Book – Lajja (Shame) by Taslima Nasrin. Translated from Bangali by Tutul Gupta.
Ratings – 5/5
Author Taslima Nasrin wrote this book in just seven days. This book is a brutal and honest description of what religious extremism can cause if not controlled. The story is full of true incidents and facts which actually happened in Bangladesh in the form of conversation among the characters.
The violence which raged there legit broke my heart! In fact, that would be an understatement. It made me cry. Especially the last final pages of the book made me questions the existence of religion, humans – women and men to be precise. How can humans be so inhuman towards their own fellow human!? And how brave is Taslima Nasrin who wrote this novel and went on to publish it with a firm stand even after she had received death threats for this work of her’s.
I can’t even imagine what people might have gone through when they saw their house being looted, set on fire. When they saw their wife and daughters being kidnapped and raped on the name of religious revenge.
How people might have spent restless nights with a hope that their kidnapped daughter would come home some day and that they would not kill her atleast. If only that could happen.
The book was published in 1993 in Bangladesh and sold over 60,000 copies before it got banned by government for the reasons being that it led to ‘violation’ and that it was disturbing communal peace.
Few quotes from the book –
• It is said that peace is the basic tenet of all religion. Yet it is in the name of religion that there has been so much disturbance, bloodshed and persecution. It is indeed a pity that even at the close of the twentieth century we’ve had to witness such atrocities because of religion. Flying the flag of religion has always proved the easiest way to crush to nothingness human beings as well as the spirit of humanity.
• Let humanity be the other name for religion.