The book was first published in in Bengali and was subsequently banned in Bangladesh. Nasrin dedicated the book "to the people of the Indian subcontinent ," beginning the text with the words, "let another name for religion be humanism. Lajja is a response of Taslima Nasrin to anti-Hindu riots that erupted in parts of Bangladesh, soon after the demolition of Babri Masjid in India on 6 December The book subtly indicates that communal feelings were on the rise, the Hindu minority of Bangladesh was not fairly treated, and secularism was under shadow. The demolition has repercussions in Bangladesh.
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It all happened during December The Muslim fundamentalists of Bangladesh avenged the destruction of the Babri Masjid by attacking the blameless Hindus of Bangladesh, burning their homes, destroying their temples and shrines and raping Hindu women. I had protested this terrible violence in Lajja. Lajja is still banned in Bangladesh.
No one in Bangladesh has the strength to go to court against this ban. I have not criticized Islam in Lajja and the fatwa is not because of Lajja. The fatwa is because I have criticized Islam in many of my other books. Lajja has been translated into many languages and published in several countries. It is primarily a testament to the savagery of religions in the Indian subcontinent.
Religion drives people to madness, at which point they do not hesitate to abandon even basic humanity. Even today, the politics of religion does not allow the subcontinent to become civilized and its people to become truly educated.
Lajja can be seen as a symbol of protest. It is a protest against the violence, hatred and killings that are going on all over the world in the name of religion. Writers work to spread awareness amongst people through their books. People blinded by religion do not read and books are burnt by those who rule. And so, the incidents described in Lajja are repeated over and over again in Bangladesh. Lajja was written twenty-one years ago. Even now, Hindus in Bangladesh are being tortured and many come away to India because they feel insecure.
Those without shame do not want to see their societies change. Lajja will remain relevant as long as the incidents described in it continue to happen and as long as there is conflict between people of one religion and another. Lajja does not speak of religion, it speaks about humanity.
Lajja speaks not of hate but love. Lajja asks for equality, not discrimination. Lajja waits for a time of equality, empathy and freedom. Translated from the Bengali by Anchita Ghatak.
'Lajja' reminds Bangladesh that it failed to protect Hindus: Taslima Nasrin
Jump to navigation. The world becomes a checker-board of black and white, whereas most of us know it to be a snakes-and-ladders surface where one can arbitrarily be pulled down or given a leg-up. Of course, there are the literary exceptions, prime among them works by Koestler, Camus, Sartre. Nasreen's Lajja, finally available in translation, is not one such. As storytelling, it is weak: excessively rhetorical, simplistic in many ways, choosing to declare rather than evoke, lacking a narrative drive as powerful as the subject it tackles. Having said all that, Nasreen's controversial bestseller deserves our admiration.
Lajja: Shame | Taslima Nasrin | Book Review
History teaches us that religion has been one of the most compelling reasons behind many of the great wars, and a consequence of most religious wars is an exodus of natives who have been conquered. Driven away from their motherlands, and living as refugees in another country which they cannot call their own, the immigrants are probably the most affected people in any war. An independence that was earned at the cost of three million Bengali lives, proved that religion could not be the basis of a national identity. Language, culture, and history, on the other hand, were able to create the foundation on which to build a sense of nationality. The sensitivity of the facts and figures provided in the book led to its being banned in Bangladesh; a fatwa was issued against Taslima and a reward was offered for her death. She was forced to leave Bangladesh in and seek refuge in India. Lajja is the story of the Dutta family.
It all happened during December The Muslim fundamentalists of Bangladesh avenged the destruction of the Babri Masjid by attacking the blameless Hindus of Bangladesh, burning their homes, destroying their temples and shrines and raping Hindu women. I had protested this terrible violence in Lajja. Lajja is still banned in Bangladesh. No one in Bangladesh has the strength to go to court against this ban.