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.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Lajja by Taslima Nasrin. Lajja: Shame by Taslima Nasrin ,. Tutul Gupta Translator.
The Duttas - Sudhamoy, Kironmoyee, and their two children, Suranjan and Maya - have lived in Bangladesh all their lives. Despite being part of the country's small Hindu community, that is terrorized at every opportunity by Muslim fundamentalists, they refuse to leave their country, as most of their friends and relatives have done. Sudhamoy, an atheist, believes with a naiv The Duttas - Sudhamoy, Kironmoyee, and their two children, Suranjan and Maya - have lived in Bangladesh all their lives.
Sudhamoy, an atheist, believes with a naive mix of optimism and idealism that his motherland will not let him down The world condemns the incident but its fallout is felt most acutely in Bangladesh, where Muslim mobs begin to seek out and attack the Hindus The nightmare inevitably arrives at the Duttas' doorstep - and their world begins to fall apart. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published by Penguin first published More Details Original Title.
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Nov 16, Sidharth Vardhan rated it really liked it Shelves: banned-challenged , asia , myth-religion , woman-authors , questioning-norms. 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.
Hindus don't get licences to start business except when it is in a partnership with a Muslim. 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. Nasrin's characters realize that powerful will always oppress the weak — the men will oppress the women, the majority religion people will oppress the minorities, the rich will oppress the poor and so on. 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. Regarding disputed land, I've always believed like Suranjan that all religious places should be destroyed and houses for poor, orphanages, hospitals, schools etc- in short something actually useful should be built in their place, and if you have enough land for that already, sell the land and use the money for charitable purposes but am against destruction of worshipping place of one religion for building that of other.
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? Holy Grail wouldn't have been half as interesting if Jesus had drunk water from it - and what kind of rest you think God was having on seventh day? He obviously didnt go to church.
Almost all Sufi poets talk about wine; and what do you think that 'somras' that Hindu dieties loved drinking so much was? 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.
There are other benifits too, including the fact that making confessions are so far easier if you are drunk - and chances are if you are frequently drunk, you will have something real to confess about; wine comes in many brands and chances are you will like one brand or other and so it is far more attractive religion and above all, all religions offer their Utopias otherwise called 'heavens' or 'paradise' only after death - I mean it's a life time of wait; and even that with a lot of stipulations as to what you can or can not do meanwhile; and they will give you a hell of time if you fail to fulfil them.
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. View all 6 comments. Feb 21, Aishu Rehman rated it it was ok.
A devastating account of the demolition of Babri Masjid in India and its inhumane reverberations in the lives of millions of Hindus in Bangladesh. What begins as a slow paced story spirals into a heartbraking account once the violence hits the protagonist and his family. Dec 09, Elsa Rajan Pradhananga rated it really liked it Shelves: other-south-east-asian. In , East Pakistan was liberated from West Pakistan at the cost of millions of lives and Bangladesh was founded based on the principles of nationalism, secularism, democracy and socialism.
But when power returned to fundamentalists the democracy had become too weak to arrest the spread of communalism and in , Islam was declared the national religion of Bangladesh.
Fearing religious persecution, genocide and communalism, Bangladeshi Hindus fled to India in hoards and those that chose to s In , East Pakistan was liberated from West Pakistan at the cost of millions of lives and Bangladesh was founded based on the principles of nationalism, secularism, democracy and socialism. Fearing religious persecution, genocide and communalism, Bangladeshi Hindus fled to India in hoards and those that chose to stay back, gave up the practice of wearing religious symbols like shankha bangles, sindoor and dhuti that could give them away.
This led to riots that spread across various Indian cities like Mumbai, Surat, Ahmedabad, Kanpur, Delhi and Bhopal and reverberations were felt in Bangladesh where Hindus bore the brunt. Suranjan shared the optimism of his father Dr. Nilanjana — the daughter of the family was practical but emotionally bound to her family. Immediately following the demolition of the Babari Masjid, religious fanaticism exploded out of control in Bangladsesh. Hundreds of temples and monasteries were razed to the ground, homes and businesses looted and incinerated, women raped and several people killed.
These have been tastelessly listed out by random characters in the novel or enumerated as bullet points throughout the book. Lajja is indeed a documentation of collective defeat and portrays the incomprehensiveness of religious extremism, mob mentality and heinous crimes men are capable of inflicting on each other. It is said that peace is the basic tenet of all religion. Yet it is in the name of religion that there has been so much disturbance, bloodshed and persecution.
I did not criticise Islam in 'Lajja': Taslima Nasrin
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Taslima Nasrin wrote Lajja, previously translated as Shame, in , after four novels and several collections of poetry and essays. By the time it came out, she was well-known in her homeland, Bangladesh, for her strong views against patriarchy and religious bigotry, expressed in a popular newspaper column, though it was Lajja that changed her life dramatically. The novel, initially conceived as a documentary, was banned in Bangladesh. It earned her a bounty on her head from Islamic fundamentalists, forced her to flee the country, and turned her into an international icon for human rights as well as one of the most controversial literary figures from the subcontinent.
Book Review | Lajja
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.