AISA Protests at Allahabad In Favour of Freedom of Expression

- Mrityunjay    

The AIPWA issued a statement condemning the attack by MIM MLAs in Hyderabad on writer Taslima Nasreen. AIPWA demanded that the UPA Government stop delaying the process of granting citizenship to Taslima Nasreen. Kumudini Pati, General Secretary of AIPWA said that the shameful ban imposed on Taslima’s novel Dwikhandita by the CPI(M)-led West Bengal Government emboldened anti-woman forces to attack Taslima and her work. Taslima’s writings were not against a particular religion – they are against the hypocrisy and patriarchal double standards of all religions, she said.

The Women’s Advisory Board at Allahabad University had invited Taslima Nasreen to speak on her life and struggle on August 14. In anticipation, a fanatic group in the University had burnt her effigy on 10 August. AISA organised and led a citizens’ protest march in Allahabad University against the Hyderabad attack on Taslima. 250 people participated in this march –including students as well as teachers and intellectuals like Profs. Rajendra Kumar, Anita Gopesh, Ranjana Kakkad, Lalsa Yadav, Kalpana Dwivedi, Suryanarayan, Deepika Varghese, Anshu Malaviya and others. The March was followed by a Mass Meeting on the campus against the attacks on freedom of expression. When the fanatics held an abusive procession in reaction to the citizens’ protest, AISA also burnt an effigy representing patriarchy.

The VC of Allahabad University, who had originally declared that Taliban-like forces would not be allowed to disrupt Taslima’s programme, eventually cancelled the events citing security issues. AISA expressed protest against this craven act of allowing fundamentalist forces to silence freedom of expression in the University.