A Tribute to Avijit Roy
The news of Avijit Roy's brutal murder in Bangladesh stunned me, took away all my words for last few days. I knew Avijit from the early days of discussion forums and blogs, had good exchanges of ideas and debate with him from time to time. Last few years I've lost the contact with this man of profound curiosity and genuine outlook to understand our common humanity and existence.
The murder of this immensely talented writer by the thugs, whose identity still remain unknown even though there were many security cameras pointing toward the exact spot where he was struck from behind amplifying the cowardice killers' heartless method once more, even allegedly only a short distance from Bangladeshi law enforcement folks who just looked on while the killers assaulted Avijit and his wife in front of many other onlookers. No one came forward to help them. No one screamed and showed compassion for a human being who had in his relatively short lifetime always stepped forward to protest against oppression, suppression and the killings of the innocents around the world.
The ideas that Avijit professed, the core nature of humanity without being wrapped up by the established dogmas, may that sound offensive to some, he had every right to express his thoughts. His usage of logic and rationalism to counter all the illogical, unscientific and heartless ideas of every forms and shapes, brought him intense anger from the extremists and their equally horrendous sympathizers. I have not much to say about the extremists of all kinds, as the very reprehensible existence of extremism I believe is self sufficient for the need of their urgent elimination from the progressive humanity. I have one quote to share with the sympathizers of the extremists, a quote from the pastor Martin Niemoller (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came_...)
Avijit Roy was born in a wrong century. Though we have made steady progress from the days of antiquity full of intolerance, bigotry, racism, and pure thrust for acquiring power and wealth by subjugating the vulnerable, the likes of humanitarian Avijit Roy would have been more welcomed in a not so distant future, when all these anti progressive ailments most possibly will be read only in the books of thankfully bygone history. Then, in that hopefully a more tolerant and inclusive future world, the likes of Avijit Roy, Bertrand Russell (one of Avijit and my favourite writers), Thomas Paine, Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Humayun Azad and many other dreamers of a better world devoid of hatred and intolerance, will be remembered and revered kindly and with the respect they deserve.
One good thing I believe that will come out of Avijit's tragic demise is that his ideas of rationalism will proliferate to many, will help to eradicate the darkness of ignorance. One of the earliest books that I'd read written by Avijit, it was in its first draft I believe when he had sent me a copy to read was rightfully titled, "Alo hatey choliache adharer jatri" that literally translates to: "With lights traversing the travellers from darkness" - I can see Avijit Roy is that traveller with lights in his out stretched hands, traversing the world of darkness to lift the veil of ignorance.
May Avijit's long held noble dreams come true!