In the Oscar winning movie The Lives of Others that I had reviewed earlier, there is a scene where Grubitz, the Head of the Department of Culture, admiringly describes a student's thesis to Wiesler, a member of the Stasi. In his paper, the student postulated that there were five types of aritists in East Germany, and described the methods to effectively break each one of them. The playwright, Georg Dreyman, belongs to Type 4 or the "anthropocentric", contends Grubitz. Anthropocentric writers can be broken by committing them to isolation for eight months, with absolutely no human contact. Grubitz declares, "After which [Dreyman] will no longer have the ability to write."
Cowed down by the threats from the Islamists, the Government of India has placed the feminist writer, Taslima Nasreen, virtually under house arrest. I don't know what type Grubitz would have classified Taslima Nasreen into. And, I know next to nothing about her as a person. From the steps taken by the Government of India to break her, however, I believe that she is also Type 4, as Dreyman is. Reacting to her house arrest and isolation in India, Taslima asks:
"What have I done? Am I a criminal? Have I committed any crime? I cannot go back to Bangladesh they know. Now they want me to stay like a prisoner in a room without being able to meet anyone.
One Mr Amit Dasgupta from the Indian government met me recently and told me the government decision. I was asking when I could return to Kolkata because it is just impossible to live like this in a room. He told me I would not be allowed outdoor, nor visit anybody or be allowed to receive any visitor if I am to stay in India.
Can you tell me what do they want?"
As in Erich Hoenecker's East Germany, in secular, democratic India, too, they want the likes of Taslima Nasreen to have the freedom to choose. Either, life in exile, or death in silence.