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  #1  
Old February 28, 2004, 05:45 PM
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Navarene Navarene is offline
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Default Dr. Humayun Azad stabbed

One of the notable writers of Bangladesh, Dr. Humayun Azad, is paying very
dearly for ridiculing the mindless Islamists of Bangladesh in his book
appropriately titled “Pak Sar Zamin Sad Baad (the first line of Pakistan national anthem)”.

That tune brings nothing but bad memories of yesteryears. I don't know how to type my feelings, but I could not check my tears when I read this news.

here is the news

more about Dr. Humayun Azad

[Edited on 3-3-2004 by chinaman : Title changed.]
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  #2  
Old February 28, 2004, 05:59 PM
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Yes I read the reports in several Bangla and English dailies. This is so pathetic. Azad has been controversial through out his career, but this kind of attack is preposterous. Dr. Kamal Hossain said it right "This is an attack on free speech".
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  #3  
Old February 28, 2004, 06:25 PM
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Very sad indeed. Lets hope they can find these mindless idiots. But I highly doubt that. Its a sorry state of our social security.
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  #4  
Old February 28, 2004, 08:22 PM
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Bd is truely turing into a fanatic religious country. no security of life, no freedom of speech. and most importantly if the news is accurate about why he was stabbed, i must say we have forgotton about 1971.
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  #5  
Old February 28, 2004, 10:50 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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How many of you actually read any Humayun Azad, eh?

BTW, a similar fatal stabbing has happened here on this forum too. A thread was fatally stabbed to death by unknown assasins.

[Edited on 29-2-2004 by Arnab]
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  #6  
Old February 29, 2004, 01:40 AM
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I haven't read any of his stuff, but it is very sad nonetheless..

btw, it says he is unconcious in hospital so the stabs haven't been fatal as yet. Finger's crossed that he pulls through. Seems like his family is still getting death threats though.

Below is a picture of where the incident happened. (Sorry didn't want to show the Hasina pic, but it is one image so can't remove it)
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  #7  
Old February 29, 2004, 03:28 AM
crickipagol crickipagol is offline
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I have read only one of his book, called "PROBOCHON". Its a compilation of his verses on Bangladesh and Life overall. its a small book, I am sure you guys will enjoy.

Very sharp and terse. I also read an article on his new book, Take time to read. If you have time, read article by Muhammad Jafar Iqbal

It's a shame that this is happeing so often now a days.

Waiting for those days, when:

1. Bangladesh cricket team will win more often than lose.

2. This kind of Mayhem will be only bitter past history.
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  #8  
Old February 29, 2004, 03:39 AM
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What does reading his book have to do with condemning this brutality? Freedom of Speech boy!

[Edited on 29-2-2004 by Orpheus : Grammar]
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  #9  
Old February 29, 2004, 08:05 AM
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It is not just an attack. It is a systematic dismantling of a shaky secular society. Every sign, attachment to perceived non-islamic features of the society will be torn down to make way to a pure state.

Not read his books. However, since then I have personally encountered and heard people (in this very country) who said he deserved the attack because of his writings. I had to keep my mouth shut.
This is a disturbing turn of events and I am sorry to say to people who advocate more education and western model etc...that ain't gonna help.

Good old BD street movement that has shaped Bangladesh is what will happen
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  #10  
Old February 29, 2004, 10:39 AM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Well, I have read every single book he published till 2000, including his Bangla linguistics books back in the 70s.

I don't think you really realize the magnitude of this event. This guy could be (and IMO he IS) the greatest intellectual in the history of Bangladesh. Poeple like this are 'Khonojonma".

[Edited on 29-2-2004 by Arnab]
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  #11  
Old February 29, 2004, 03:36 PM
bangla_amar bangla_amar is offline
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Thanks cricketpagol for the link. Its very clear from ajkerkagoj article why he was the target. He makes these fundamentalists feel they are naked! They had to strike back.

It is really a very disturbing sign. I remember the attack on Shamsur Rahman and now this.

Why am I surprised? We have put them in the power and a notorious War crimial is our minister. He flaunts the flag of Bangladesh in his car...against which he fought and killed thousands of innocent bengalis.

They are just showing 1971 was not the end....
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  #12  
Old February 29, 2004, 11:11 PM
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It really hurts to think that the efforts of so many lives in 1971 have simply gone down the drain...

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  #13  
Old March 1, 2004, 01:01 AM
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A Big Baash from Mahfuz Anam

Well said!
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  #14  
Old March 1, 2004, 05:55 AM
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The time for silence is over. More later...

