What Taslima Nasreen thinks does not matter
Disclaimer: If your age is not suitable to consume adult jokes and abuses, please do not read this post. Do not recommend this post to those people.
Yesterday, Taslima Nasreen was scheduled to address a literary program in Kathmandu, Nepal. That’s when she tweeted,”My nepali friends, I missed my flight to go to Kathmandu today. I forgot to bring my passport as I didn’t consider Nepal a foreign country.”
It is the hallmark of South Asian population to be hypocritical. We are not comfortable with critical thinking. As long as somebody criticizes Islam, Hindus appreciate the “intellect” of that person, and start throwing stones as soon as the same “open-minded” person says something slightly unconventional about Hinduism. In Nepal, we also love people who criticize what we don’t like and start calling names as soon as somebody drops hints of being critical of our own prejudices. People of small countries have big egos. People of poor regions have rich prejudices. What Taslima Nasreen has faced for almost two-decades is a representative of this psychological trait we South Asians share.
This has been showed many times by the people of Nepal, India, Bangladesh and so on. Yesterday, after Nasreen’s tweet, there was a flurry of replies saying “how dare she not know about Nepal being an independent country.” But there were some tweets like this (by Editor Gunaraj Luitel) that showed agreement and sympathy to what Nasreen had said. I sent a few tweets too (more on that later) and moved on to other issues. Today morning, I found out that one twitter user (link might contain profanity) with no follower and no tweet used some foul words against Nasreen, citing which the writer decided to cancel her trip to Nepal (contains profanity). There were also some stupid reactions by news outlets like this which displayed their inferiority complex by writing what they wanted to hear: “she did not carry her passport thinking Nepal was part of India.”
In all this, I have a few thoughts I would like us to ponder about:
- Upon being booed, Taslima Nasreen’s defense of her original tweet was something like this: I consider all of the world as my home, and want to travel everywhere freely. This is a great ideal and I’d love to enjoy it too. But I am sure she did not forget to carry her passport while traveling from Sweden to India or elsewhere. Is her ideal like a summer-dress, or just a pretense to ward of critics? If you have lived your life criticizing others, might be a good idea to be tolerant to some.
- Passport is also an identification document, and if you have one, it is always good to carry. Unless you think you are too important and popular and would not need to produce any identification document. It helps avoid administrative hassles and unpleasant situations. That is a reason why many Indians and Nepalese carry their passports while traveling between India and Nepal, even though the people of two countries enjoy free travel into each others’ land.
- The organizers of the program she was attending or the people who had arranged the writer’s trip should have informed her of such things: that a passport is not only helpful, but also essential.
- The expression “I didn’t consider Nepal a foreign country” is more of an exposure of the size of Nasreen’s brain (pea or candy?) that she tries to hide by writing high sounding and irrelevant tweets on everything. Because she is so stupid as to remain unmindful of the political status of a country just 30 km away from her country of birth, she compensates by writing irrelevant and high-sounding tweets about almost anything. Just like small countries have big egos, small brains have the need to appear big and intelligent
Here is an example from earlier this year of how stupid Nasreen has become, riding the fame of her own success in stirring unnecessary controversies. Today, she is criticizing people for booing her about saying something carelessly about Nepal. In justification, she is tweeting intelligent sounding quotes and ideals. Let us look at this from July (don’t proceed if you don’t quality to consume locker room jokes):
On Father’s day, Chetan Bhagat, a celebrated Indian writer tweeted what he called an “engineering college hostel joke.” He later deleted the tweet, saying it was just a joke and asking for forgiveness.
Let’s look at how Ms. Nasreen reacted:
C’mon- Ms. Nasreen- I think your ideals need some servicing. You can’t even tolerate a stupid joke and your hands are always itching to write pseudo-intelligent opinion on everything. This is so hollow, you know. You are obsessed with yourself- it is not fashionable to criticize everything, unless you are a sad humanity-hating soul. Sometimes, you can be stupid and careless- it’s ok. And it doesn’t harm to issue a sincere and simple apology. If you can’t even do that, you can keep your mouth shut. But sorry might be too hard a word to say, especially if your brain is not capable of it. Peace.
My views about Taslima Nasreen:
I was in middle school while a family member was reading the book “Lajja” and explaining its subject to me. I also read parts of it and liked the writer Taslima Nasreen for her critical view of the religion and country she was brought up in. She had criticized the atrocities against Hindus in Bangladesh and lamented how the dream of a secular Bangladesh envisioned by its founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had been destroyed by the leaders of her society. Death threats were issued against her, leading to her exiled life in Europe and India. She has attracted many threats after being exiled too and sometimes angry crowd have disrupted her travel or public appearances in places like New York too. I’ve admired her bravery and courage to speak her mind.
She was literally driven away from her adopted home of Kolkata. Then, the Indian government protected her in New Delhi. She had to leave Delhi soon, and people in India frequently kept calling for an end to the government protection given to her. Controversy is not new to her, and maybe she has started to love it now.
Update: I’ve commented more of my views in two related posts on these blogs: Rant Bin and Chasing Zephyrus.