Dasmunsi asks Taslima to apologise

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Malda, Jan 6: Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi today said controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen should bow down and apologise with folded hands for hurting the sentiments of the Muslims in the country.

Talking to reporters here, he said, ''We are a pluralistic nation and we respect all religions. I love literature and I have nothing against her writings. However, that does not mean she can use her pen to insult and hurt the religious beliefs of any community. ''Bangladesh is a neighbouring country and neither the society nor the government can allow such controversial writing,'' he added.

''The comments made by her in the book in question was uncalled for and she should bow down before the people whose sentiments she has hurt and apologise before them and delete those pages from her book. We did not allow Salman Rushdie's book as it was controversial,'' he further maintained.

Asked if she should be allowed to return to West Bengal, he initially said ''I will not make any comment,'' and then took a dig at the CPI (M)-led Left Front government when he added, ''When the state government had welcomed her to Kolkata, they were under the impression that they were about to bring a high tide of progress in the state.'' ''It is their headache now,'' he reiterated.

But if Taslima has to stay in India or any other country, she has to honour and respect the philosophy and identity of that nation, he added.

UNI

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