Tag Archives: Avijit Roy

That Elusive Thing with Feathers – After the Killing of Avijit Roy: Abdul Bari

Guest Post by ABDUL BARI

Avijit Roy was brutally murdered in Dhaka a few days ago. His wife, after heroically trying to shield his person with her own body, now lies in an ICU bed, fighting for her life.  I was an infrequent visitor to his website, Muktomona. Visiting it was like running your tongue over that tooth you’re missing, or reflexively checking whether you had your keys with you in the morning. Its presence was a reminder that, no matter how circumscribed, the nation-state of Bangladesh still had men and women who liked to think unconventional thoughts; give expression to unpopular ideas; endeavored to stand, as it is, in the very edge of what the societal limit of what could be expressed, and then take another firm step, not back, but forward. Continue reading That Elusive Thing with Feathers – After the Killing of Avijit Roy: Abdul Bari

A poem for Rafida Ahmed Banna – Avijit Roy’s Partner: Irfanul Rahman Rafin

Guest Post by Irfanul Rahman Rafin, translated from Bengali

[ Kafila normally does not carry poetry. But sometimes we make an exception, and we are making one in the case of this tribute by Irfanul Rahman Rafin, dedicated to Rafida Ahmed Banna, Bangladeshi blogger and partner of Avijit Roy, the Bangladeshi-American writer and blogger who was attacked and killed by Islamist thugs while the couple were on their way back from the Dhaka Book Fair. Roy wrote regularly on the Bangla blog Mukto Mona, and had written several books about religious belief, doubt, homosexuality and other issues. He had recieved death threats from Islamist groups in Bangladesh in the recent past. Roy is not the only blogger, writer and intellectual to have been attacked in this way. Last year, Ahmed Rajib Haider, another blogger opposed to Islamic fundamentalism, was hacked to death in February by a gang of Islamist thugs.

Hundreds of people have come out in protest against the killing of Avijit Roy in Dhaka. The killings of Avijit Roy and Rajib Haider mirror the assasinations of Narendra Dabholkar, and only recently, of Govind Pansare, in India by Hindu Fundamentalist thugs. ]

Avijit Roy and Rafida Ahmed Banya
Avijit Roy and Rafida Ahmed Banna

Sister Banna, listen
by Irfanur Rahman Rafin (translated from Bengali)

I don’t have the words to beg forgiveness
But something still has to be said
So I whisper in your ear sister Banna
Seven brothers still stand by Parul

I know some will say it was atheism
I will say he was child of my mother
We will see if they or Nazrul was right
Those who claim divinity to take life

Do not believe their prophecies
Those who play games with corpses
The war began with bullets and fire
Bringing white shrouds to each home

In this land nobody’s life has value
I know blood flows equally for all
But sister Banna listen to these words
Even the hardest heart cries out today

February 28, 2015

বন্যাদি তুমি শোনো

ক্ষমা চাইবার ভাষা নেই আজ কোনো
কিছু একটা তো বলতেই হয় তাই
কানে কানে বলি বন্যাদি তুমি শোনো
বোন পারুলের পাশে জেগে সাত ভাই

জানি কেউ কেউ বলবে সে নাস্তিক
আমি বলে দেবো সন্তান মোর মা’র
দ্যাখা যাবে তারা নাকি নজরুল ঠিক
খুন করে যারা নিয়ে নেয় দায়ভার

তুমি বিশ্বাস করো না ওদের বাণী
লাশ নিয়ে যারা পাশা খেলে অগোচরে
বুলেট আর আগুন নিয়ে যেই হানাহানি
সফেদ কাফন নিয়ে আসে ঘরে ঘরে

জীবনের দাম এই দেশে কারো নেই
কোনো রক্তই বেশি লাল নয় জানি
তবু বন্যাদি তুমি শোনো আজ এই
দেশে পাষাণেরও চোখ জুড়ে আছে পানি

ফেব্রুয়ারি ২৮, ২০১৫

Widespread Protests in Dhaka Against Avijit Roy’s Killing by Muslim Extremists

Killing of Avijit Roy, image courtesy Sudin Chattopadhyay
Standing up to the killing of Avijit Roy, image courtesy Sudin Chattopadhyay

 

Soon after this brutal killing of the Bangladeshi-American atheist blogger, protests have begun across Dhaka. We extend our support to the struggle against the dangerous forces of religion-inspired extremism. See more detailed report in Al Jazeera here and The Guardian here.

B'desh protests against killing
B’desh protests against killing, image courtesy The Guardian