Taslima,The Federal, English news website
Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen| Photo: Facebook

Differ with Nupur, Mahua; don’t bay for their blood: Taslima Nasreen amid 'Kaali' row

Even as the brickbats for ‘hurting religious sentiments’ have shifted from sacked BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma to Mahua Moitra for her recent views on Goddess Kali, Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen has supported both, saying anyone believing in freedom of expression would do the same irrespective of their disagreements with the speakers.

In a series of tweets, Nasreen said supporting someone’s views is completely different from supporting their freedom of expression, adding that violence was not a substitute for the latter.

Also read: Kaali poster row: Aga Khan Museum removes documentary presentation

“Supporting someone’s views and supporting someone’s right to express views are totally different things. I may not agree with people’s views, but I will always defend the right the express their views, including my enemy’s views,” she tweeted.

Moitra, an MP of Trinamool Congress, in her attempt to support filmmaker Leena Manimekalai whose film Kaali faced severe flak for showing the goddess to be smoking a cigarette, remarked that she views Kaali as a “meat-eating and alcohol-accepting goddess.”

Multiple cases have been filed against her while her party has distanced itself from Moitra’s comment.

Despite the criticisms and cases against her, Moitra has refused to back down from her comments.

In an interview with NDTV on Wednesday she said that the BJP was trying to “impose a monolithic, patriarchal, Brahminical, North India idea of my religion” and challenged the party to prove her wrong.

“I challenge the BJP to prove me wrong. Anywhere in Bengal where they file a case, there will be a Kali temple within 5 km where the goddess is worshipped thus,” she said.

Nupur Sharma’s controversial remarks on Prophet Muhammad too invited widespread public disgruntlement, letters of condemnation from Arab nations and a dressing down by the Supreme Court.

While the BJP leader has been receiving death threats, two people who had supported her views were killed in broad daylight by radical Islamists.

Also read: ‘India is sinking into dark hole of hate and bigotry’: Leena Manimekalai

“Violence is not freedom of expression. Putting a price on someone’s head is not freedom of expression. Asking people to go and kill someone is not freedom of expression,” Nasreen said in another tweet.

A much-controversial writer, Nasreen, author or Lajja, has been issued ‘fatwas’ multiple times for her views on Islamic traditions. She has been living in exile since 1994.

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