Circles of Silence

“Aren’t you worried about what people will think?”

“No. I spent the last ten years of my life trying to curb my writing, just because I played into this belief that I am doing something wrong by speaking up.”

“But what about your family’s safety? You’re writing about corruption related to a man who singlehandedly controls 5% of the Bangladeshi economy.”

“And what good will my silence do? It will only help sustain the reality that BD is controlled by thugs and criminals. And in the meantime, it will kill me inside, slowly but surely. It already has in many ways.”

“But think about your family.”San Fran House

“I am. I’m thinking about the world in which we’re living, and how unfit the country is for the next generation.”

“How can you be so callous? Don’t you care about them at all? What if they begin to disappear?”

“I haven’t even done anything, but I doubt I’d be the reason for anyone disappearing. Taslima Nasrin’s family wasn’t targeted when she was exiled. Also, my writing is based on interviews, open court cases- public documentation, and research conducted based on REAL facts. I know how to make sense of it all and present it in a way that an outsider wouldn’t, and an insider would be too afraid to do. I can do it because I finally realized that I don’t care to EVER go back to Bangladesh. It was the most liberating thing. And if I don’t do it, who will? And honestly, I don’t give a f*** about staying silent, this is how cultures of silence are perpetuated. Look at what our silence has gotten my family- it has made us victims to the government cronies.”

“Yes, but still, you don’t seem to realize the dangers.”

“I just told you that I did, but that I have made my peace with the consequences of what I am getting myself into, because I have a story that needs to be told. And my fam is supportive- they appreciate my storyline. It’s part of the problem to assume that women should just be silent in the face of murder, institutionalized violence, rape, etc. It only furthers this violence. And here is where I politely excuse myself for the loo.”

(so that I can resist the temptation to scream and tear my hair out).


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