By Anugraha Hadke:
Nakhlistan Ki Talash (Search Of An Oasis) – Urdu writer Rahman Abbas’s first novel, follows Jamal, a youth who is struggling with ideas of identity and emotions in the wake of the 1993 Mumbai riots. Torn between the love of a girl and religious extremism, his search for his true self ultimately leads to a tragic and mysterious end.
The 43-year-old writer, also the recipient of the National Award for Literature by the Universal Center for Peace and Research, received wide critical acclaim for his work. But the praise came with a price. Labelled as a ‘heretic and threat to Islamic orthodoxy’, he was charged under Section 292 of the Indian Penal Code for writing ‘indecent’ and ‘obscene’ passages. Abbas was arrested, and even forced to resign from his post as a lecturer in Mumbai.
“For the past 10 years, I have been suffering from the trauma of this case. I lost my job and every contact with educational institutions, especially those owned by Muslims. I was not permitted to work because of this case,” says Abbas.
But that hasn’t discouraged him from continuing to write. He has written four other works like Ek Mamnua Muhabbat Ki Kahani, Khuda Ke Saaye Mein Ankh Micholi, and Ek Simat Ki Talash.
Watch Abbas narrate his experience after the controversy broke around his novel.