New Delhi: "Peace is far away," feels controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen and claims that she is a victim of religious, political and social 'fatwas'.
    
"Unfortunately, settlement is not for me. Banning, censorship continues. Not only religious fatwas, I became an unfortunate victim of political and social fatwas. Life is not easy and peace is far away," 49-year-old Nasreen, who is living in Delhi since June this year, said.
     
Since fleeing Bangladesh in 1994, she has lived at many places including Europe (1994 to 2004), Kolkata (2004 to 2007), Delhi, Sweden (2008) and then again Delhi as she did not get permission to go back to West Bengal.
   
She has almost given up all hope of going back to Bangladesh and wants to settle down in Kolkata which shares a common cultural heritage and language.
   
"I don’t know whether I will be able to go back to Kolkata. If (West Bengal Chief Minister) Mamata Banerjee allows me, I would love to go back to Kolkata. Kolkata was my home for years. I miss my happiness I had in Kolkata," said Nasreen, who became controversial for her views on Islam and of religion in general.
   
"I have been in many countries after leaving Bangladesh but Kolkata is the only place where my heart is. I share their language and culture while the West is totally different," the medical doctor-turned author, who 1993 novel 'Lajja' triggered strong reaction of religious groups, said.
   
Currently she is busy writing a book of poems and seventh edition of her memoirs. Her earlier works include 'Amar Meyebela'(1999), 'Utal Hawa' (2002), 'Dwikhondito' (2003), 'Sei Sob Andhokar' (2004), 'Ami Bhalo Nei, Tumi Bhalo Theke Priyo Desh' (2006) and 'Nei Kichu Nei' (2010). While many of her writings have been acclaimed for their candidness, a number of them have been banned in India and Bangladesh. Asked if she has given up all hope of going back to Bangladesh, Taslima said that she has "tried a lot but nothing happened".
   
"Bangladesh government, which ever political party forms the government, has been preventing me from going back to my country. It's more than 17 years. In the meantime, I have no other alternative but to consider India my home," she said.
   
"Whether it was Awami League or BNP or any interim government, all were against my freedom of expression. No government renewed my passport," she said.
   
When asked about the reasons behind it, she said people should ask this question to the politicians in Bangladesh.    

"All politicians believe if they allow me, they will lose popularity. Fundamentalists, religionists, misogynists... mean a lot to them," Taslima, a winner of many literary and human rights awards, said.
    
"Being honest to oneself is most important. There should not be any 'standard of writing' that writers must follow. Every writer should follow his or her own style with which he or she feels most comfortable," she said.
   
She refused to make any comment on Indian politics. She said she went to Ramlila Maidan during Anna Hazare's fast but refused to support or oppose the campaign.

(Agencies)