Quotes by: Taslima Nasrin
Taslima Nasrin in 2007
25 August 1962 |
Mymensingh, East Pakistan
||Physician, Poet, novelist, columnist.
||Humanism,secularism, rationalism, feminism.
||Women's rights, Human rights, secular movements
Koranic teaching still insists that the sun moves around the earth. How can we advance when they teach things like that?
Those religions that are oppressive to women are also against democracy, human rights, and freedom of expression.
It is unfair to label me anti-Islam. I am an atheist and a secular humanist.
Women are oppressed in the east, in the west, in the south, in the north. Women are oppressed inside, outside home, a woman is oppressed in religion, she is oppressed outside religion.
In traditional societies, we have a long legacy of men controlling the body and mind of women. Such societies have valorised motherhood and fabricated concepts like chastity. Women have been the victims of these notions for thousands of years.
I have lectured at the U.N. and travelled widely, giving lectures on human rights and gender inequalities in universities. But this is a life I do not wish to live. I don't want to be a showcase, I want to be in a battlefield where I can stand beside the oppressed and the poor.
The focus of my research is how secular movements originated in West Asian countries and subsequently changed to pan-Islamic movements. The role of Western countries in this aspect is also a part of the research.
I want to live in Kolkata; I don't want to live in Europe - I can't write there. I write in Bengali, and I need to be surrounded by the Bengali language and culture.
Sheikh Hasina's government is one of the best Bangladesh has ever had. She is taking action against fundamentalists. But even she refused to let me return. I don't think I can ever return home.
I have been writing poetry since 1975. My first poetry book was published in 1986.
I was well acquainted with the Calcutta literary circle since I was 17, when I lived in Bangladesh and published and edited a little magazine called 'Sejuti,' for which young poets from both Bengals wrote. If you look at my life, there is no question of using anyone for anything. I have only got banned, blacklisted and banished.
All I ever want is to return to either Bangladesh, my motherland, or India, my adopted home.
Nature says women are human beings, men have made religions to deny it. Nature says women are human beings, men cry out no!
When I write, I don't allow the fear of consequences to interfere with the writing process. I have in the past paid for my commitment to the truth and the way I live my life. I am prepared to pay more if I have to.
Among all the 'awards' that I have hitherto collected, I consider the title of 'patita' or 'fallen woman' to be the highest. This is an achievement of my long-struggling life as a writer and as a woman.
When Bangladesh refused to renew my passport, I used U.N. travel documents. You can't disown your country.
I have had fatwas issued against me, some three in Bangladesh and another five in India. I will not be cowed by these threats and shall fight for my rights.
I was born in a middle class Muslim family, in a small town called Myonenningh in a northern part of Bangladesh in 1962. My father is a qualified physician; my mother is a housewife. I have two elder brothers and one younger sister. All of them received a liberal education in schools and colleges.
Religious fundamentalists in Bangladesh have always argued for a ban on my books.
The fundamentalists are increasing. People, afraid to oppose those fundamentalists, shut their mouths. It is really very difficult to make people move against a sensitive issue like religion, which is the source of fundamentalism.
I believe in absolute freedom of expression. Everyone has a right to offend and be offended.
I write against the religion because if women want to live like human beings, they will have to live outside the religion and Islamic law.