Happy Birthday Taslima Nasrin!
|Taslima Nasrin (born August 25, 1962) Bangladeshi novelist – Shame (Lajja)
Read about Taslima Nasrin here and here
Nasrin was born to a Muslim family in Bangladesh and studied gynaecology. She started writing at a young age, and her work criticises religion’s oppression of women, and speaks out for human rights.
In 1993, she published ‘Lajja’, which chronicles the trials a Hindu family faces while living in Bangladesh. The book speaks about how badly minorities are treated in Bangladesh, because of which the Bangaldeshi Government banned it in 1993.
Negative sentiment towards the author kept increasing and reached a crescendo in 1994, when Muslim fundamentalists demanded her execution. There were widespread protests against her views and fatwas issued against her. Nasrin was forced to go into hiding for two months, before finally fleeing the country. She has not gone back since.
(from “Taslima Nasrin’s Life in Exile” by Tara Khandelwal)
Taslima Nasrin speaks at the India Ideas Conclave in 2016
Happy Birthday Kobayashi Issa!
Kobayashi Issa by Hashimoto Heihachi
|Kobayashi Issa – born June 15, 1763 – Japanese Haiku poet
Read about Kobayashi Issa here and here
Read the Gwanlingo blog post about Kobayashi Issa:
Issa is considered one of four great masters of Haiku. This seventeen syllable poetic form is known for its ability to squeeze astonishing beauty and depth of feeling out of plain language and direct observation. Issa’s poems are remarkable for their “pathos and humor,” especially in light of the string of tragedies that marked each stage of his life.
Read some of Kobayashi Issa’s poems here.
春風や 牛にひかれて 善光寺
The spring breeze.
Being pulled by a cow
To the Zenkoji temple.
[From the Japanese traditional legend. An old woman who had no faith found herself in Zenkoji while chasing the cow that hung the dried cloth on the horn. As a result, she began to believe Buddhism deeply.]