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The lady who once escaped brutal Talibans, ultimately died of their bullets
'The pen is mightier than the sword'- the Indian author Sushmita Banerjee might have thought this before she had returned her second home in Kharana, Paktika Province of Afghanistan with an intention to write another book this time.

She was gunned down on Wednesday outside her home by Taliban. She was also a social worker and a human rights activist. The 49-year-old author hailed from Kolkata. She had shot into prominence with her book "Kabuliwalar Bangali Bou (A Kabuliwala's Bengali Wife)."

It narrates about her escape from the Taliban in 1995, which was made into a Bollywood film “Escape from Taliban” in 2003 and had Manisha Koirala in the lead.

At 27, in 1988-89 Sushmita got married to Afghan businessman Jaanbaz Khan who was already married and had kids. She didn’t know about his previous marriage. However, she compromised her life, converted to Islam, named herself Sayeda Kamala and accepted to accommodate with Gulguti, the first wife of Khan.

She reared the children of her husband’s previous connection with grace and rejected her parents’ offer to help get her divorce. She opened a dispensary to distribute medicine but was forced to shut down. In her book, Banerjee had detailed the tribulations of life in Afghanistan under the then Taliban regime. A defiant Sushmita Banerjee tried to fight back but was snatched away and made a prisoner of Wahabi Gangsters.

"One night I made a tunnel through the mud walls of the house and fled. Close to Kabul I was arrested. A 15-member group of the Taliban interrogated me. Many of them said that since I had fled my husband's home, I should be executed. However, I was able to convince them that since I was an Indian, I had every right to go back to my country. The interrogation continued through the night. The next morning I was taken to the Indian embassy from where I was given a safe passage. Back in Calcutta, I was re-united with my husband. I don't think he will ever be able to go back to his family," she wrote in her book.

What followed her murder on Wednesday is a usual brutal story of Taliban’s thirst for blood. These militants descended her house, tied up her husband and other family members and dragged Sayeda Kamala (Sushmit Banerjee) of her house in Kharana before shooting her dead.

That gives me some moments to brood. In this lopsided world there are, unfortunately, people who who’re staunch religious and the same people who believe that the use of force is necessary to push their ideas. We know that the pen expresses a personnel or public opinion.

It stands for human rights, history, information and dissemination of knowledge. It connects one's mind with another, to persuade the reader to take up the view of the writer.

The reader has a choice. S/he has the right to hold his/her own view. Where and why the sword should come in picture? It stands for force. It forces views on others. If they do not accept their views, sword should be fleshed.

The sword, therefore, implies IGNORANT FORCE, DARKNESS and neither REASON nor RELIGION. 

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