Publisher of Atheist Books attacked by Islamists in Bangladesh
Ahmed Rashid Tutul, fearless publisher of Progressive and Atheist books in Bangladesh have been attacked in his own publishing company office. Murdered blogger Avijit Roy published his book through Ahmed’s publishing house named ‘শুদ্ধস্বর’ (Shuddho-Shor), meaning “Pure Voice”. The house is very popular among progressive, secular writers and also in Atheist community for Ahmed’s Rashid Tutul’s unafraid stance on continuing to publish about Humanism, Atheism, Science and rationality.
Earlier during the night Avijit Roy was murdered, Ahmed Rashid Tutul hosted a book publication ceremony with Avijit Roy and a number of others in front of the stall of শুদ্ধস্বর in the book fair that takes place in Dhaka, Capital of Bangladesh every year in February. Bengali language is one of the few that was under attack from Pakistani language and Bengalies died for keeping the language in 1952, since then 21st Feb is ‘International Mother language’ day.
Ahmed was recently working on new books to be published in next year’s book fair.
Ahmed is fearless in a sense, when Bangladesh is consistently sliding down the path of religious fanaticism, Government itself was banning books, he is hell bent on continuing to publish progressive and secular books. In the toxic and fearful atmosphere of curbed freedom of speech, his efforts in keeping the free thought alive is cherished and loved by so many!
We find respect and admiration for this activist publisher, who asked me how to include Bengali books in Amazon Kindle and other digital book publishing medium. His vision would quite often get tarnished by prevalent fearful atmosphere in Bangladesh, an atmosphere that is doing of Government and Islamist extremists together. When his peers in publishing industry was afraid to publish books that could potentially ‘harm religious sentiment’, Ahmed continues to push the envelop and thereby helping to keep the dying candle of free speech in Bangladesh.
Another blogger named Randipm Basu and a poet Tareq Rahim was also present who were injured in the attack.
Post will be updated.