Opening remarks from Taslima?
Sunilda is a renowned writer and I a Bangladeshi author? Why did not find some authentic information about both?
As far as I can remember, you and Sunilda were on the best of terms and the relationship was based on mutual respect. You held Sunilda in high esteem. What prompted you to raise these allegations against him at this time? People are saying you have done this to please the party in power in West Bengal so that you get permission to stay here.
I know Sunilda for more than 25 years. His one terrible lie in the media made me react. He expressed his opinion on the ban on Nazrul Islam’s (additional director general of police, training) book (Musalmander Koroniyo or (what Muslims Should Do). He said he believes in free speech and that he is against banning any book. It is a lie. He was not against the banning of my book Dwikhandito. Rather he took an initiative to ban the book.
If he did not lie, I would not have said anything. He is not for my free speech. He also insisted that I leave West Bengal when Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was desperate to throw me out in 2007. He phoned me and asked me to leave. Political parties used me for their own interests. But why should a writer support a ban on another writer’s book? Why should a writer ask a fellow writer to leave the state only to please a political party instead of defending freedom of expression? By the by, I shared my painful experience of being sexually molested by Sunilda.
Why now, why not then?
If I don’t share my painful experience within a certain time, should I be disqualified? I do not say anything or write anything to please anyone. Otherwise I would not have been thrown out of Bangladesh and West Bengal by the governments. I tell the truth. The liars and opportunists and hypocrites who never know what it means to risk life to tell the truth and pay a high price for it and live a life in exile forever will talk rubbish. I do not care.
Trinamool Congress is a close friend of Islamic fanatics who issued fatwas against me and set a price on my head. The government banned the launch of my book at the book fair (in Kolkata this January) to please the fanatics. And you think I expect this government to let me stay in West Bengal?
Those who say I want to please Trinamool are just a bunch of ignorant, immature idiots who know nothing about me.
When was the last time you spoke to Sunilda?
The last time I spoke to Sunilda was in November 2007 (when Kolkata witnessed violent protests by Muslim groups against Taslima). I was in my Rawdon Street apartment. He called me and said, ‘Taslima, you must leave Kolkata.’ I said, ‘Why should I leave Kolkata?’ Sunilda said, ‘We got news that a group of fanatics will kill you.’ I said, ‘I am not afraid of fanatics, if they want to kill me, they will kill me. I am not leaving the city. Kolkata is the city I love, if I have to die, I will die here.’ Sunilda was angry. That was the last conversation. After a few days, I was thrown out of West Bengal by the state govt.
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