5 years of Mukto-Mona

Introducing Recipient of the Mukto-Mona Rationalist Award 2006

Ananta Dash: A Profile in Courage, Reason & Science
By Jahed Ahmed

Published on May 25, 2006

Ananta: Recipient of MM Rationalist Award 2006

“A genius is born; not created”. With due respect to Shakespeare, I’d like to say- it’s not human ingenuity alone that led to some of the greatest events in human history. By virtue of being genius alone, there is no guarantee that a person would be noble too. Indeed, some of the biggest trouble makers in history were geniuses too. (Hitler or Nizami-Golam Azam were no blockheads!). Thus it’s only when love for the humanity & thoughts of reason blended in a genius’ mind that mankind benefited tremendously. Reverting to what Shakespeare said of a genius, does same hold true for a humanist/rationalist, or a freethinker? My answer in this case would be- while I don’t rule out some of the roles that genetics may have to play in a humanist’s thought process, I’m of the opinion-- no one is born as a theist or atheist. It’s the experience, meticulous observation of life and society, and realization of the importance of science & reason that makes a person a true humanist/rationalist. Yet what distinguishes a humanist from a believer is that unlike a believer, a humanist doesn’t depend on ‘divine guidance’ to decide what’s right and what’s wrong. That said, I’d like to introduce our honorable members/writers/readers with Ananta Bijoy Dash—the recipient of Mukto-Mona Rationalist Award 2006 on the occasion of our 5th anniversary; in other words, 5th year of Science and Reason, as some of love to say.
    The main reason why Ananta Dash has been bestowed upon Mukto-Mona Rationalist Award is--as stated unanimously by the Mukto-Mona advisory and editorial board: his deep and courageous interest in spreading secular & humanist ideals and messages in a place which is not only remote, but doesn't have even a handful of rationalists”.  In addition to his regular and prolific contributions of Bangla articles to Mukto-Mona on various social-political issues which are of great importance to the humanists & rationalists, some of Ananta’s courageous activities are as follows:
Ananta took the risk (we didn't ask him for it though) to hang an Mukto-Mona banner on the campus of BNP/Jamayat dominated Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (SUST) in Sylhet where he’s currently an undergraduate student in the Department of Social Work.  Ananta put great efforts in popularizing Ranjit Bawali--a grass-root freethinker and a truly homegrown philosopher from the Dumurtola Village of Jessorre--by publishing his articles on the net. Through his personal initiative, he has formed a Science & Rationalist Council in Sylhet, Bangladesh, thus bringing together all like minded friends. He is also associated with various rationalist groups in other parts of Bangladesh including, Bangladesh Bigyan o Juktibadi Somiti (Pabna), SUST Science Areana, Sylhet and many others. Some of his other activities could be viewed online in our forum. Ananta's article page can be viewed here
   By bestowing Mukto-Mona Rationalist Award which includes a proclamation and a token sum of money (10,000 Tk. in Bangladeshi currency), we didn’t try to do any favor to Ananta. Rather, we feel honored ourselves to honor this young freethinker. Did I say, Ananta is in his early 20s only?
Congratulations to Ananta!
New York

Visit :
 Special Page on 5th Year Anniversary of Mukto-Mona