Taslima, ho-hum and Husain

"I am withdrawing the controversial lines from my book Dwikhandita. I had written it in 2002 and had no intention of hurting anybody’s sentiments," she added. She pointed out that since some people in India were upset with these lines, she had decided to drop them.


I am so tired of this woman, and she has gone and proved me right. (Read my earlier blogpost and article, if you wish.) If she is so convinced about her position, then why the cop-out? People talk about freedom of expression. What about the duty to stand by your convictions? "After these portions are removed, I hope there will be no more scope for controversy and I will be able to live peacefully," she said. She just wants the licence to live in our country because no one in the West will bother about her substandard literature.

What is worse is that even some so-called Muslim leaders (who has given them the right to be leaders of the community?) have been saying that we must have M.F.Husain back and then we will discuss Taslima. These same blokes do not care about Husain and violently disagree with him; now when it suits their agenda he becomes a ’Muslim’. I don’t like MF either. But the two situations cannot be compared.

Husain is an Indian citizen and by drawing semi-nude portraits of Hindu goddesses he is not hitting out at the religion. As a matter of fact Islamists have accused him of pandering to the Hindu religion, especially his paintings of Lord Ganesha. Before pointing fingers at him his opponents should take a tour of the temples and see the sculptures for themselves. Will they want those to be wiped out? If anything, I would accuse Husain of being not an artist but an illustrator.

Let us please re-visit the work of Taslima. She had got into trouble not only for her Islam-bashing, but because in her memoirs she had mentioned some big names from Kolkata’s literary and academic circles and her liaisons with them.

The only thing common between the lady and the painter is probably their obsession with studs. I have nothing to go by to comment on Taslima’s variety, but Husain’s are indeed gorgeous.


  1. FV:

    And the only meaning of stud that I knew was an "Ornament consisting of a circular rounded protuberance (as on a vault or shield or belt)". Thanks for enhancing my knowledge. I appreciate your philanthropy.

  2. Hmm...knowledge, given or received, has to surpass philanthropic intent; perhaps start with a question...

    Anyhow, whatever meaning we choose tells us about our 'perceived world'. Perhaps you have something to say about Taslima, too...or maybe not...


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