Dhaka, Feb 1 (bdnews24.com) – Kolkata Book Fair cancelled the release of Taslima Nasreen’s latest book, Nirbashan, which was scheduled at 3 pm Tuesday.
The organisers of the fair, Publishers and Booksellers Guild, telephoned the publisher to cancel the auditorium booking, The Times of India said.
“We were told that since the Kolkata Literary Meet ended late last night, the hall could not be prepared for our programme. But unofficially we have been told that since the book is Taslima’s, and she is a banned author, it was blacked out,” said Shibani Mukherjee, the publisher.
The book was, however, released at the stall a little while later by the publisher, ignoring the “insult meted out to us by the Guild.”
The book was released by author Nabarun Bhattacharya, son of Mahasweta Devi. Among the others present were writer Ranjan Bandopadhyay and human rights activist Sujato Bhadra.
Immediately after the release, a group of activists belonging to the All India Minority Forum marched to the spot and started protesting against the release. A heated altercation took place between the publishers of the book and the demonstrators.
“Nasrin has written against Islam repeatedly. She is doing this at the insistence of the US. She will not be allowed here. We are upset that her publisher has ceremoniously organised release of her book. Such ceremony has been deliberately organised to insult our community,” Abdul Aziz, a spokesperson for the forum, was quoted as saying by the paper.
The Guild clarified its stand in the evening by saying that it had taken the decision to cancel the release firstly because the hall was not ready and also because the release might have affected security of the thousands of visitors at the fair, The Times of India added.