Saturday, February 23, 2008

Nandigram, Taslima Nasreen and identity politics

The grim communalization of events at Calcutta has deflected and disoriented the issue of dispossession of peasants in proposed sezs the present neoliberal offensive and the process of recolonisation both the organized left and right are increasingly becoming susceptible to fringe and lunatic communal out fits of all denominations this should be seen in the context of the ghastly carnage of Gujarat in the year 2002 the ram Janmbhumi and ram setu controversy where the entire country is held hostage to the diabolical designs of the Hindu fasict forces led by the sangh parivar while the trauma of communal violence can be traced back to the partition with a long string of communal violence from Jabbalpur,Tatanagar,Bhagalpur, Varanasi, Meerut Bombay and so on the politics of fascist rabid hindutva politics is obvious this however doesn't exonerate the soft hindutva politics of congress giving issues to the sangh parivar on a platter. The nandigram issue was about the dispossession of peasants and in the subsequent events the human rights violation the burning of houses sexual assaults on women and so on and these were very serious issues and demanded serious attention,the all India minority forum by demanding the expulsion of Taslima from Calcutta has put the issue of neoliberal depredations and resulting dispossession of peasantry on the back burner severely deflecting the bread and butter issues of the toiling workers and peasants by communalizing the issue and seriously curtailing the burning issue of gender justice and right to expression in South Asia.

Without falling in to the trap of Islamophobia and the discourse of so called one sided war on terror by US imperialism and it's NATO allies. One should seriously look at the issue of gender oppression in minority communities and rights to expression etc in South Asia. This should be looked in the context of the incompleteness of democratic tasks and incomplete and fractured modernity in third world societies where the ruling elites have seriously compromised with medieval, obscurantist, parochial, Brahminical, and revivalist feudal forces on the other hand opening of the countries for imperialist loot.

It is really unfortunate that comrade Biman Bose asking Taslima Nasreen to leave Calcutta though he reformulated his statement a day later. This is like playing in to the hand of revivalist, obscurantists , muslim fundamentalist forces .the case of Taslima Nasreen is not only the issue of right to expression but the entire gamut gender justice in south asia. Taslima Nasreen has been articulating the issue of medival oppression and centuries of suffering of Muslim women in Bangladesh & south asia and she has been hounded out of her own country. It is incumbent on the progressive democratic forces and especially the women's movement in this country to stand by her and demand that the government of India provides her residence and protection. The entire Taslima episode has to seen in the light of Muslim women in the country loosing their grounds vis-à-vis the long pending gender justice and equal rights. Both the congress and the BJP have played a dirty game to deny democratic rights to Muslim women communalising the issue and indulging in to the vote bank politics. Rajiv Gandhi seriously curtailed the rights of the Muslim women in the wake of the Shah bano judgment of supreme court by passing the Muslim women's bill playing in to the hands of Muslim fundamentalist thus rolling back the issue of gender justice in Muslim societies by decades. It has become a tough battle now.

The BJP in equally opportunist communal stance has tried always to fish in the troubled waters by demanding uniform civil code and now demanding citizenship rights for Taslima Nasreen on the other hand it shamelessly demand the expulsion of poor Bangladeshi workers and terrorizing the entire Muslim community in the country in to the second class citizenship and keeping them in the state of perpetual fear and insecurity. It is needless to repeat the horrifying tales of rape and murder in the communal riots the hands of sangh parivar is dripping with blood of innocent Muslim man. Women and children. The gruesome blood bath in Gujarat 2002 is the blackest spot in post independent India which has forced us to hang out heads in shame. As a whole muslims are oppressed as a community we should fight for their rights but we should also protest against the oppression of muslim women within the community and win over the broad muslim masses from the influence of the oppressive retrograde clergy.

It is high time the progressive ,democratic and the women's movement in India to look at the Taslima Nasreen incident and the issue of gender justice of muslim women in right earnest. In this context one should properly look at the issue of minority and majority communalism in proper perspective. Both minority communalism and majority communalism are two sides of the same coin. they seek to role back all the achievements of democratic movement and represent absolutely oppressive medieval , revivalist ,obscurantist , parochial forces wanting to recreate medieval barbarism and slavery. Both Hindu and Muslim talibanism are extremely anti women and anti democratic.

In the light of the above we should look at identity politics in proper perspective, their are identities and identities: caste, gender, religious, national, racial , sexual orientation and so on. Some are oppressed, some are oppressors. There is democratic content in the liberation struggles of the oppressed identities like women, dalits , gays and lesbians , ethnic religious and linguistic and national minorities and they should be firmly supported by the progressive and democratic movement while opposing the fascist identity politics of hindutva represented by the sangh parivar , nazism, Zionism, white racism homophobia and so on.

Therefore we appeal to all the progressive, democratic and women's organizations to stand by Taslima Nasreen and the struggle for equal rights of muslim women in south asia and give a decisive rebuff to obscurantist, revivalist , Brahmin cal , communal, medieval feudal forces . We request you to write to the prime minister, home minister, minister of external affairs to give Taslima Indian citizenship.The west Bengal chief minister to welcome back Taslima in Calcutta and give her full protection. If possible please organise protest programmes in her support and fwd this appeal to your friends & activist groups.

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