Thursday, December 6, 2007


Shame on India Government, ignominy for West Bengal Government, disgrace for Rajasthan Government and insult to one billion Indians

Indian American Intellectuals Forum, a New York based organization, vehemently condemns the India Government, the West Bengal Government and the Rajasthan Government for their inability to protect the honor and dignity of Dr. Tasleema Nasreen, a world-renowned intellectual and a native of Bangladesh.

Dr. Nasreen is an outspoken proponent of freedom of expression for women, courageous feminist writer, human rights activist and a great social reformer who has been fighting single-handedly against the persecution of half-a-billion Muslim women that are silently suffering at the hands of radical Islamists.

It is truly a paradox that on one hand 400 fully trained counter-terrorism experts of the Special Protection Group (SPG) are deployed to protect Sonia Gandhi and her family, on the other the Government of India is not prepared to provide protection to a woman within its borders who is resisting and exposing the injustice and orthodoxy in our neighborhood.

Tasleema is well known as a great social reformer. She has unflinchingly resolved to help and free the women-folks from the stranglehold of religious bigots. Had she been born in a Hindu family, she would have been raised to the status of Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Swami Dayanand.

It is disconcerting to note that on one or the other pretext, the members of a minority community take advantage of the fundamental rights guaranteed to them under the Indian Constitution. They continue terrorizing her and indulge in the Jihadi activities against her. It is a matter of great shame and disgrace that in attempting to oppose her, a few rufficans of All India Minority Forum recently held the entire City of Kolkata to ransom.

In the month of August, Dr. Nasreen was roughed up by a group of 20 Islamists led by three Muslim MLAs from Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. These rowdies attacked the press photographers, damaged the furniture and shattered the glass panes.

Later the same month, the Muslim mobs started violence in the City of Agra and set fire to more than 20 vehicles, torched millions of dollars worth of property, injured 50 police officials, and forced the government to close famous Taj Mahal.

We all know that it is the first and the foremost responsibility of any government to maintain law and order and save its citizens from the elements that indulge in violence and hatred. Such uncivilized characters should not be handled with kid gloves.

Taslima Nasreen’s case should not be treated in isolation. It is a part of the greater strategy hatched by pan-Islamic movement that is bent upon destabilizing India by creating chaos and damaging its economy. We should also understand in unambiguous terms that this conflict is between reason and irrationality, modernity and obscurantism.

It is demoralizing to note that even the Rajasthan BJP government that proclaims to be different from other state governments in India, also got so wracked by the terror of jihadists that its Home Minister sent away Dr. Nasreen under armed escort to New Delhi.

We should understand that Dr. Nasreen is a brave Muslim woman like Dr. Wafa Sultan of USA and Irshad Manji of Canada, a Canadian woman of Indian descent. Tasleema Nasreen is working for the emancipation of persecuted women whose voice has been gagged for centuries. It is the responsibility of Indian citizens, state governments, human right activists and civilized nations to join hands in this cause and come to the help of this lady of valor.

No matter how the anti-Hindutva groups portray the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, but by inviting Tasleema Nasreen to his state and offering her the adequate security he has established his credentials as a courageous Man with the Capital “M.”

Bharateeya people believe in the Vedic concept of Atithi Devo Bhava (Guest is like God). In free societies such as India, there is no room for religious extremism, retrogression and the barbaric conduct. The people of India cannot allow the religious fanatics to destroy our noble cultural ethos.

Narain Kataria
Indian American Intellectuals Forum
(718) 478-5735

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