Govt Extends Taslima Nasreen’s Visa


New Delhi: Controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen’s visa has been extended for a year by the Home Ministry on Friday. The decision has been taken following an intervention of Home Minister Rajnath Singh as Taslima has been requesting the Indian government to further extend her visa.

The 52-year-old writer was exiled from Bangladesh. Her visa was granted for a year with effect from July 23, a Home Ministry official said. Reacting to the decision, Taslima told a news agency that she was very happy even though she was expecting her visa to be extended by more than a year.

"Anyway, this is always a welcome news. I am yet to be officially conveyed (the government decision) and you are the one who broke the news to me," she said.

Taslima, living in exile since she left Bangladesh in a cloak of secrecy in 1994 in the wake of threats to her by fundamentalist groups, was given a one-year visa by the government in 2014. Taslima, a citizen of Sweden, has been getting Indian visa on a continuous basis since 2004.

She has also stayed in the US and Europe in the last two decades. However, on many occasions she had expressed her wish to live in India permanently, especially in Kolkata. The writer had to leave Kolkata in 2007 following violent street protests by a section of Muslims against her works.

Taslima said if she is not able to stay on in India she will suffer from an "identity crisis" which will affect her writings and championing the cause of women's rights.