New Delhi: With the Home Ministry allowing Bollywood singer Adnan Sami to stay indefinitely in India, Bangladeshi writer, atheist and feminist Taslima Nasreen has also thrown her hat in the ring seeking a similar favour from the Centre. Taslima Nasreen tweeted today: "Adnan Sami is allowed to stay in India indefinitely. Why not me?"
Her tweet elicited replies from her followers, with some of them remarking "pl write to namo he can get things done 4 u", "U dont know how to sing for Bollywood movies! Sorry madam U wont be allowed :P"
Adnan Sami's Pakistani passport expired in May this year, after which the Pakistani authorities refused to renew his passport.
The 43-year-old Lahore-born singer had arrived first in India on March 13, 2011 on a one-year visitor's visa given by the Indian High Commission. On May 26 this year, his Pakistani passport expired and after Pakistan refused to renew his passport, Adnan Sami approached the Home Ministry seeking Indian citizenship.
The Law Ministry pointed out to the Home Ministry that under the Indian Citizenship Act, a foreign national is entitled to receive citizenship provided that he or she has rendered distinguished service to the cause of science, philosophy, art, literature, world peace or human progress.
On Tuesday, the Home Ministry informed Parliament in a written reply that Adnan Sami has been exempted from deportation proceedings under the Foreigners Act until further orders.
Adnan Sami, who was embroiled in a marital dispute with his second wife Sabah Galadari, a UAE citizen, has divorced her in 2012 and married Roya Faryabi of Afghan origin.
Adnan Sami's qawaali rendition of Bhar Do Jholi Meri in the recent blockbust Bajrangi Bhaijaan has earned him plaudits apart from his famous rendering of Lift Kara De and Kabhi To Nazar Milao.
Writer Taslima Nasreen, facing death fatwas from Islamic obscurantists, has been in exile since last 22 years. She is currently staying in Delhi under police protection, after she was forced to flee from Kolkata by the then Left Front government in West Bengal.
Her visa for stay in India has been constantly renewed. Last year, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had promised Taslima Nasreen of "acchey din aane wale hain". Her visa was soon thereafter renewed.
An ardent advocate of secular humanism, gender equality and freedom of thought, Taslima had recently visited the United States where she had raised the issue of atheist bloggers in Bangladesh being hacked to death by Islamic fundamentalists. There has been demand from certain quarters about granting Indian citizenship to the Bangladeshi writer.