"Was a poet ever kept in house arrest?" by Taslima Nasreen

Was a poet ever kept in house arrest?

Taslima Nasreen

Was a poet ever kept in house arrest?
May be she has been a subject of politicking
True she caused clashes once in a while
May be an arson, too.
But no, a poet was never taken to safe custody.
This India, this civilization, this 21st century
They all had welcomed the poet
Ignoring its childish religionism, its merciless politics.
But today, the poet languishes in house arrest.
She has done no offense.

Having been deprived of the view of the sky
No longer she can tell how does the sky look like;
Deprived of the sight of men, no longer can she say how are folks today.
They have left leaving a world of darkness before the poet
They won't return ever, they informed.

Today for the one hundred and fiftieth day, the poet languishes in safe custody
For one hundred and fifty days the poet is unaware
If this earth yet hosts any creature with a human soul
For one hundred and fifty days the poet is unsure
If she is alive or dead.

Whom she will approach to ask back these days for?
Facing darkness the poet ponders
Who will restore sunrays into her life?
Who is there to bring her back the song of life?

O man, tell me, all who suffered in house arrest
Most of them were poets, a big consolation will that be,
It will relieve the burden of my aloneness.
(Translated by Faizul Latif Chowdhury, Source)

Indian government has done the shameful thing: it has forced Taslima Nasreen to leave the country . As you may know, she has been running from religious fanatics for more than a decade now.

Why should a writer of a book hide? It should not happen in Bangladesh, India, or anywhere else. There are arseholes and then there are arseholes. Religious fanatics are of the second kind. This is as shameful as all else that religion has incited.

Some of us intensely dislike religious fanatics because they have lowered our quality of life greatly by their blindingly stupid theologies, their inexcusable idiocy, their repeated blasphemy of Reason and their actions that have caused immense harm and death. Are these good reasons to offer a bounty for anyone who beheads religious fanatics? How silly would it be to offer such a thing, how unacceptable and criminal it would be to want to kill someone because they spoke disagreeably or acted disagreeably? Which is why we do no such thing even in those moments when the lunacy of religion exceeds limits that we thought were insurmountable. Instead, limited as we are, we study religious texts, religious histories, epics and mythologies. We try to understand in our own limited ways how all this came to be. We do this in the hope that we can alter our life and the lives of our loved ones to something less stupid, more rational, more enjoyable. I can't see religion helping anyone do these reasonable things. I can't see how religion could ever help anyone do reasonable things.

For those who apologize for religion, here are some suggestions: try being a woman in a society that thinks you are a property to be traded, try being raped, try being in exile running from fanatical killers - try atleast one of these things before you come offering your rhetoric. If all that you can do is speak from your cushy armchair like you know shit, fuck off.


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"...Which is why we do no such thing even in those moments when the lunacy of religion exceeds limits that we thought were insurmountable."

So there! You've answered your own question. We wonder how things came to such a pass, while the fanatics take their fight to the streets, with or without reason.

When's Maqbool Fida Hussain coming home? I wonder...

Nice blog!

Bravo! Bravo!
I like your frankness and tell-it-like-it-is attitude. Really refreshing.
My views about religion are very similar to your own and I have recognised the damage done to humanity by continuing these awful, pernicious memes. Scientific advancement has been hampered by religiosity and therefore I can take no part in it. I am a scientific naturalist and so this might give you some idea of my worldview.
One day, someday, humans will awake from this memetic sleep. We can keep sharing our views - at least.
Interesting blog and I will be popping in often!