Thiruvananthapuram: Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen feels killing people for eating beef is not intolerance but a ‘heinous crime’ and it should be stopped.
“It is not that suddenly intolerance has started here…
India as a country is not intolerant as India has Constitution and laws which do not support intolerance. But some people are intolerant everywhere…because of strict laws you cannot practise intolerance. Here, so many secularists protested against intolerance, that is a good sign,” she said.
“Killing people for eating beef is not intolerance but a heinous crime. It needs to be stopped,” Taslima, who was in Kerala recently to participate in the Kozhikode Literary Festival, told a Malayalam television channel.
Asked if she wants to be a citizen of India, now with Prime Minister Narendra Modi being at the helm, Taslima said she feels that the Indian government is “neutral and secular”.
She said she would be more than happy if government allows her a residence permit. “If I am allowed to reside in India, I will be more than happy,” she said, adding, the central government’s recent decision to grant Pakistani singer Adnan Sami, Indian citizenship, was a “good sign”.
Pakistan should not have denied visa to Bollywood actor Anupam Kher to participate in Karachi literary festival, she said. However, after Pakistan’s u-turn on the issue, Kher should have gone, she said.
Citing the example of BJP veteran L K Advani’s visit to Pakistan years ago, she claimed he (Advani) “became secular and a better man. There are many people who love India, all are not anti-India, anti-Hinduism or fundamentalists,” she said.
On her 21-years of exile in Europe, US, and in India, she said when she was living in Europe she felt like an “outsider” as it was not her country and always yearned to go back to Bangladesh.
However, as she was not permitted to return to her land, she decided India was a ‘better place’ as people love her in West Bengal, her books get published and she has received many awards.
However, when she was attacked by fundamentalists in Hyderabad, the then Communist government in West Bengal failed to support her and asked her to leave the state, where she was under house arrest.
“People said it was to appease Muslim fanatics that I was asked to leave,” she said.