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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Re: [mukto-mona] Rokeya and Taslima

I agree with Mr. Chakrabarty, "as a society we are not yet ready to welcome these nonconformists (Daud Haider, Taslima Nasrin, and Humayun Azad)."
However, it would be wrong to conclude that they have impeded progress. Sitting on discrimination, hatred and injustice without talking about them is not progress. The nonconformists were a bit too far ahead of their society, and did not succeed as much as some of us would have liked to see. But that does not mean the society would have progressed significantly, if they did not expose the backwardness.
I see a big problem with a lot of the Indian secularists. Let me give two examples. They talk secularism. But the issue of a uniform civil code for the country, which should be their issue, gets hijacked by BJP. They are the people who should support Taslima; yet that gets taken over by the hate-mongering advocates of Hindutwa. I have no doubt, irrespective of how much the Hindu fanatics support Taslima, she is not theirs.
I thought I would ignore Farida Majid. But let me try to help her. I think she acted like a juvenile when she brought herself into the picture when someone talked about Taslima Nasrin being a victim of professional jealousy. If she did not know better, she could have just searched "jealous of taslima nasrin" with Google, and learned that she is not the first or only whatever-she-is to be jealous of Taslima Nasrin. She needs to realize that she is probably a nobody to have a basis to feel jealous of Taslima, and that self-eulogies do not earn respect.
Sukhamaya Bain
From: subimal chakrabarty <>
To: "" <>
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2012 1:46 PM
Subject: Re: [mukto-mona] Rokeya and Taslima
"Her (Taslima's) stupidity has increased the resolve of the Islamists who have impeded progress of women of all faiths in Bangladesh."----Farida Majid
Several years ago one of my friends from WB told me that Taslima had failed the people of Bangladesh in advancing their progressive movements. I sharply reacted and tried to defy him. Then I reflected on what happened in Bangladesh after a poem by 17-year old Daud Haider was published in the daily Sanbad. I was an eye witness. That single poem looked like set free a huge monster so far captivated in a bottle. Mujib was the PM. All of a sudden the entire DU campus slipped into the hands of the religious fanatics and militants. There was none to face them. The Sanbad office and the village home of Daud Haider were burnt down. For a day or two we completely forgot our great ideals and the great spirits of independence. Madness all around was so severe that nobody dared to come forward openly to remind the nation of the importance of freedom of speech. Nobody dared to do an open analysis of what that poem meant and why a teenager wrote that poem. Instead of burning a daily office and a house and trying to kill a teenaged poet, pages could have been written by scholars to defy Daud. Unfortunately that did not happen. Any way, Daud Haider had to be smuggled out of the country for saving his life thanks to the then AL regime.   
Besides Daud Haider and Taslima we have also seen the case of Humayun Azad. Without going into the value judgment of these three litterateurs, we may ask ourselves how these three phenomena impacted our progressive movements. One thing I can say with confidence is that as a society we are not yet ready to welcome these nonconformists. Their efforts to make the society more open minded are frustrated not only by the religious fanatics but also by the various vested interest groups. Our societal position is such that the religious fanatics and the vested interest groups have always the upper hand. And this fact tends to bolster the position of my friend from WB and Farida Majid. 
Then what role should our intellectuals play? Farida Majid very courageously have all along taken side with Humayun Azad and even with Salman Rushdie. Free thinkers should appreciate her courage and be grateful to her. She has her personal opinion about Taslima. We should not read too much into it. 
Ahmad Sofa with whom I had opportunity to mix closely told me that he advised the women in his extended family to read Taslima to be aware of female rights, although later on he went against her because of Taslima's "alleged" evil connection with the Sangh Parivar of India. 
I do not know of any aged mainstream intellectuals (e.g., Shamsur Rahman, Sirajul Islam Chowdhury, Kabir Chowdhury, and so on) of Bangladesh who have said any thing against Taslima.         

