Taslima’s TV serial postponed after Muslim bodies protest

The broadcast of a Bengali TV serial whose script was written by exiled Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen was postponed indefinitely on Thursday after Muslim leaders raised objections, despite both the channel and the author clarifying that the story had nothing to do with religion.

Minority leaders from the 'Milli Ittehad Parishad' and Maulana Nurur Rahman Barkati, Shahi Imam of the Tipu Sultan Mosque in Kolkata, had warned the channel to abandon the telecast of the serial 'Dusahobas' (translated roughly as living difficult) on the ground that it hurts religious sentiments.

Taslima told PTI that the story of the serial, which was earlier scheduled to be broadcast from Thursday night on the newly launched 'Aakash Aath' channel, is about a Hindu family settled in the city.

"There is not even the 'R' of religion in the story. No one has seen the serial. Then why are they opposing it? The story is about three sisters and their fight against social evils directed against them," the 51-year-old feminist author said from Delhi.

Abdul Aziz of Milli Ittehad Parishad told PTI that they had written to the producers asking them to withdraw Taslima's name and reference from the serial and withdraw scenes which might create a controversy.

"We have been told that there are some scenes in the serial which might hurt our sentiments. Through this serial she is trying to come back to Kolkata. Therefore we have opposed this," Aziz said.

In a tweet, a frustrated Taslima blamed the West Bengal government for supporting Muslim fundamentalists, saying, "Unbelievable! WB Govt banned my upcoming mega serial abt women's rights bcz some Muslim fanatics objected. I feel like I'm living in Saudi Arabia."

The minority groups have already forced the channel to withdraw all hoardings about the serial which has Taslima's name and photographs. In a statement issued during the day, a spokesperson for the channel said, "Due to reasons beyond the purview and control of our channel we may be forced to defer the telecast of this serial indefinitely."

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