Taslima Nasreen has left India or more precisely, has been forced out. She is said to be somewhere in Europe, her location kept secret for obvious reasons. To me personally it was never a question of if, but when she would leave this state that has failed miserably in everything that it professes to uphold democracy, secularism, and freedom of expression. A self-serving, weak-kneed government, has allowed itself to be browbeaten by a handful of fundamentalist thugs, who have chalked up an amazing victory over intellectuals, judges, writers, and concerned citizens from every sphere of life.
A chapter in Ms. Nasreen's life has ended. Another chapter in India's history has begun, which I am afraid, will be a tragic one, unless the script is changed miraculously somehow. Time to pay heed to the words of Kazi Nazrul Islam written at a different time, on a different crisis in the subcontinent:
The boat is trembling,
The water is swelling,
The sail is torn asunder,
And the boatman is losing his way,
Who will sit at the helm at this hour?
Who has the courage and the power?
The future calls you,
Come forward, all who are bold and true.
Kazi Nazrul Islam, Beware My Captain. In Bengali : Kandari hushiar, Translation: Kabir Chowdhury