Vijayawada, Nov 24 (UNI) As the controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen is being shuttled across the country by the authorities, the United National Progressive Alliance (UNPA) today said she should stop playing around with religion if she had to stay in the country.
Stopping short of asking Ms Nasreen to quit India, the UNPA leader and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah told newspersons that the Bangladeshi writer had criticised Islam and the Prophet which was unacceptable. They were speaking after a meeting of the leaders of regional outfits including Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh.
''The writer should apologise for what she had done. If she wants to indulge in whatever she has been doing she should go somewhere elese,'' he said in the presence of several former Chief Ministers including Mr N Chandrababu Naidu of the Telugu Desam, Mr Om Prakash Chautala of Indian National Lok Dal and Mr Babulal Marandi of Jharkhand Vikas Party.
India, Dr Abdullah said, had given her asylum and she had the responsibility to let the country live in peace and not play around with religion. She should stop the kind of utterances she had been indulging in, he added.
''Kolkata, the city where she lived, was in turmoil. She had to quit that city and God alone knew what would happen to the cities she would visit. Nobody has a right to criticise a religion and Taslima had only one running mate-- Salman Rushdie who too was in the hiding for what he had written against Islam,'' he said, adding that if she continued to meddle, the relationship with the religions would be hit.
Asked if Ms Nasreen should be given permission to stay in India or not, Dr Abdullah said it was for the Centre to decide.''Farooq Abdullah is not in power to decide,'' he remarked.
Mr Naidu said, ''We have to live peacefully and her kind of writings were not in the interest of peace. The UNPA was, however, not demanding cancellation of her visa.'' UNI