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Trouble seems to follow Taslima Nasreen in India.
Various issues have, as usual, become intertwined in the recent outrage in Karnataka.
The newspapers express regret. An FIR is filed against both under sections I53A, 153B and 295A of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) "for provoking the public and causing misunderstanding between two communities".
The translation is said to be quite close to the original, but the jury is still out whether it is an exact word by word translation; many claim that some of the words in the translated version seem more provocative than in the original. 
On Monday, Siasat, whose Karnataka edition is managed by Congress leader Roshan Baig, published a report alleging that the Kannada daily had published derogatory remarks against Muslims in the Sunday piece....
Baig said his paper only carried a news item on the Kannada paper’s coverage. “It’s a 2007 article by Taslima Nasreen, which has been up on some hardline Hindu websites and was carried very prominently by Kannada Prabha on Sunday, with a provocative headline from an old Hindi song ‘Purdah hai Purdah’, and pictures of women in burqas. My paper just carried a news item on that coverage which was printed on Monday,” Baig said.
“My mother had passed away on Sunday, so I was not in the office or overseeing things that day. Otherwise, I may have ensured that this was not carried. Anyway, what we carried was a brief report,” he said.
According to Baig, his newspaper cannot be connected to the violence in Shimoga. “It had nothing to do with our coverage as our paper reaches Shimoga only by about 12 noon or 1 pm. Urdu is also not read that much by Muslims in that part of the state. They are mostly Kannada-speaking. There is no way our paper could have contributed to the outrage,” he said.
2. Hindustan Times: In Bangalore, representatives of the Muslim community met senior members of the Express Group of newspapers (which publishes Kannada Prabha). Many agreed Taslima’s words in her original article don’t seem as provocative as they appeared after translation.
3. The Siyasat report has now been posted -- March 4, 2010
Also See: Joint statement in February 2007 from Khushwant Singh, Arundhati Roy, Leila Seth, Kuldip Nayyar, Vijay Tendulkar, Aruna Roy, Shyam Benegal, Girish Karnad, Saeed Naqvi, Y.P. Chibber (General-Secretary, PUCL), Shanker Singh (MKSS, Rajasthan), Nikhil Dey (MKSS, Rajasthan) in response to the Outlook article:
We uphold Taslima Nasrin’s right to speak forthrightly on any subject, including the burqa. It is her fundamental right. Instead of taking her on intellectually, her detractors are using a reprehensible way of suppressing her opinions. They are gathering outside her apartment in Calcutta, and demanding that the government should throw her out of the country. Keeping in mind that her visa expires by next week, this is a clear sign of intimidating her into retracting her views. It would be a shame if we who pride ourselves on our democratic traditions should refuse her asylum on this count. Or at the very least an extension of her visa
To read more published responses to the article, please click here
Veena Ramanna writes in the Indian Express:
The urban educated class in India is beginning to show renewed interest in the political process. While there are some groups that have chosen to take a plunge into the political arena head on by contesting elections, several others are choosing to engage with the electoral process in different ways. In this election season, it is not just the political parties who are preparing to reach out to the masses. A host of other professionals are getting involved in their own ways to be part of the process.
She goes on to enumerate and describe the work of some of these groups. While some of these are well-known enough, it'd be useful to record them here for reference.
Association for Democratic Reforms: Founded in August 1, 1999 by a group of Professors from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad and National Institute of Design and some alumni of IIM to work towards strengthening democracy and governance in India by focusing on fair and transparent electoral processes. Its PIL filed in Dec 1999 culminated in a Supreme Court order on Mar 13, 2003 requiring disclosure of criminal, financial and educational background of all contesting candidates. Since then ADR has done Election Watches in almost all State Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. For the current elections, there is a National Election Watch which has regularly been putting out press-releases on candidates with criminal records. These are revealing lists as they show the rot cutting across party lines. Click here for the latest list:
SmartVote.in is focusing on three constituencies in urban Bangalore
Mumbaivotes.com is focusing on six constituencies in Mumbai city
Jaago Re began as an effort to enable new voters to register. In its work over the past several weeks, JaagoRe has over four lakh people registered on its website from across the country.
Still cynical? Read Veena Ramanna's full article: It's Your Vote.
Please help us expand this database. Tell us about more such groups and your experiences with them.