The West Bengal government will review Taslima Nasreen’s security in the wake of the attack on her in Hyderabad on Thursday.
Home Secretary Prasad Ranjan Roy also said her stay has been extended by six more months.
Meanwhile, the attack in Hyderabad has shocked the literary community here.
Theatre director Bibhas Chakraborty, who quit the Natya Akademi in protest against police action in Nandigram, said: “This has been a continuing affair. It happened in Baroda, when artists were attacked, and also in Kolkata, when the Imam of a city mosque declared a fatwa on Taslima, announcing hefty prize money for anyone who could put a garland of shoes around her neck.
“Whether fundamentalists are Hindu or Muslim, they have no right to attack a writer,” Chakraborty said.
Poet Sankha Ghosh said this indicated a dangerous trend.
“It is a rather worrying incident,” said Ghosh. The incident also outraged theatre director Bratya Basu, who said that fundamentalists have no “color”. “This incident shows that those who attack intellectuals fundamentalists for instance have no respect for anything. Who are they to determine what intellectuals can say or what they can’t? No one can set boundaries for writers,” said Basu.
Poet Nabaneeta Deb Sen said democracy and secularism has been shamed by the attack.
“I think it is extremely shameful for Indian democracy that an author should be attacked by a fundamentalist group. Also, India happens to be one of the nations with the largest population of Muslims,” she said.
However, the nature of fundamentalism is the same everywhere, said Deb Sen. “There are fundamentalists all over the world. They are present in Hyderabad as well as in West Bengal.
“How can one forget the fatwa against her? But I think she loves staying here,” she said. Kolkata’s Police Commissioner Prasun Mukherjee said the state government was ready to upgrade her security.
“I think she is safe in this city. However, I hope she refrains from making explosive comments,” said Mukherjee.