Speaking Out for Gender Identity
Gargi Chakravartty
SELECTED COLUMNS by Taslima Nasreen Shrishti Publishers, Delhi, 2004, 158 pp., Rs. 250.00
May 2004, volume 28, No 5

Taslima Nasreen’s Nirbachito Column first came out in Bengali in 1991and soon thereafter it swept the Kolkata market, creating waves in the psyche of the Bengali bhadralog class; most women were elated, while conventional men and women did not conceal their scepticism and even launched sharp criticism of her contentions. But she was discussed everywhere and within a brief timespan Taslima became a household name. Her subsequent writings, novels and columns were read with abiding interest, acclaimed or denounced after being closely scrutinized: but they received a wide readership. The magnetic spell and flair of her writing alongside thought-provoking ideas and remarks enthralled this reviewer with such intensity that she completed the book within a few hours. The substance and content of her opinions left a deep impress on the mind as she was able to touch the common chord of fighting and changing the patriarchal system. There were many who felt in a similar vein as one’s thoughts resembled hers (even if the conclusions arrived at were dissimilar and different at times) though one was not in a position to express the way she did. The only regret was that her readership was confined to Bengal.

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