From: Kamal Das <>
Sent: Sunday, July 22, 2012 7:04 PM
Subject: Re: [mukto-mona] Rokeya and Taslima
If the Islamists can prevent the implementation of Uniform Family Ordinance in Bangladesh, shouldn't the governance be handed over to them?
On Sun, Jul 22, 2012 at 3:28 PM, Farida Majid <> wrote:
       What then is this talk of "professional jealousy" all about?  It is typical stance of feeble brained, mean-spirited quarrelsome people. The Yunus fiasco, for instance, is dealt with by people of same mentality.   No one can discuss the real life cruelties that  poor people are facing due to Grameen Bank loans.  How this system of small loans have had no effect on "poverty reduction" is the conclusion of international development studies analysts. No, no.  Any criticism of Yunus is all about the jealousy of  Sheikh Hasina about the Nobel Prize.               Taslima's work has done nothing for women's empowerment.  Her stupidity has increased the resolve of the Islamists who have impeded progress of women of all faiths in Bangladesh.  They have done so by preventing the implementation of Uniform Family Ordinance that was drafted in 1997.               Will the "Rokeya and Taslima" TRAP setters come up with some concrete evidences of their claims (without falsifying and outright lying about Begum Rokeya's achievements) instead of indulging in ad hominem attacks on me?  The cliché of Taslima as a rebel is no longer serviceable for their purpose of stirring up communal animosity.

To: From: Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2012 07:22:57 +0600
Subject: Re: [mukto-mona] Rokeya and Taslima  
"The TRAP -- Rokeya and Taslima --  is set up for me."  ???!  Is this lady suffering from Schizophrenia?  Who cares about what her academic training was, doesn't she know that Anton Chekhov, Rajshekhar Basu, Sanjeeb Chattopadhyay(of lotakambol fame), and many others were from terrains outside literature?  A famous story of "Panchatantra" advises fools to keep their mouth shut, I hope she reads it, if she hasn't already.
On Sun, Jul 22, 2012 at 4:03 AM, Sukhamaya Bain <> wrote:
Let me try not to criticize Ms. Majid as a person. Let me just make a generalized point.
"Some people have set up a trap for me in this forum.", "Literature is my territory, and not Taslima's or Humayun's, because 'my academic training is in language, literature, literary theory, semiotics, translation theory, etc.' and their academic trainings are in Medicine and Chemistry, respectively.", "One woman made idiotic comments about Islam, that is why the Islamists have redoubled their oppression of women." are comments that are as foolish as calling an atheist 'Islamophobe'. I would expect an average college professor to have a smarter and wiser mind than this.
Sukhamaya Bain

From: Farida Majid <>
To: "" <>
Sent: Saturday, July 21, 2012 2:05 PM
Subject: RE: [mukto-mona] Rokeya and Taslima
    The TRAP -- Rokeya and Taslima --  is set up for me.
Anyone who dares utter a word against Taslima is going to stumble and fall head over heels right into the TRAP.

Listen to the clever language of the TRAP setters who have got S. A. Hannan on their side:
<< There are some in this forum, who are allergic to Taslima even though they espouse and fight for the same cause. I can only guess about their reasons for bitter contempt of her, but - I do understand your views in this context. >>                  Taslima was a medical doctor by profession.  I have never studied medicine. Why would there be a professional jealousy in me against her?  My academic training is in language, literature, literary theory, semiotics ,translation theory, etc. History, philosophy of language and religion & women's studies (as integral parts of cultural studies) are related subjects.  So, if I object to someone mis-quoting the Qur'an by grossly mistranslating the Arabic text for the purpose of scoring a political or anti-social point then  I am only minding my own business.  It is Taslima who is trespassing my academic territory by making idiotic comments on Islam that only succeed in encouraging the Islamists to redouble their oppression of women. That is what has happened as a result of the Taslima debacle in 1993, and that is the ground level FACT.                  The TRAP is set up in such away that anyone disagreeing with Taslima's idiotic, illogical, ahistorical, endlessly self-referential, unrealistic claims is declared as a some kind of a conservative Islamist moron. Taslima never defines what she means by "fundamentalists".  Her reasoning is intellectually feeble. What is Taslima's claim as an authority on the subjects she makes ignorant comments on?

