After learning about the threat stating that – he will be killed when he comes back to Bangladesh, I, immediately, called Avijit to remind him not to go back to Bangladesh ever. I also asked him to be extra careful while he is in the USA, and advised him to forward that threat-link to FBI. He assured me by saying – “Don’t worry, Jiten-da, I will be careful.” I heard no intimidation, but carelessness, in his voice. So, I knew, he will not change anything in his life.
Avijit’s father, Professor Ajoy Roy, is my direct teacher, and colleague. Avijit was ~8 years old, when I last visited their residence before I left Bangladesh. I do not remember seeing him that day.
My only direct contact with him was over telephone and internet conversations. I was extremely eager to meet him in person, as I had so much to discuss with him. He asked me once – why I do not post article in the Bangla-Blog. I told him I can’t type in Bangla; he tried to help me setting up Bangla-font, but there was no good Mac-compatible Bangla-font in the internet at the time.
Even though I never met him, I always considered him as my younger brother. I was so impressed with his writing ability, his depth of knowledge, and his dedication to the progressive causes. He was the knight of the free world. I am still in denial that he is gone forever.
While others are expressing their anger on his assassins, I am expressing my anger at him, and, to some extent, on his wife also. How could she go along with the idea of going back to Bangladesh?
I am really angry at both of them; I wish I could talk to both of them now, just for once. I have so many questions to ask them; most importantly – why did they go back to Bangladesh ignoring the death threat on his life? There must be something else that we do not know, which justified risking their lives. What was that?
I also want to know – how did he and his wife think that it will be safe for them to have a night-stroll on the sidewalk at 9:30 PM, just like anybody else? How could a genius person make such a wrong decision? Or, was there something else a lot more convincing that we don’t know, which gave them assurance of their safety? Who can give me answers to these questions?
His wife, Bannya, is barely alive; maybe I will meet her someday, and get some of those answers. Until then, I can’t have a closure to this death.
I know he was invited to attend the publication ceremony of his new book. Was that worth risking his life? I don’t think so.
When his book, the Virus of Faith, came out, he asked me about my opinion on his connection of faith and virus. I told him that – association was exact, but the concept could be perfect if he could have a sub-title on the book-cover to clarify the type of faith, he was referring to. In my view, not all faiths are virus; faith is also one of the intrinsic human characteristics, which we use in our daily exchanges.
I know, he was talking about religious faith, and he has correctly associated it with virus. This is a novel idea, in my view, and it was quite ingenious of him to make that connection. I think, such association will help understanding the spread of religious faith, and may be, someday, humanity will find a panacea to get rid of this mutating virus.