudo secularists often practice double standards.

“Most secular people are pro-Muslims and anti-Hindu. They protest against the acts of Hindu fundamentalists and defend the heinous acts of Muslim fundamentalists,” she said. “Politicians appease Muslims for votes in India. Muslims receive more favor and that angers many Hindus. It is true that sometimes Muslims get tortured only because they are Muslims. But it happens to other religious communities too. In Canning, a Hindu village in West Bengal was burned down by Muslim fanatics in 2013. If Muslims were brutally persecuted in India, they would have left India for neighboring Muslim countries like Hindu minorities have been leaving Bangladesh and Pakistan since the Partition.”

However, the writer did not deny that religious intolerance in India was in fact on the rise, calling the rapid change shameful. She also defended the right of every author to return his or her award, saying that the government was making false claims about the protest being manufactured.

On October 26, she tweeted once again about how the definitions of secularism, communism and liberalism have been misunderstood by Indians.

“In India capitalists are called communists, religious are called secular, intolerant are called liberal” she posted on the Twitter, adding, “Liberal are those who respect opposite views. The word ‘liberal’ has been hijacked by non-liberal people who can’t stand opposite views.”

Photo Credits: Deadly Law

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