Taslima Nasreen, the exiled Bangladeshi author, was assaulted by a group of protesters led by three legislators of the Majlis-e-Itahadul-Musalmeen (MIM), a Hyderabad based Muslim Political party, at Hyderabad Press Club. The author was in Hyderabad for a book launch on 9th August, Thursday. The protesters threw books, bags, bouquets and whatever else they could lay their hands on at the exiled writer, whose novel Lajja — or shame — was banned in her country for hurting Muslim religious feelings. Other news reports say that one of the MLA's even tried to hurl a chair at her while another preferred a laptop.
Above photo and graphics are from The Telegraph, Calcutta, 10th August 2007. Click on the picture for a more detailed view.
MIM supremo Sultan Salauddin Owaisi, who is a UPA ally, commended the assailants and claimed the partymen were ready for bigger sacrifices. Further he referred to Hindu right wingers prosecuting Painter MF Hussain as a justification(?), in Owaisi's words, "...When M F Husain drew some paintings, some felt it was insulting to their religion. But no one who vandalised the exhibition where Husain’s paintings were on show were arrested or punished." he said.
Such a sorry bunch of morons sit and decide the fate of this 'ancient civilisation'. I bet even the Gods (yours, mine, their, his, her's) must be appalled.
It was obviously Owaisi's two minutes of fame and probably his only audience with the national and international media and here he actually reflected on the freedom of speech..."Everyone seems to be very concerned over the freedom of speech and literary freedom of a person who is not an Indian citizen. But nobody is bothered about the 20 crore (200 million) Muslims of our country who have been deeply hurt by the provocative writings of this woman,".
And one merely has to contrast the mention of aggrieved 200 million Indian Muslims with the fact that only 60% are literate. Considering these are government figures and also taking into account the weak economic position of the community at large, one can imagine how many of them read Taslima Nasreen's book and got worked up.
The pictures of the event gathered from various news sources are also uploaded to give a real picture of the shameful act.
Below are the links of the coverage of the story in major Indian newspapers.
Pat for defiant MIM MLAs
Shameless wrath on Lajja
Lajja! Hon’ble MLAs assault Taslima
Taslima roughed up in Hyderabad
UPA ally Owaisi backs MLAs for attacking Taslima at book launch