Click here for more coverage and comments on Drishtipat.org

For Humayun Azad: Halla Bol (Raise Hell) (Score: 1)
by Naeem on Sunday, February 29 @ 04:07:35 EST
This piece has just been sent to DAILY STAR. Hopefully they will print it within next 2 days.

For Humayun Azad: Halla Bol (Raise Hell)
By Naeem Mohaiemen, Shobak.Org

Humayun Azad lies in a coma at CMH. Rumours fly about his situation. Dhaka University has exploded with rage, and the rest of the city looks ready to boil over. In a desperate back-pedal to avoid blame, the government claims ignorance about who Azad's attackers may be. The Home Minister has even said: "We are engaging all-out efforts to find out whether he was attacked for personal enmity or there were other schemes."

Everyone knows who is ultimately responsible for this grisly incident. Azaad's assassins were actively or passively created by the virulent religious hatred being promoted by Jamaat, Islami Oikkyo Jote and other Islamist parties. On December 12, members of Khatme Nabuwwot addressed a gigantic demonstration of anti-Ahmadiyya fundamentalists at Baitul Mukarram Mosque. At that gathering, fiery speakers demanded the arrest and trial of Professor Azad for his novel "Pak Sar Zamin Sad Bad". A month later, on January 25, a Jamaat MP demanded introduction of a Blasphemy Act in parliament to block the publication of such books. Can there still be doubt about who has encouraged this bloody attack?

A glance at Humayun Azad's recent book "Amra Ki Ey Bangladesh Cheyechilam? (Is This The Bangladesh We Wanted?)" reveal clear clues about the author's enemies.

Discussing the insertion of Islam as State Religion into our constitution, Azad wrote:

"[Constitution says] 'Absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah shall be the basis of all state actions.' This is a clever trick to deceive the common, God-fearing man. In this country, Muslims have always followed their faith, and always will-- no one is stopping them. But using religion as a tool is trickery, a ploy to give the people nothing. They will promise the people heaven, but will not give them economic self-sufficiency. From the time of Zia, all our government functions have become competitions of religious sermons. If using religion [in government] was useful, Bangladesh should have become the world's most holy and developed nation. Instead, it has become the world's most corrupt nation. The corruption of religious politicians has destroyed the country."

Turning his attention to the Jamaat and its allies, Humayun blasted those who opposed Bangladesh's liberation and feel nostalgia for "united Pakistan":

"Our fathers committed a deadly mistake, a crime-- they made Bengal Pakistan. We did not want to stay sons of slaves, so we created Bangladesh. Now, let us imagine Bangladesh never became independent, we were still East Pakistan. What would we see around us? We would see the flag with moon and stars, we would hear 'Pak Sar Zamin Sad Bad', the Ministers would all be Punjabis, the army would be filled with Pathan and Punjabi Generals. Those who roar around in Pajeros today-- they would be standing on the roadside shaking in front of those same jeeps. The Adamjis, Dauds, Bawanis, and Kabuliwalas would run this country. We would be happy to lick the dust off their feet."

From the 1970s, the BNP has actively rehabilitated the Jamaat and other Islamic parties. Today that party has grown into a snake that is preparing the groundwork to devour the entire nation. The attack on Azad represents a continuum of a growing menace that has expressed itself through attacks on Shamsur Rahman, Udichi, Ramna Botomool, Ahmadiyyas, Hindus and now the push for a Blasphemy Law. Where will it strike next?

Azad is not the first author to fall foul of religious extremists. In 1994, in a startlingly similar attack, a man plunged a knife into the neck of Egyptian Nobel winner Naguib Mahfouz. The assailant was quickly identified as a sympathizer of the militant Islamic group al-Gama'a al-Islam. Mahfouz had been a target of the religious fanatics since the 1959 publication of his novel "Awlad haratina (Children of Gebelawi )", in which key characters were modeled after historical religious figures. The attacker confessed before he was hanged that he had never read the book, but had been inspired by a sheikh's fatwa.

Similar to today's Bangladesh, Egypt saw a rapid growth of religious parties, and an associated growth in violence in the 1990s. In 1992, the Gama'a al-Islamiyya launched violent attacks on the minority Coptic Christians. These attacks were linked with a campaign for Islamic rule in Egypt, resulting in pitched street battles with the police. This is a direct parallel to recent anti-Ahmadiyya agitations in Bangladesh and street warfare between members of Khatme Nabuwwot and the police. In Egypt, al-Gama'a soon upped the ante, assassinating secular intellectual Farag Foda and taking over the working class neighborhood of Imbaba and declared it an "Islamic Republic." In December 1992, 14,000 Egyptian troops stormed and occupied Imbaba, putting an end to the "Republic." Driven underground, Al-Gama'a redirected its attention towards high-profile terrorist attacks, massacring hundreds of foreign and local tourists between 1993 and 1997.

