This is an extract of my February, 2012 blog titled Of Two Authors -One Condemned for Life Taslima continues to be an an enigma exile – derided, abused and in danger for life in her own country as well as in India, her adopted country. Jaipur Literary Festival (2012) missed Salman Rushdie who refused to come unless the government assured him safety, but forgot the writer who steadfastly lives in India despite the daily scare.Finding that spirit still aflame in her in the Twitter handle,@taslimanasreen that I accidentally came across, I thought a revisit of that part of the blog was called for.
Salman Rushdie wrote Satanic Verses ridiculing the core of Islamic beliefs - sanctity and perfection of their Prophet. Taslima Nasreen wrote Lajja, her shame in the happenings of her Country during a riot. Rushdie went into hiding when a fatwa for his murder was pronounced. . Nasreen was driven out of her country. Rushdie apologized and continued to sell his books. while basking in his new-found fame. Nasreen refused to apologize and continues to write about her travails.
Christopher Hitchens - journalist, writer, debater, Anti-thiesist (as against mere atheist) died of cancer three weeks ago - on 15th December, 2011. Vishu Menon admired Hitchens greatly, but also was hurt by his support for the senseless US war on Iraq.