Controversial Bangladeshi writer and women activist, Taslima Nasreen, who has been in exile in India for past 12 years, was in Kerala on a four-day holiday and to release four of her books, which were translated into Malayalam by Kerala Sahitya Academy. Speaking to the Press at Thiruvananthapuram and at the release function of four of her books including Lajja (the controversial book that speaks of the sufferings of Hindu families in Bangladesh), Taslima said that Islamic terrorism is a stupidity and madrasas are a breeding ground of Islamic terrorism. She continues that a secular nation like India should have common civil code to ensure equality and justice for women. ?State should be separated from religion. Democracy and religious laws do not go side-by-side. Democracy means democracy for everybody. Education in India should be secular and state should do away with madrasa education?, she said.
Speaking on her country, she said the situation there has worsened, since her leaving 12 years before, and women there are oppressed inhumanly. She said in all Islamic countries women have no personal choice and for centuries they have been treated as sexual and child-bearing objects.
Taslima, who visited Malayali writer Kamala Surayya (earlier Madhavikutty), said she regretted having converted to Islam since it does not give equality to women. Taslima wanted her to return back to Hinduism.
Taslima'svisit to Kerala drew strong opposition from the Kerala Jamaath Council, which controls all the mosques in the state. It sent letters to the Chief Minister V.S. Atchudanandan and Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, asking them to withdraw the security provided to her and to send her back to Kolkata where she is residing. But strong police presence at all the venues of her functions acted as a deterrent to the Islamic fundamentalists.