New Delhi, January 11, 2016
‘We should focus not only on Hindu fundamentalists, but Muslim fundamentalists as well.’
India is a tolerant country with a few intolerant people and it is time to focus not just on Hindu fundamentalists but on Muslim fundamentalists as well, Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen has said.
“I think India is a tolerant country, but some people are intolerant. In every society, there are some intolerant people,” the self-exiled author said at an event here, while referring to the recent violence in Malda in West Bengal. She said while there was talk about Hindu fundamentalists, one had to talk of Muslim fundamentalists as well.
Ms. Nasreen said absolute freedom of speech was necessary even if it offended some people. “If we do not open our mouths, society will not evolve.” She was participating in a discussion on ‘Coming of the Age of Intolerance’ at the Delhi Literature Festival at Dilli Haat here on Saturday evening.
On the other hand, BJP ideologue and writer Sudheendra Kulkarni said absolute freedom could only be exercised with responsibility. “There is no freedom whatsoever to show any religion in bad light, knowing that it will hurt sentiments and insult others.”