While she studied and practised medicine, she saw girls who had been raped; she also heard women cry out in despair in the delivery room if their baby was a girl. Hundreds of thousands fanatics took to the streets demanding her execution by hanging. In October , a radical fundamentalist group called the Council of Islamic Soldiers offered a bounty for her death. A few hundred thousand demonstrators called her "an apostate appointed by imperial forces to vilify Islam"; a member of a "militant faction threatened to set loose thousands of poisonous snakes in the capital unless she was executed. She returned to the East and relocated to Kolkata, India, in , where she lived until
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Start your review of Lajja: Shame Write a review Shelves: questioning-norms , asia , woman-authors , myth-religion , banned-challenged A state with a national religion can easily become a religious state.
This book has been given by Bangladesh government the highest honor that any government can ever give to any book a ban. The book follows the story of one Sudhamay and his children Suranjan and Maya. The father and son have both been involved in nationalistic movements of Bangladesh and believe in their country. All his life, he has compromised on his religious identity for sake of national identity. The novel follows the disillusionment of this father and son about their country.
What was born as a secular state has a Department of Religion which has a heavy budget almost all of which goes to promotion of Islam. A very nominal sum is allotted for minority religions — in fact four times that sum goes only to rehabilitation of those who chose to converted to Islam.
The schools have special Islamic classes which makes minority kids feel alienated. There is discrimination in job allocation with almost no Hindus ever making to upper steps of hierarchical ladder. There are several other ways in which the Hindus are discriminated, and both were aware of them, but if you are emotionally invested in some belief you hold on to it against much contrary evidence.
To be fair, such discrimination is present in some degree in most of Indian subcontinent countries. The book is set in the back-drop of riots that followed demolition of Babri Masjid. She often gives the death toll of riots in India. And that goes for Bangladeshi spades too - again questioning the communal party who was causing riots and secular ruling party which had maintained silence. Obviously it was Hindus in India and not Bangladesh who were guilty of destroying mosque, but it has always been a tendency of weak minds to carry out their anger not on those who they are angry at, but on those on whom they can afford to be angry at.
There are countless examples - instead of questioning powerful business-people and politicians for not raising wages and jobs, people would rather blame minorities, immigrants and reservation quotas; instead of being angry at police for not providing protection, people will rather blame the women who got raped for being out in the middle of night etc.
And so, Bangladeshi Hindus had to suffer - destruction of temples, riots, murders, rapes, forced conversations, black-mail about leaving the country etc. The book sometimes reads like fictionalized non-fiction with arguments and information being the key subject of book and story only getting the second seat. Almost half the book goes to listing every incidence of riot that ever occurred in Bangladesh — naming city and number of people killed, women raped and temples destroyed there.
She also lists at least some incidences of India. These longs lists although effective initially in giving the sheer volume of violence, soon gets a bit boring and even skim-able. Another problem is that this incidences are being mentally listed by characters in their mind and orally recited to each-other, as if they have crammed all this information like news channels reporters do.
But that is the problem, the information is not even being broadcast-ed on television — they just seems to know about incidences occurring in distant cities by intuition. It is a minor thing but it keeps occurring again and again. Similarly Surnajan seems to remember sayings of Jinnah and Kalam okay as well as the constitution along with the many amendments that have gone in it not okay. It would have made more sense if the omniscient narrator herself had shared the information and arguments directly instead of giving her characters hard-disk memories.
Although I also had an Uncle who had another attractive, practical and secular idea as to what should be done to disputed land and if you were to extend the idea a little, it will solve all religious problems at once - his idea was to build a pub in that place, and both Hindus and Muslims would drink in the pub in complete communal harmony. I would rather make Alcohalism the sole religion for the whole world We shall baptise at age of five - by feeding the kid half a glass of Jack Martin, it will still be better than all the funny things religious people keep doing to their children.
And if you consider it blasphemous, just look at evidence - Christ turned water into wine and gaveth it to people - I mean what does that tell you? He obviously didnt go to church. Why, friends, it was just your every day Blenders Pride brewed with a lot of sugar at initial stages to give it a sweet taste. And Greeks and Romans actually had Gods of wine - Dionysus and Bacchus; who can easily serve for those into idol worship.
Admit it, it is that one God that every religion worship - and being a deeply pious soul myself, it kills me to see how so many people miss the obvious truth. Alcoholism is only religion that provides services of instant Utopia for price of a few bucks and a bit of hangover.
And so, if you are wise enough to adhere my summons, then it is high time we replace priests with bartenders.
Lajja By Taslima Nasrin