Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen said on Saturday that all religions were anti-woman, but fundamentalists’ opinions made matters worse. “You have to keep religion separate from government. Laws should not be based on religion,” she said, adding that the influence of religion in framing laws in Bangladesh had oppressed both Muslim and Hindu women. The condition of women was much better in India, she added. Nasreen was speaking at the first Kerala Literature Festival in Kozhikode.

While the writer, who is in exile, questioned why secularists in India criticised Hindu fundamentalists alone and not Muslim fundamentalists, she maintained that India was a tolerant country. “I think most people are quite tolerant of each other’s faith. The laws in India do not support intolerance. But there are so many intolerant people in this country,” she said. Nasreen condemned the Dadri lynching incident, in which a man was beaten to death after allegations that he had stored beef in his house. She also praised the writers who had returned their Sahitya Akademi awards in a unique mode of protest.