: Banning of a Book Launch
The First Maitreyee Chattopadhyay Memorial Lecture, in memory of Maitreyee Chattopadhyay, a leader of the women’s movement
, titled Parijayee Nari O Manabadhikar, and delivered by Professor Jasodhara Bagchi
, was scheduled to be released formally today, the 3rd of February 2014, at Montmartre
, in the Calcutta Book Fair
. At the last moment, the Book Fair authorities, that is, the Publishers
and Booksellers Guild, cancelled the programme on the plea that Women’s Oppression is a disputed and objectionable matter. We consider this action a direct interference in democratic right of freedom of expression
and sharply condemn this.
In order to avoid or suppress discussions on violence or oppression on women, it is sometimes being called ‘internal’ or ‘domestic affairs’. Here it was called a disputed issue. But violence on women is not at all a disputed or debatable issue, rather, it is an issue that needs to be condemned at all levels. In particular, the imposition of this ban in West Bengal
, in the light of the widespread violence on women, assumes a special significance.
The pamphlet Parijayee Nari discusses how through various processes like marriage, work, trafficking, women are moved out of one place and shifted elsewhere, and how they thereby face diverse forms of discrimination.
From its birth, the Calcutta Book Fair had been a space where opinions could be expressed freely, views exchanged, and protests articulated. We have in the past protested here against the undemocratic decision to block the publication of Taslima Nasreen
’s book. But it was totally unexpected to us that the Guild authorities would be afraid about the publication of a book on discrimination against women.
We hope that in future the Guild authorities will refrain from taking such undemocratic steps, and will respect divergent opinions adequately.
We are arranging the release of this book on 5th February, at the Press Club, from 3-00 to 4-00 P.M.
Contact- Mira Roy – 98310930030 Ruchira Goswami 999830550080