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Book Review: Lajja by Taslima Nasrin

Lajja by Taslima Nasrin is a moving story that deals with the bitter reality when the people of any country have to face perils of riots or communal hatred. The story unfolds a Hindu family’s position and privation among a riot-torn city in Bangladesh. The writer has dutifully covered the traumatizing incidents and the hatred that unexpectedly comes out of communal harmony and force people to leave their own country.

In the aftermath of Babri Masjid collision, riots break out in Bangladesh, in protest of that act the Muslim population of that country beats and forces Non-Muslim population to leave the country. The story is based on true incidences and has an added fictional touch to make it more effective and real. A Hindu family, before the riots, is a well-settled family among the Muslim society. 

However, when the riots break out they too face the heat but refuse to leave the country as they had also contributed in the independence of Bangladesh. So, in this notion, they consider Bangladesh their own country, which is legal also to very high degree. But the burning sensation and hatred in other population to throw them out was greater than the patriotic feeling. And surprisingly, the incident had taken place in India, in the neighboring country, but the effects were beyond the borders. The family with its persistence applying all the time remains adamant on its decision but one day a dearest daughter from their family got kidnapped and succumbed to the status of never to be found, and that breaks their rigid layer and the head of the family decides to migrate to India to avoid further toll on the future generation of his family.

Indeed, the book is set on humanitarian compassion; dirty politics and communal riots can be so devastating can be very much felt through the tone of this book.

This book was written against the spirit of Muslims of Bangladesh. So as consequences, the writer Taslima Nasrin endured many assaults on herself; and was made to leave her own country.  That was the price she paid for penning down such a gripping and reality telling novel.


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