On 21 November 2007, the city of Kolkata came to a rude, screeching halt as a virulent mob of religious fanatics took to the streets. Armed with a fatwa from their ideologues, the mob demanded that Taslima Nasrin leave the city immediately. While the police stood watching, mere dumb witnesses to such hooliganism, a morally, intellectually and politically bankrupt Left Front government, tottering under the strain of their thirty-year-old backward-looking rule, decided to ban her book and drive her out of the city she has always considered her second home.
This inextricable nexus of petty political conspiracies, vote bank politics and minority appeasement saw Taslima being hurriedly shifted, first to Jaipur and then to Delhi, confined to an obscure safe house and facing incessant pressure from senior officials and politicians to leave India. Set against a rising tide of fundamentalism and intolerance, Exile is a moving and shocking chronicle of Taslima Nasrin’s struggles in India over a period of seven months. Dark, provocative and at times surreal, it will resonate powerfully with readers in the present socio-political scenario.