“Please, you look so nice in a sari,” my mother encourages as she wraps the fabric around me, seemingly having a plan in mind. I used to always watch her wear saris, wondering why she bothered mummifying herself in these impossible-to-manage window curtains.
Recently I was watching a talk show and someone was saying,
'During Charlie Hebdo, thousands of people marched to defend their right to offend Muslims but no one raised their voice when their children were killed in Pakistan.'
(On last Friday night, Paris, the cultural center of Europe, was shaken by gunfire and suicide bombings of massive brutality at several locations. Officials confirmed that three teams of Islamic State attackers with assault rifles and suicide vests carried out the coordinated carnage. After the attack I followed the social and electronic media and saw how the whole world reacted to this incident.
We are speechless. We are dumbfounded. We are shaken. We are hurt.
We are hurt, but our pens still work. We are dumbfounded, but our heads are as clear as a sunny day. We are shaken, but we are armed. Our pens, our keyboards and our smart phones are our weapons. Our sharp minds are our ammunition.
We do not express ourselves anymore. We do not get a chance to share our knowledge anymore. We are not allowed to raise our voice anymore. We have been threatened by the religious extremist group of Bangladesh for our intellect, for our voice, for our efforts to spread knowledge throughout the society. Our pens are demanding justice for Dr. Avijit Roy. How loudly we shout for our right for freedom of speech, no one cares. How spontaneously we want to live on this earth, neither our government nor the religious extremist group values our life. The religious extremist group attacked on Dr. Humayun Azad on 27th February, 2005. When Dr. Humayun Azad was attacked by the Islamic terrorist, our senior generation and general citizens stayed silent. The government finished their duties by financing the medical cost of his treatment. No justice has come in ten years. Islamic terrorist continued to terrorize the Bangladeshis for ten years. On 26th February, 2015, exactly after ten years, another brutal killing has taken place, as if they are marking one decade of terrorization through another intellectual killing.
: You're the guy, right?
: So this is what it's like?
: I thought it would be...
: Something in that direction, yes.
: IT IS JUST AS YOU HAD IMAGINED.
: I was sharp, wasn't I?
: YES, SIR TERRY, YOU WERE BRILLIANT.
“All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.”
― Susan Sontag (On Photography)
Disclaimer: As international journalistic integrity and practice dictates, this rebuttal to Mr. Zafar Sobhan’s (editor of the Dhaka Tribune) writing was first sent to the Dhaka Tribune for publication. Mr. Sobhan held onto it for almost a week and then informed upon inquiry that they had no intention of publishing it. It was then sent to BDNews24.