The attack on Naguib Mahfouz was a watershed, turning the majority of public opinion against the extremists of al-Gama'a and Islamic Brotherhood. When the Interior Minister was assigned the task of rooting out Muslim militants, Mahfouz told him from his hospital bed, "You are leading a battle in defense of true Islam. This incident is an opportunity to ask God to make the police defeat terrorists and to plead for the country to be purified of this evil in defense of people, liberty and Islam."
Gamal Ghitani, editor of Akhbar al-Adab, wrote, "This attack defames Islam and Arabs in a way that the worst of our enemies have not been able to inflict upon us." An Egyptian literary critic added, "When the assailant stuck the knife in the neck of our Nobel Laureate, Naguib Mahfouz, it wasn't just an attack on our country's most prominent literary personage, but an assault on Egypt itself."
Most significantly, even religous leaders joined the outcry, with Grand Mufti Sheik Said Tantawi pronouncing, "The sharia forbids a Muslim from pointing a weapon at his fellow Muslim, not to mention using this weapon in killing."

Faced with a decisive government crackdown, the militant groups slowly disintegrated. Today, an uneasy stability prevails in Egypt, but militant Islamic groups are no longer tolerated or supported by the government. Rather than silencing Naguib Mahfouz, the 1994 attack made him more determined. Suffering from nerve damage as a result of the attack, Mahfouz can no longer write. But each week he dictates his column to his friend Mohamed Salmawy. Since the incident, the government has also relaxed its unofficial ban on "Awlad haratina." The book has now been serialized in newspapers, broadcast on radio and published in its entirety. Even the authorities at al-Azhar mosque-university recommended its publication so that it could be read and debated by people.

Can we hope for a similar positive result from this tragic incident? Will the Bangladeshi people finally rise up in outrage and demand accountability from both the BNP and the AL? It is time to reign in those who play politics in the name of religion. Time to remove Jamaat ministers from their powerful posts, remove the ban on Ahmadiyya books, strike down the proposed Blasphemy Act, and remove the Enemy Property Act. To quote Safdar Hashmi, the Indian playwright murdered by government thugs in 1973, "Halla Bol (Raise Hell)". And get results!
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  #15  
Old March 1, 2004, 04:57 PM
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Arnab, can the Jamaat ever be dismantled as a political party in BD ?

As long as they exist as a party, will their actions be representing the desire of the people who voted them to power (or the share of power ?)

What % of popularity do they have ? Is it right behind the 2 larger parties ?

Please help me understand !!

Thank you.
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  #16  
Old March 1, 2004, 05:40 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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I remember they had like 6-8% of the votes in the first two elections in 1991 and 1996.

Can they EVER be dismantled as a political party? I don't know.

As long as they exist as a party, will their actions be representing the desire of the people who voted them to power (or the share of power? Maybe. I don't know for sure if the majority of Bangladeshi people vote based on rational examination of crucial issues or just plain emotional support.

I know from watching my family members, who hold higher education degrees, that it's more likely to be blind party support than anything else that influences their choice. I am not sure if that gives you any indication of what I think of the rest of the voting population.

To be frank, I have lost interest in Bangladesh politics since 1999.

[Edited on 1-3-2004 by Arnab]
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  #17  
Old March 1, 2004, 08:29 PM
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I never read his book. Just got one from Queens local library "manush hishabe amar oporadh"

Started reading it.
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  #18  
Old March 1, 2004, 08:59 PM
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Nasif, try to get this novel, "Kobi Othoba Dondito Opurush" (The poet or the Condemned Eunuch). One of the best I have read of Azad so far.
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  #19  
Old March 1, 2004, 09:45 PM
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They only have few in this library. Can't complain, its just amazing that they have Bangla book section. Another one I saw there is "Chhappanno hajar borgo mile"

After reading 30 or so pages, I must say his flow of writing is quite unusual. Coming from someone who thinks Sharat's shadhu bhasha flows quite smooth. I am not saying its bad or good, just unusal. But its not wise to comment on a writer after reading only few pages. I am liking his style so far.
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  #20  
Old March 1, 2004, 11:09 PM
bangla_amar bangla_amar is offline
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One good thing is that this incident might make people notice the brewing danger of fanaticism in our country. It also makes H Azad ever more popular and people would be now more interested to know what he said. "Pak Sar..........." is gonna be best seller I bet but that is little consolation.
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  #21  
Old March 2, 2004, 12:06 AM
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Sounds like an interesting writer !