         The TRAP -- Rokeya and Taslima
    is a form  of bare-knuckle bullying by the Bengali Islamophobes!
To: mukto-mona@yahoogroups.comFrom: jnrsr53@yahoo.comDate: Sat, 21 Jul 2012 09:53:54 -0700Subject: RE: [mukto-mona] Rokeya and Taslima 

You are pretty consistent on your views. I was just trying to express my views on your comment about the 'enemy of all religions.' There are some in this forum, who are allergic to Taslima even though they espouse and fight for the same cause. I can only guess about their reasons for bitter contempt of her, but - I do understand your views in this context. You are a traditional Islamic man; so you are obviously in the opposite camp of Taslima.
Hannan-Saheb, those who do not support freedom of religions, are enemies of religions. I am not an advocate of any religion, but I support freedom of religion for all, and I am glad to find you also in my camp on this issue.
Thank you.
Jiten Roy
--- On Fri, 7/20/12, S A Hannan <> wrote: From: S A Hannan <> Subject: RE: [mukto-mona] Rokeya and Taslima To: Date: Friday, July 20, 2012, 11:47 PM
Jiten sahib,
I hate those who destroy Mandir or idol and oppress minorities. I  talk and write against such activities.
 I have no further comment on Taslima.I hold on to my view which I have said about her.
Shah Abdul Hannan
From: [mailto: ] On Behalf Of Jiten Roy
Sent: Saturday, July 21, 2012 5:27 AM
Subject: RE: [mukto-mona] Rokeya and Taslima
Enemy of all religions would be someone who fights to block all religious operations.  I don't think you can fit Taslima into that category.
We have many enemies of religion in Bangladesh , who interrupt ongoing (minority) religious operations and desecrate idols and temples. They are the real enemies of religions. These enemies are not atheists; they are devout religious men. Taslima is just a critic, not an enemy, of religion.
Jiten Roy --- On Thu, 7/19/12, S A Hannan < > wrote:

From: S A Hannan < >
Subject: RE: [mukto-mona] Rokeya and Taslima
Date: Thursday, July 19, 2012, 10:14 PM
Mr Das, this is just your mental picture. She (Taslima) is just hated by most Bangladeshis, Indians, Muslims..In the West only a few people know her. Common people do not know her there.
Shah Abdul Hannan
From: [mailto: ] On Behalf Of Kamal Das
Sent: Friday, July 20, 2012 6:27 AM
Subject: Re: [mukto-mona] Rokeya and Taslima
"Taslima is an atheist, herself a debauch and preacher of debauchery, enemy of all religions, indecent to the core, has no civility."  Yet, Taslima has more popularity than Mr. Hannan!
On Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 10:14 PM, S A Hannan <> wrote:
Taslima is an atheist, herself a debauch and preacher of debauchery, enemy of all religions, indecent to the core, has no civility.
Rokeya was a religious woman, practiced her religion, wore Hijab, and fought for rights of women given by Islam but largely denied to women.
Shah Abdul Hannan

Subject: Re: [mukto-mona] Rokeya and Taslima
I think, in addition to professional and extra-professional jealousy, Taslima had to suffer from the wrath of a lot of Bangladeshi Muslims who have the power and have gotten used to having some hateful sentiments. For example, her book "Lajja" is like a documentary of what the Hindus of East Bengal who loved their motherland enough to stay there got from the Muslim power; it has no criticism of Islam. It has hurt the sentiments of many Muslims, because it has exposed their hatred against innocent Hindus quite forcefully.
Sukhamaya Bain



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"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it".
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