New Delhi: In a fine balancing act, government on Wednesday said controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen would continue to get shelter in India but she should “refrain from activities that may hurt sentiments of the people” here.
Making a statement in the Lok Sabha, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said “throughout history, India has never refused shelter to those who have come and sought our protection.”
He said the “civilisational heritage, which is now government policy, will continue, and India will provide shelter” to Nasreen.
Mukherjee, who made the statement amid demands that Nasreen be asked to leave the country, said the “guests” in India are provided protection by the Union and state governments.
“This policy will also apply in Taslima Nasreen’s case,” the Minister said as he noted the issue related to the Bangladeshi author had attracted “considerable public attention” in recent days.
At the same time, he pointed out that those who have been granted shelter here have “always undertaken to eschew political activities in India or any action which may harm India’s relations with friendly countries.
“It is also expected that the guests will refrain from activities and expressions that may hurt the sentiments of our people.”
Nasreen took refuge in this country some years back in the wake of threats issued by fundamentalists at home for her book ‘Lajja´, which was dubbed as blasphemous by them.