Prokashana Utshab of Alo-hate Choliyachye Adharer Jatri held successfully
From Mukto-Mona Dhaka contact
Published on February 13, 2007
Largely attended, not less than 200 hundred, publication ceremony of the following two books was held today, Friday July 15, 2005 at the auditorium of Dhaka University Business Faculty at 5 p.m. The function jointly organized by Shiksa Andolon Manch and Mukto-mona cybernet forum lasted for three hours starting at 5 p.m. sharp. The books under review were:
Alohate Chaliyachhe Andharer Jatri by Avijit Roy
Publisher: Ankur Prokashani, 38/4 Banglabazar, Dhaka 1100
Cover design: Hashem Khan, Price Tk 180/-
ISBN 984 464 1
Telephone: 7111069, 956 4799
Bigganer Darshan by Shahidul Islam
Publisher: Shiksa Barta Prokashana, 75, Aziz Super Market (1st floor), Shahbug, Dhaka 1000
Price Tk 150/ (chief edition); Tk 200/- (hard edition)
ISBN 984 729 025 3
Avijit Roy is a mechanical engineer, a product of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) & National University of Singapore (NUS). He is now working in the laboratory of Bioengineering at Mechanical Engineering Department at NUS as a researcher at NUS. Avijit has created with the help of a set of his friends and colleagues spread all over the world a very popular website www.mukto-mona.com dedicated to freethinking, liberalism, secularism and democratic values. Avijit is now its moderator. Mukto-mona has already become known as a discussion forum for its critical and open views.
Mr. Shahidul Islam is a professor of department of applied chemistry and chemical technology at Rajshahi University. A renowned socially conscious educationist, Professor Islam is a prolific writer on various disciplines including various science subjects and philosophy of science, humanities, religion and education. A life long fighter against superstition & fundamentalism has been associated with all popular movements in Rajshahi University.
In the discussion a top class intellectuals took part. They were-
Professor Kabir Choudhury, literature, an outspoken human rights leader, national professor.
Professor Anisuzzaman, essayist, a well known free thinker and educationist
Janab Bashir Al Helal, literature
Mr. Arun Dasgupta, a senior journalist, Daily Azadi, Chittagong
Janab Mizanur Rahman, Editor, Mizanur Rahman’s Tri-monthly Journal
Prof. Shahidul Islam.
The ceremony began with introductory remarks from the Publishers Mr. Meshbauddin Ahmed (Ankur) and A. N. Rasheda (Shiksa Barta). Mr. Ahmed openly declared that his publication enterprise is very much proud that it could publish such a critical and illuminating book on evolution of our universe entitled written by young writer Avijit Roy. He declared that book is an excellent addition to scientific and literary treasure in Bengali. Mrs. Rasheda also spoke high of the book written by Professor Islam.
Professor Kabir Choudhury, although admitting his limitation in following the book written in a scientific language to which he is not familiar, did not fail to grasp the message Avijit wants carry to his general readers; Professor Choudhury pointed out that the message of Avijit’s book is clear and loud - to fight against superstition, blind belief obscurantism with reason and logic derived from the development of science and its inherent significance. The learned professor stressed that scientific findings and theories if could be reached to common men through poplar and lucid books as Avijit Roy tried, a scientifically oriented society is a must to emerge in future Bangladesh. He referred to Chandrashekhar-Edington debate as an interesting one – an example that has never developed into personal level. Edington and Chandrashekhar remained mutually respectful to each other although they differed on scientific manner. Drawing the instance in the context of Bangladesh he deplored that even at university there is no healthy debate- the school has died down. If any controversy arises on any issue instead of making a public debate it becomes instantly partisan with myopic eye decease. Kabir Choudhury remarked that after giving a lucid description of evolution of the universe- its origin, its future, he in a well-written appendix has given what are the religious views about the creation of Universe very faithfully with out making any remarks. He left the matter to the enlightened readers which one should be accepted. Professor Choudhury praised the depth of his knowledge in holy books like Quran, Bible and Vedas, being a technologist and scientist.
A very illuminating review article was read out as Professor Sengupta, country’s leading nuclear physicist, could not be present for personal difficulty. He praised the lucid language in which intricate scientific matters from Ptolemy’s geocentric model to most recent theory “String Theory” in an attempt to understand the complicated process of evolution of the Universe. Professor Sengupta opined that appendices of the book has been a valuable addition not only for general readers lacking in physical laws for specialists too.
Mr. Bashir Al Helal dealt with book written by Professor Islam – Bigganer Darshan (pratham parba). The book is based on JD Bernal’s ‘Science in History’ and ‘Social function of science’. Mr. Al Helal opined that name of the book Bigganer Darshan (Philosophy of Science) is somewhat misleading- a more appropriate title would have been “Bigganer Itihash” (History of science).
Professor Anisuzzaman also confined his discussion within Professor Islam’s book. He gave a description of the book stressing Bernal’s social aspects of science how that could influence the society. And indeed the development and evolution of science has considerably influenced the society in the past as well as present. He opined unless the second volume is out it would be premature to call the book whether it is a book on history of science or on philosophy of science depending how the book is developed by the author.
Professor Shahidul Islam praised profusely the way Avijit presented his theme of the book and gradual development of evolution of universe in the light of changing scientific more particularly physical discoveries and invention of theories based on facts and observation from Newton to M-string theory. In the process he had dealt many critical scientific inventions and hypotheses- not a very simple work. One has to absorb those intricate discoveries and their significance and present those to the common Bengali readers in a non-mathematical language. According to Prof. Islam in our present day context of Bangladesh main problem confronted in BD society is superstition and blind faiths which if encouraged would evidently give birth fundamentalism and communalism. Only educating our mass by spreading scientific ideas and views to them could fight this evil.
Mr. Mizanur Rahman read out a written article in which he stressed that not the scientist but the social leaders are to be held responsible for misuse of scientific discoveries. He cited from history in this regard that scientists associated with A-bomb project for use of first atomic weapons on Japanese soil during World War II were not to be held responsible, but the USA authority at that time must be held responsible. He brought the issue- are scientists really free to choose their desired field of research which might affect the future society.
Journalist Arun Dasgupta at length dealt with the book of Alohate as an excellence and timely book, which should be read by our young men. He opined that the book would, if read seriously, play a role in making a true scientific society in BD.
From readers behalf Mr. Sayed Abul Kalam declared that all should read the book written by Avijit Roy as the book aims to eradicate blind faiths and habit of taking many things without questioning. Questing to every thing, as a free thinker does, paves the way to become freethinker. To accept blindly whatever our holy books say or propagate without question is the greatest hindrance to freethinking and to progress.
The President of the function, professor Ajoy Roy wind up the discussion by thanking Mukto-mona and Shiksa Andolan Manch for organizing such a nice function which lasted for over three hours and the speakers at the function.
He credited JD Bernal as outstanding crystallographer and a social human being. He saw science as a key to social changes. In his opinion History of scientific development must be looked as an integral part of history of civilization of mankind. The scientific laws are to be treated as laws produced or discovered by men in the society as a need of the society. In this sense Science and society are interdependent- the president remarked.
The president remarked that science is not just a tool of developing human being’s material uplift, but it is a way of thinking, way of solving not only scientific problem but equally applicable to society’s various demands, and way of understanding the mysteries of Universe and its evolution. In this sense science has developed into its own philosophy from which the old and classical philosophy differ considerably.