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Bangladesh political changes cosmetic: Taslima

Nasrin says that the changes were temporary and parties that used Islam to serve their own interests were likely to rule the country, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.

delhi Updated: Apr 22, 2007 03:31 IST

Author Taslima Nasrin, living in exile from her country of origin Bangladesh for more than a decade, has said the current political changes Bangladesh was experiencing were cosmetic and the same old pro-fundamentalist parties would come back to power in the future.

Nasrin said the changes were temporary and parties that used Islam to serve their own interests were likely to rule the country. ``I think this (the changes) is temporary. I would like to think this is the beginning of a change. But who would come to power? The same old political parties who are pro-fundamentalist, who use Islam for their own interests to get votes from the ignorant masses,’’ Nasrin told Karan Thapar in the CNN-IBN programme 'Devils' Advocate'.

She said that nothing short of a revolution was needed in Bangladesh.

The firebrand author, whose book `lajja’ and its anti-Islamic content, had triggered furore and threats in Bangladesh, also criticised the Indian government for denying her citizenship and extending her visa by only six months each time.

``I am unhappy with the way I have been treated by the Indian government,’’ Nasrin said It has become a political issue,’’ the author, who lives in exile in Calcutta, added.

``I was persecuted in my country. I had to live in exile for more than 12 years. My language is Bengali and I love to live in Bengal. I love to live in India. It will only be humane to allow me to live in India,’’ she said.

``But I live in tension. Anytime I may have to leave this country. Where would I go?’’ she asked, and added that her efforts to meet with West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to press her case have been in vain. ``It is impossible,’’ she said.

Sticking to her critique of Islam, Nasrin, said, ``There is no equality between man and woman in marriage, divorce, child custody and inheritance in Islam.’’

She, however, said it was not just Islam that she had a problem with. ``I criticise Islam and I also criticise Christianity, Judaism. I criticise Hinduism because women are oppressed by all religions.’’

Nasrin said, ``Religion itself is against women. It's not only the fundamentalists. Religion was actually created by men for their own interests.’’

First Published: Apr 22, 2007 03:30 IST