|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Left Front chief backtracks on Taslima statement
November 22, 2007 19:28 IST
Drawing flak for his controversial remarks on Taslima Nasreen, Left Front chairman Biman Bose on Thursday backtracked on his statement that the Bangladeshi writer should leave Kolkata if her stay disturbed peace with even the Communist Party of India slamming the CPI-M veteran.
The Bharatiya Janata Party also attacked Bose saying his comments were "improper" if the government is genuinely committed to uphold freedom of expression while the Congress steered clear of the issue saying it was a matter for the Ministry of External Affairs to decide.
Bose's remarks had also raised the hackles of intellectuals.
Going defensive, Bose said, "The state government does not have the authority to grant or cancel visa and only the Centre can do this and let the Union government take an appropriate decision on the issue."
"I should have mentioned this in clear language," he said in Kolkata in a written statement while referring to his comments made to the press on Wednesday night.
"I on behalf of the state party (CPI-M) would like to make the people aware that I revise my statement of last night. Let the Union government take an appropriate decision on this issue," Bose said. He had come under fire from intelectuals.
The remarks were made in the backdrop of largescale violence by a Mulsim outfit, which among other things was demanding Taslima's expulsion.
Criticising Bose's remarks, CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta said, "I strongly disagree with him (Bose)."
Dasgupta told reporters outside Parliament that every writer has freedom and the Left front government in Bengal should ensure that it is protected.
Taslima has angered conservative Muslims by her writing and she fled her homeland in 1994 after radical Muslims demanded her execution.