New Delhi, Jan 10, 2016 (PTI)
Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen, persecuted and forced out of her country for her work, today advocated absolute freedom of speech for writers even if it offended sentiments of “some” people.
“I think, we should have our freedom of expression even if that might offend some people. If we do not open our mouth then society will not evolve. Of course, we should fight against misogyny, religious fundamentalism and all kinds of evil forces only to make a better society,” Nasreen said.
The writer was participating in a discussion last evening titled ‘Coming of the Age of Intolerance’ at the ongoing Delhi Literature Festival at Dilli Haat here.
“People’s sentiments were hurt when Raja Ram Mohan Roy was fighting against ‘sati’. Many misogynistic sentiments were hurt when Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was trying to educate girl children. But if we criticise fundamentalism, may be fundamentalist sentiments are hurt, so should we shut our mouth?” Nasreen said.
The doctor-turned-author had drawn the ire of the fundamentalists for her controversial books like ‘Dwikhandito’ and had been exiled from Bangladesh in 1994 for allegedly hurting religious sentiments with her novel ‘Lajja’ (shame).