(Writer, secular humanist,physician, feminist and activist)
(25 August, 1962 – Present)
A BIOGRAPHY OF TASLIMA NASRIN
Taslima Nasrin (1962 – Present) is a Bangladeshi-Swedish writer, physician, feminist, secular humanist, and activist. She has written extensively against violence against women. She has also written and criticized a lot about religion which has resulted in some of his books being banned in Bangladesh.
In the early 1990s, she wrote essays and novels on feminist perspectives. That’s why she became popular with everyone. She described all of these as “misogynistic” religions. She has been expelled from Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal. Her exile began in 1994. She has lived a long time in Europe and the United States. She then stayed in India on a multiple-entry or “X” visa in 2004 but was deported from India in 2008. She now lives in New Delhi, India.
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Place of Birth: Mymensingh, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)
Nationality: Bangladeshi, Swedish, Indian
Mymensingh Medical College
Father: Dr. Rajab Ali
Mother: Edul Ara
Marital Status: Divorced
Forashi Premik (French Lover), 2002
Oporpokkho (The Opponent), 1992
Beshorom (Shameless), 2019
Nirbashito Narir Kobita (Poems From Exile), 1996
Atole ontorin (Captive in the Abyss), 1991
Balikar Gollachut (Game of the Girls), 1992
Golpo (stories), 2018
Jolpodyo (Waterlilies), 2000
Bondini (Prisoner), 2008
Khali Khali Lage (Feeling Empty), 2004
Kicchukhan Thako (Stay for a While), 2005
Amar Kichu Jay Ashe Ne (I Couldn’t Care Less), 1990
Shikore Bipul Khudha (Hunger in the Roots), 1982
Awards, Honours, and Achievements:
Sakharov Prize (1994)
Human Rights Award (1994)
Edict of Nantes Prize (1994)
Kurt Tucholsky Prize (1994)
Honorary citizenship from Esch, Luxembourg (2011)
Honorary doctorate, 2011
Feminist Press award, 2009Academy Award, 2013
Age (as of 2021): 59 Years
Early Life and Education:
Taslima Nasrin was born in 1962 in Mymensingh into a respective Muslim Family. She passed SSC in 1976 and HSC in 1978. She studied Medicine at the Mymensingh Medical College and graduated in 1984. Her first poetry is “Shenjuti”. After her graduation, she worked at a family planning clinic (Mymensingh). During her study time, she saw many girls being raped. She also saw that if someone had a daughter, their family would cry. At one point she became an atheist.
It was through writing poetry that her literary career began. Her poetry became so popular that between 1982 and 1993, half a dozen collections of poetry were published. She has written several articles and novels about a Hindu family being attacked by Muslim fanatics and deciding to leave the country. She has to endure a lot of physical and mental torture for criticizing Islam and demanding equal rights for women. For all this reason, it was decided to hang her. In October 1993, a council of Islamic soldiers provided a grant for her death. She had to face criticism from Islamic fundamentals for making inflammatory statements. After so many things happened, she was in hiding for 2 months. At the end of 1994, she fled to Sweden and stopped her medical practice, and began writing.
Life in exile:
After feeling Bangladesh, she spent the next ten years in Sweden, Germany, France, and the United States. She lived in Kolkata, India from 2004 to 2007. She is under house arrest in Kolkata after being physically assaulted by her opponents in Hyderabad and she moved to West Bengal on 22 November 2007. Then she left Bangladesh at the end of 1994 and lived in Western Europe and North America for ten years. She took refuge in Germany after the Swedish government granted her citizenship. She waited for six years to get an Indian visa. She was not given a Bangladeshi passport even when her mother and father were on their deathbed. The Indian government extended her visa but refused to grant her citizenship. While living in Kolkata, she regularly contributed to the Anandabazar and Indian newspapers and magazines. On 9 August 2007, Nasrin was on her way to Hyderabad to present a Telugu translation of the novel “Shodh” when she was attacked by a mob led by legislators from the Indian political party Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen. In January 2008, she was nominated for the Simone de Beauvoir Prize in Paris for her work on women’s rights but refused to go to Paris because she wanted to fight for independence from India. She was deported from India on 19 March 2008.
Nasrin started writing poetry when she was 13 years old. While she was in college in Mymensingh, she published a literary magazine (1978-1983), Senjuti (“Light in the Dark”). Her first collection of poems was published in 1986 and her second in 1989. Her column attracted a large readership in the early 1970s. In 1990, her novel became very popular. She has written more than 30 books on poetry, essays, novels, short stories, and memories. She has contributed a lot to the weekly political newspaper published in Dhaka in 1989. In 1992, she won the Ananda Award, a prestigious award for Bengali writers. While in Kolkata, she wrote a weekly article in the Bengali edition of the statesman called daily Statesman. Taslima used to write articles for The Print, an online media enterprise from India. Two of her novels, written in 1992, failed to grab people’s attention. In 1993, her famous novel “Lajja” was published. This novel sold 50,000 copies in just six months. Another of her famous novels, French Lover, was published in 2002. She was banned by the Bangladesh government in 1999 for her reckless remarks against Islam and the prophet Mohammad, the first part of her memoir, My Girlhood (My Girlhood, 2002). The second part of her memoir “Utal Hawa” (Wild Wind) was also banned by the Bangladesh government in 2002. In 2003, the third part of her memoir, “Ka”(Speak Up), was banned by the Bangladeshi High Court.
Nasrin’s life and works in adaption:
In 2006, there was a TV serial called Jhumur based on a story. Famous singers like Fakir Alamgir, Samina Nabi, and Rakhi Sen have sung her songs. In 1997, Steve Lacy, jazz soprano saxophonist met Nasrin and helped her transform her poetry into music. The recitations that Nasrin used to perform during the performance were dropped in 1997 after the Berlin World Premiere due to security concerns.
Writers and intellectuals for and against Nasrin:
Writers and intellectuals from Bangladesh and West Bengal have criticized Nasrin for making “offensive, false and ridiculous” remarks in her famous novel Ka. Bangladeshi poet and novelist Syed Shamsul Haque filed a defamation suit against Nasrin in 2003, saying she had an affair with her brother-in-law. As a result, her book was rejected by the High Court and a 4 million defamation suit was filed against her. In 2003, the West Bengal government decided to ban her books. Nasrin mentions that she did it to gain fame and to write about her life story. Despite all this, Nasrin Annada, Shankar Roy, Shivnarayan Roy, and Amlan Dutt supported her. She is currently protected by writer Mahasweta Devi, theater director Vibhas Chakraborty, poet Joy Goswami, artist Prakash Karmakar, and Paritosh Sen.
She is currently a member of the Emeritus Board of Reporters Without Borders (RWB).
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