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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 February, 2005, 16:16 GMT
Exiled Bengali author's India bid
Taslima Nasreen
Ms Nasreen faced death threats in her homeland
The controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen, who has been living in exile in Sweden, has repeated her desire to become an Indian citizen.

Conservative Muslims in the 42-year-old author's homeland have condemned a number of her writings as blasphemous.

The doctor-turned-writer was forced to leave Bangladesh in 1994 amid calls for her execution.

"It will be wonderful if I could live in the West Bengal part of India," Ms Nasreen told Indian television.

Liberal attitude

But she said her application was not for asylum.

I am a Bengali writer. It is very important for me to be with the Bengali people
Taslima Nasreen

"I have just asked for a residential permit or citizenship," she told the NDTV news channel.

"East [Bengal] has already closed the doors to me... so I want to stay in West Bengal where I feel at home."

East Bengal covered what is now Bangladesh.

The author first expressed an interest in becoming an Indian citizen in 2003.

She says the Indian authorities did not formally respond to her inquiries.

Correspondents say the authorities are apprehensive about upsetting Muslims in West Bengal who disapprove of her work.

Conservatives in Bangladesh objected to her first book Lajja (Shame), for its liberal attitude to sex and comments on Islamic laws.

Subsequent books My Girlhood Days and Wild Wind were also banned.

Ms Nasreen has also come in for criticism in West Bengal.

In January last year demonstrators in Calcutta burnt effigies of her and a Muslim cleric put up a 20,000 rupee ($450) reward to anyone who could insult her by blackening her face.

She was given an armed guard.


SEE ALSO:
Effigies of writer burned
21 Jan 04 |  South Asia
Bangladesh court sentences Taslima
13 Oct 02 |  South Asia
Bangladesh bans third Taslima book
27 Aug 02 |  South Asia


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