Letters to the Editor
1. On Humayun Azad
I'm unable to attand your meeting[arranged by Mukto-Mona] today due to a family emergency, but, as director of the Center for Inquiry-Metro New York, I want to tell you how proud I am to have your group associated with our organization. You are exactly the kind of people whose values we share and want to support.
The tragic recent death of Dr. Humayun Azad underlines the need for international support for all people oppressed by religious fundamentalism. Americans—largely as a result of poor and inadequate press coverage—are insufficently aware of the courageous struggles of dissidents like Dr. Azad in the Islamic world. I hope that CFI-Metro New York can do something to change that, not only by publicizing your issues on our website but by trying to educate members of the general press on these subjects.
Susan Jacoby, New York
August 28, 2004
2. Humayun Azad, Mukto-Mona and Shabdaguchha
My sincere apology to Dr. Ajoy Roy for not being timely in terms of responses to his repeated mails with reasons being coping up with new job schedule and some voluntary helping of some far relatives with some paper works, etc. However--I am sure—many of you have been doing it on a regular basis for years.
Coming to point--As for Dr. Roy's conversations with late Dr. Humayun Azad's wife and the outcome i.e. their wish to set up a library and a memorial scholarship in Rarikhal, Munsi Gonj; my opinion is as follows:
1. Who will look after once it's set up? Reason I'm asking is some days ago-I was saddened to learn the fate of Aroj Ali Library/house in Lamchoree, Barisal.
2. As Bonna has asked: will we have to donate every year? If so, will it be feasible since we've many other projects in mind.
3. Total we can provide USD 1000 from Mukto-Mona, Singapore $ 5000 (so kind of Kisan, we are certainly lucky to have such a friend) and $ 1000 from NY based poet/editor HassanAl Abdullah (may like to donate separately. I don't know for sure. However; I'm sending him a cc) Will family have objections if we wish that Mukto-Mona and Shabdaguchha's (HassanAl's bilingual poetry magazine) names be added to the project permanently?
4. If you (Dr. Roy) visit Azad family again—please remind his kids , mainly Smita Azad, to acknowledge condolence messages they received; at least ones from such organization/people as executive director/author Susan Jacoby/Dr. Austin Dacey of Center for Free Inquiry metro New York (www.cfimetrony.org). CFI publishedAzad's death news at their website and sent condolence to the family. Besides- MM has a good rapport with CFI.
5. As promised, on Azad project I would personally donate USD 150 but after getting my first pay check, which would be 1st week of October. ...Thanks to Dr. Shabbir, Abul Kasem, fatemolla, Dr. Alamgir, Kisan, Bonna, Avijit, and Dr. Roy for their support on Azad project!
Jahed Ahmed, New York
Sept. 10, 2004
Dear Hasan Bhai,
How are you? We are passing our days so so. We always wish your mail or letter, as your sir's daughter . We always want to keep a good relation with you. We have learnt from Ajay uncle that you have gathered some money for abbas[dad's] memorial . So we are happy, because we want to do something in future for him. Secondly if you send abbas[dad's] last video to us then we will be so greatful to you, because we don't have any recent video of him, but we want to see him very eagerly. Thirdly I want shabdaguchha's mailing address because I wrote a short piece about abba[dady] in bengali for your patrika[magazine] . Composing [e-mails in] bengali is hard so we want your mailing address.
Mauli Azad, Dhaka
Sept 17, 2004
4. Fundamentalism Cannot Stop a Writer
I am so sorry and dishearted hearing about Dr. Azad, please convey my condolence and support to him and his family, friends, supporters and well wishers. Please let me know if we can bring him here and will support and help for his treatment as possible. I wish him speedy recovery and even we have to keep fighting against fundamentalism and terroism but they won't be successfull stoping freedom of rights or writer's pen.
Soumen Kundu, Dracut, MA
Feb 29, 2004
5.Azad's Memorial Reading is a Success
I just wanted to thank you for organizing that splendid memorial yesterday. It was so interesting to see the video and see 'ordinary' life in Bangladesh—not floods or elections or what is on the news all the time...and also enjoyed the other readings—even though Mr. Datta dissented from Azad's point of view, as you said, celebrating dissent is what the occasion was all about.
Thanks for inviting me to read and definitely keep in touch
Nicholas Brins, Professor, New School
Sept 6, 2004
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Shabdaguchha, A Journal of Bengali and English Poetry, Published in New York, Edited by Hassanal Abdullah.