The way Taslima is being hounded by some religious extremists is a cause of concern. Every right thinking person is concerned about her safety. People are talking of freedom of expression, religious intolerance and violence associated with it.
I am all for freedom of expression and as people say it comes with a legal, social and moral responsibility. Freedom of expression, like ant other activity, is also governed by natural laws of action and reaction, or we can say cause and effect. If someone expresses an opinion he or she knows that it will certainly cause an effect. Taslima expressed her views in the form of a book. She is a Muslim. She knew what effect it will have on other Muslims. Likewise Hussain expressed his views in the form of paintings. He also knew what effect it will have on Hindus. Both these person were aware of the effect their actions will cause. Yet they went ahead claiming freedom of expression.
I am a Hindu and Hussain's paintings caused me hurt. Similarly Talima's book caused hurt to Muslims. Hindus and Muslims both reacted. The intensity of reaction might have been different but it sure caused hurt. And it can also not be said that Hindus were less hurt and Muslims were more hurt. Some self-styled intelectuals defended Huaaain and Taslime by invoking right of freedom of expression. Intensity of their defence was also different. They were very vocal for Hussain but not that vical for Talima. Reason is obvious. It is considered convenient and safe to take upon the hurt felt by Hindus.
Now an action has created a reaction. A cause has generated an effect. Both parties are responsible. But the primary responsibility rests with Hussain and Taslima who started this. Hussain has run away from India when a case was filed in court. Taslima has been hounded out of Bangladesh. Islamic extremists are out to kill her. WB Govt has surrendered before extremists. Central Govt is also in a fix. Her life is in danger.
Govt of India has a responsibility to ensure that she does not come to harm. It may have to take some harsh decisions. But the people should learn their lessons from these sorry happenings. One may be convinced that Taslima's writings, and Husain's paintings are expressions of genuine perspectives and sentiments -- and not motivated by malicious intentions, but they should also accept that both Hussain and Taslima knew that their actions will hurt others. On this point only both Ansal brothers have been sentenced to imprisonment in Uphaar tragedy case.
Religion teaches tolerance and forgiveness. Those hurt should follow their religious teachings in true spirit. Religion also teaches that one should not hurt others in body and mind. Taslima, Hussain and other people like them should follow this religious teaching in its true spirit. Both should forgive and forget. Let peace take over violence. Let love take over hate. We are all chlldren of God. One day we have to go to Him. Should we have blood of His children on our hands when we face Him.