With everything happening in India right now. This book seemed quite appealing. There are so many books about the holocaust and World War 2 in the Historical Fiction Genre but very few about the atrocities the other parts of the world has faced. I don’t know how to articulate this review well enough to convince you how important this book is in India Today let alone the world that doesn’t understand the basic fact that human life is more important than mere politics. This story will definitely hit you different if you’re an Indian.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
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 naive mix of optimism and idealism that his motherland will not let him down…
And then, on 6 December 1992, the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya in India is demolished by a mob of Hindu fundamentalists. 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
In 1992, a Hindu extremist group decided to demolish a Mosque in India. This historical fiction marks the aftermath that followed in Bangladesh . Today, the same group are lawmakers and we now witness similar chronological events that unfold in this book. Change of city names, destruction of religious places, lynching, and dehumanization towards the minorities of the country.
Lajja, Taslima Nasrin.
“Aggressive, crazed Hindus had broken the Babri Masjid and the Hindus of Bangladesh were expected to atone for the wrongs done by those people.”
Bangladesh had officially excluded secularism from its constitution when this took place. The country had already officially announced their national religion as Islam. This story is the unfortunate tragedies that followed carried out by Islamist fundamentalist on humans from a religion different from the mass.
Surprisingly,even they wanted the government to focus on real issues but all the government was bothered about was building more religious buildings for the majority.
“Let humanity be the other name for religion.”Lajja, Taslima Nasrin.
Some may read this and ignite their want for revenge on the atrocities that took place on their Hindu brothers while some may reiterate what it is we have to learn from history. And if you aren’t one of the latter..you may know how to read but sure do lack the skill of comprehension. Your humanity extends only to people that follow the same faith as you. The hate that boils in your heart doesn’t seek peace but craves to stain your own hands with blood in the name of religion. So how different are you than the people you claim to be evil.
Religious politics and its poisonous communal intent only serves hate and hate has caused a lot of problems in the world and it has not solved one yet. It is sad there are thousands of people even today that divide people in the name of religion and caste in India.
Overall, This book shows a much needed reflection on what has India become with its claims to have a National Religion like what Bangladesh and Pakistan did years ago. It shows what happens when democracy and secularism isn’t valued anymore. It shows India wouldn’t be any different if we too treat our minorities with injustice. It scares me the evil people do in the name of their holy religion. It scares me Indian Leaders are already on their way to destroy the India I am proud of.
Published: July 1st 1994
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Books