Shri Manohan Singh ji,
Hon. Prime Minister ofIndia
After years of wandering and suffering hatred and rage of fanatics who never forgive a woman for being free and for saying so, Taslima Nasrin, a Bengali writer, found refuge in India and simultaneously rediscovered the pleasure of living in a country
Where she could be read in her language.
Despite the fact that tens of thousands of enraged people called for her head and burned her effigies, our Free and Secular country protected her against death and intimidation and this bounteous gesture was expected from our country being the champion of Human Rights and protector of freedom of thought and expression. This act of the Government of India was well appreciated by the Civil Rights activists around the world.
It has come to our notice that the Indian visa given to Taslima is going to be expire on the 17th of August, 2010, and the highest authorities have apparently taken the decision not to extend the same under the pressure from religious fanatics. This apprehension, if correct, boils down to vindicating the religious fanatics and punishing Taslima by depriving her of the right to live in this country, that she loves and that she chose as her Karmabhoomi.
This would give a terribly wrong signal to those individuals and institutions who genuinely believe in the democratic values and stand for freedom of thought and expression and it would simultaneously encourage religious fanatics who are the biggest threat to the democratic fabric of this country.
Our country, the land of Mahatma Gandhi, knows better than anyone the importance of defending those who dare to disobey peacefully. Taslima is among these disobedient. She represents a hope for all those who dream of peacefully liberating themselves from traditions and beliefs that keep women in a form of segregation. We request you not to cede to the blackmail and violence of fanatics and extremists and most respectfully request you not to punish Taslima on account of their intolerance. We beg you to not kill that hope.
We, the concerned citizens implore your good office to extend the visa granted to Taslima Nasrin.