India has denied me shelter, says Taslima in exile
Posted on: 12:00 PM IST Jan 05, 2009
London: Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen has refused to scotch reports that she is about to settle down in Paris, saying repeated denials of shelter by New Delhi and Dhaka means she has to find some other place to live in.
"I have to settle somewhere if I am repeatedly denied by the Bangladesh government as well as Indian government to live in Bangladesh or India where I belong," Nasreen said in written comments to IANS.
But wherever she lived Bengal would remain her home, said the writer who had to leave Bangladesh and then India because of protests by Islamic fundamentalists over her feminist writings.
"I am grateful to those countries who have offered shelter when I am homeless everywhere.
"But wherever I live, I will always wait to return home. Bengal is my home," said the writer, who has seen successive governments in Dhaka, Kolkata and New Delhi buckle under pressure from Islamic fundamentalists. She moved to Sweden from New Delhi in March last year.
Nasreen has always found a warm welcome in Europe and the Paris mayor's office said Saturday it has decided to provide her with a rent-free apartment in the French capital.
A spokesman said the writer asked the city for help after being made an honorary citizen, adding she will move into a former convent-turned-artists' residence in February.
Nasreen still faces death threats from Islamic fundamentalist groups who were incensed by the depiction in her novel Lajja (Shame) of the persecution of a Hindu family in Bangladesh.