Oppn lashes out at govt for scrapping Taslima serial

The state government's directive to a private channel to stop airing a serial based on a story by exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen has raised the hackles of Opposition parties.

The BJP on Friday warned of a Hindu backlash if the government continued with its policies of alleged appeasement of minorities. "What is happening is against our constitutional rights. How can a TV serial that speaks of women empowerment be stopped. If this kind of appeasement goes on, a majority of Hindus will feel threatened and soon turn against the minorities,'' state BJP general secretary Shamik Bhattacharya told The Indian Express.

The telecast of the serial, Dusahobas, written by Nasreen, was supposed to start on Thursday; a total 40 episodes were in the first phase.

According to sources in the government, a team of Kolkata police visited the channel office Thursday and some officials were also called to Lalbazaar, the Kolkata police headquarters, and questioned about the serial.

"Due to reasons beyond the purview and control of (TV channel) Aakash Aath, we may be forced to defer the telecast of this serial indefinitely. Please note that this serial was based on 'Women Empowerment' and had nothing to do with any religion or community whatsoever,'' a press statement issued by the channel said.

A source in the channel said the serial was about a woman who fought against all odds to press for her rights.

The CPM, too, flayed the government for axing the serial. "They have unleashed a Tughlaqi Raj. They are snatching the right to freedom of expression from us,'' CPM state secretariat member Rabin Deb told The Indian Express.

The state Congress also sharply criticised the government action. "The state government is ruthlessly trampling on human rights as well as constitutional rights of the people. It is happening everywhere. We condemn this,'' West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee president Pradip Bhattacharya told The Indian Express.

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