Sunilda lied, he does not believe in free speech: Taslima Nasreen

Taslima Nasreen

Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasrin recently accused renowned Bengali littérateur Sunil Gangopadhyay of molesting her. She also alleged that he had a role in the ban on her book Dwikhandita and her expulsion from West Bengal. Sahitya Akademi president Gangopadhyay expressed chagrin over the charges and asked why Taslima chose to level the allegations after so many years. Taslima, however, stuck to her stand. Excerpts from her interview with Sabyasachi Bandopadhyay:

Opening remarks from Taslima?

Sunilda is a renowned writer and I a Bangladeshi author? Why did not find some authentic information about both?

As far as I can remember, you and Sunilda were on the best of terms and the relationship was based on mutual respect. You held Sunilda in high esteem. What prompted you to raise these allegations against him at this time? People are saying you have done this to please the party in power in West Bengal so that you get permission to stay here.

I know Sunilda for more than 25 years. His one terrible lie in the media made me react. He expressed his opinion on the ban on Nazrul Islam's (additional director general of police, training) book (Musalmander Koroniyo or (what Muslims Should Do). He said he believes in free speech and that he is against banning any book. It is a lie. He was not against the banning of my book Dwikhandito. Rather he took an initiative to ban the book.

If he did not lie, I would not have said anything. He is not for my free speech. He also insisted that I leave West Bengal when Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was desperate to throw me out in 2007. He phoned me and asked me to leave. Political parties used me for their own interests. But why should a writer support a ban on another writer's book? Why should a writer ask a fellow writer to leave the state only to please a political party instead of defending freedom of expression? By the by, I shared my painful experience of being sexually molested by Sunilda.

... contd.

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