Delivered at the Women in Secularism III conference on May 17, 2014.
Taslima Nasrin is an award-winning writer, physician, secular humanist and human rights activist known for her powerful writings on women’s oppression and unflinching criticism of religion, despite forced exile and multiple fatwas calling for her death.
In India, Bangladesh and abroad, Nasrin’s fiction, nonfiction, poetry and memoir have topped best-seller’s list. Born in Bangladesh, she is recipient of several awards for her human rights activism, including honorary citizenships with several major world cities, and honorary doctorates from great universities. She has been granted research fellowships at Harvard and New York Universities, as well as a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship in 2009.
Taslima has written 35 books in Bengali, which include poetry, essays, novels and an autobiographical series. Her works have been translated in thirty languages. Some of her books are banned in Bangladesh, and because of her ideas she has been blacklisted and banished from Bengal, both from Bangladesh and West Bengal part of India. She has been prevented by the authorities from returning to her country since 1994, and to West Bengal since 2007.