Sounds also like his work is full of subtle indoctrination !! Too bad, only very few intellectually superior writers from East Bengal can ever put down their pen and write without indulging in the almost ritual exercise of a Paki bashing preface.

I wish all the Mujib-baad socialist goras and Jamaatee Topee-walas alike could for once take their fight somewhere outside of the country...Gangtok India or Bora Bora Afganistan, maybe !!
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  #22  
Old March 2, 2004, 12:14 AM
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While I am at it, let me fire away with full salvo...

Bangla_amar, which people are you referring to in your first sentence...your newly found friends in the CIA, the same folks who pounced and lacerated your Leninist, Stalinist, Mao-istm Basu-ist...now defunct good for nothing socialist idealogue.

Ok guys, tell me where I have sinned again ???
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  #23  
Old March 2, 2004, 01:01 AM
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Dear Mr. Pundit,


Whether you like it or not, 1971 is the key factor that changed our life and society. With the rise of Jamat and neo-fundamentalism, the movement to create secular bangladesh is not over yet. So it's not surprising that the writers mention that in their book. This has nothing to do with mujib-baad (as you claimed).

So called mujib supporters once lead the nation to get freedom form Paki invaders. One should know the difference between Mujib and Jamat; and should not compare Mujib-baad (I am not supporting the present AL activities) and Jamat as same type of fanatic.

Humayun Azad wrote around 70 books. It’s obviously premature decision on him after reading only couple of books. He is indeed a dynamic personality. He is a famous professor of Bangla department in DU and he also served as the head of the department. He is a living legend and probably the most knowledgeable linguists of both Bangladesh and West Bengal. Along with novelsand poems, he wrote several research books on bangla grammar and linguistics. As far as I know, his book is used as a text in famous Jadavpur and Kolkata University.

He does not only write against Paki, but also writes against religious cults. He is a known human right activist and feminist. If you ever have the chance, then please read his book “Nari”, in which he depicted the misery of women in human society. He was also a front liner against the military dictator ‘Ershad’. His book ‘Sappano Hajar Borgo Mile’ was one of the best sellers in Ekhushe Book fair.




[Edited on 2-3-2004 by Kana-Baba]
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  #24  
Old March 2, 2004, 07:29 AM
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Seems like our Pondit has a sheer infernal alergy about socialism and it's thoughts. His desperate mumbo-jumbo attempt to mix up every issue with socialm reminds me of a childhood story: A kid at grade 5 revised an essay about cow and this was the only essay he knew about quite good. Now everytime the teacher asked him to write an essay on different topic, he used to end up writing on cow. Wonder if our Pondit was also effected like that kid, or why does he sniffs the ghost of socialism in almost every topic? Funny

Btw, Kana-baba, I was quite surprised to read Azad's "Naree" and "Ditiyo Lingo", since both these two books remind me of Kate Millet's "Sexual Politics". Humayun Azad was surely influenced by Millet and to my judgement, he should have put a note of gratitude to Millet in his Naree and Ditiyo Lingo. Nevertheless, these two works are probably the first ever theoritical feminist writing in Bangla published in Bangladesh.
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  #25  
Old March 2, 2004, 10:29 AM
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Kana-Baba -

Thank you for your patience while writing-up a wonderful explanation. While it is very likely that I may never read the books you have mentioned (that will require another thread of explanation by itself), I very much sympathize with the bereaved family of the Professor. No one has has to suffer in the manner he is suffering right now.

Maybe this is where I disagree with the most of you -

No doubt there should be a mix of all kinds of people in our society, regardless of their credance. And ofcourse, we all should be grateul of '71. How can it ever be otherwise. However, my "issues" have been primarily with 1) groups who go out and inflict physical violence on others, & 2) groups who use other more subtle mechanisms to create an atmosphere that is more conducive to their external master's agenda.

In regards to the 1st, we know that unfortunately all political parties contribute to it. That is the biggest shame we live with.

In regards to the 2nd, these are simply the more "niche" segments existing within the parties. Both the Jamaat and the various extreme left wing socialist arms of the AL have these niches. I am against both kinds, regardless of whether they preach "deviant Islam" or "glorified feminism in the name of progress, and stuff likewise."
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