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Through a tale of fiction surrounding an Indian family in Bangladesh, this controversial novel, Lajja (Hindi), deftly captures the far-reaching repercussions of religious extremism posed on Indian families in Bangladesh. It takes harshly on the venomous communal dogma that is a threat not only to secularism, but also to the very existence of humanity.
Summary Of The Book
In a plot based on the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid in India, Taslima Nasrin weaves a heart-wrenching story where a Bengali Hindu family living in Bangladesh is forced to re-evaluate their patriotism in order to save their precious lives. As the Bangladeshi Islamic radicals wage their war against resident Hindus, Sudhamoy and his wife, Kiranmayee, feel strongly for their homeland of Bangladesh, despite the terrors they face.
Their progressive son Suranjan tries hard to maintain his hopeful faith in the theory of nationalism, while his scared sister Maya wants to safely hide in a Muslim friend's home. All hell breaks loose on this family when Maya goes missing and they realize there is no way of finding her in the riot filled town. Sudhamoy is in for a disheartening disappointment as a devastated Suranjan resorts to violent communal reactions.
Subsequent turns in the story chronicle the events that made for a nasty historical incident and opens readers to horrifying truths about the torture, abuse and rape that paralyzed innocent people. The author enters the psyche of each character, trying to mirror the feelings of fear, paranoia and vengeance of a minority ethnic group that gets brutally ostracized for no fault of its own.
Originally written by Taslima in Bengali, Lajja (Hindi) was first published in the year 1993 and soon attracted a host of protests from Bangladeshi activists for its stance on certain Islamic principles. This led to the Government of Bangladesh banning the novel. Taslima even faced threats to her life and had to eventually leave the country. Despite all these disputes, Lajja sold 50,000 copies in 6 months and received critical acclaim from other parts of the world.
About Taslima Nasrin
Taslima Nasrin is a Bengali physician and a writer.
Oporpokkho, Bondini, Nimontron, Shorom and Balikar Gollachut are some of her other works.
Taslima Nasrin was born in Bangladesh's Mymensingh in 1962. She attended Mymensingh Medical College, where she studied general medicine. She was a practicing physician for a few years before she decided to become a full-time writer. Raised in a secular environment, Taslima inculcated aspects of secularism, atheism and feminism early in her writing career. Ever since she moved out of Bangladesh in 1994, she has lived in many countries and continued to promote freedom of thought, secularism, humanism, and women's rights. Her works have earned her fame and life threats alike. Ananda literary Award, Edict of Nantes Prize, Feminist Press Award and UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize are a few of the many international awards adorning her literary career. She holds an honorary citizenship of Paris and is a fellow of New York University. She presently lives in New Delhi, India, and conducts awareness lectures and campaigns.