Ahmedur Rashid Chowdhury

Ahmedur Rashid Chowdhury, known as Tutul, is a publisher, writer, and editor from Bangladesh. In 1990, Chowdhury began publishing and editing Shuddhashar (“Pure Voice”), a magazine that soon became a platform for young and unconventional writers in Bangladesh. Chowdhury opened his own publishing house in Dhaka in 2004 under the same name, where he published of open-minded and progressive Bangladeshi writers. From 2004 to 2015 he published more than 1000 items book. In 2013, the publishing house was awarded the Shaheed Munir Chowdhury Award for publishing the highest number of best-sellers in Bangladesh and is considered one of the most important publishing houses in the country. In 31st October 2015, Chowdhury was a victim of a coordinated machete attack on publishers of secular authors. Chowdhury had received direct death threats from Islamists and was among the main targets of the attack. Despite these threats, Chowdhury continues to publish, including books written by Avijit Roy, who was murdered in February 2015. In 2016, Chowdgury won the Pinter International Writer of Courage Award and the Jeri Laber International Freedom to Publish Award. Chowdhury currently lives in exile in Norway.

A publisher’s disclaimer about LGBTIQ+ solidarity

In the early days of Shuddhashar, there was excitement around new ideas, different ways of looking at the world, and information that challenged our societal assumptions. Day by day, our mentality shifted because we were opening up.   Some subjects are very difficult to write about. There are so many scattered events, contexts, and emotions …

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Islam in the West: Between Culturalist and Reformist Expediencies | Siddhartha Dhar

A dichotomous world In the Western world, the discourse on Islam has been dramatically shaped by contentious debates on the role of the state. The proliferation of radical ideas among the European-Muslim millennials and recent terrorist attacks across Europe has catapulted fringe right-wing views into the mainstream psyche. There is a rising trend in the …

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Wahhabism in Bangladesh? | Ujoyni Pod

In April 2017, the National Economic Council of Bangladesh approved a Tk-9,062 crore project to build 560 model-mosques in Bangladesh. Initially, the government of Bangladesh asked for Saudi Arabia’s financial assistance, which, according to the latest news never came. That did not prevent Bengali local Muslim communities, which represent 90% of the Muslim population of the …

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Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, Greta Thunberg, and Patriarchy Today | Afra Sampreety

Shakespeare’s plays offer themselves to be interpreted in infinite ways no matter the context. Starting from discourse and symbolism to subtext and political references, one can find multiple ways to interpret his works. “The Taming of the Shrew” is one of Shakespeare’s remarkably popular comedies. The play has been adapted numerous times for stage, screen, …

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Reflections on the International Climate Strike | C. Brannon Andersen

Scientists have understood climate change as a reality for over a century.  Svante Arrhenius was the first to actually calculate the potential effect of rising carbon dioxide concentrations on global temperature in the late 1890s, but was not the first to recognize the potential impact of the combustion of fossil fuels on global climate.  Starting in …

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Climate Catastrophe and Secular Spiritual Possibilities | Pamela Price

“The Exaggerated Possibility of the End of the World”.  That is my translation of the title of an article in the French newspaper, Le Monde diplomatique.  (The Norwegian edition of August 2019).  The article’s author tells of “collapsology”, the different ways the looming collapse of the environment is dealt with in France.  Several books dealing …

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About the trial of the murder of Avijit Roy

Today marks four years since the vicious crime. On the 26th of February, 2015, when returning from a book launching program in front of Shuddhashar’s stall at the Ekushey book fair, Avijit Roy, the science-, logic-, and atheism-based writer, was killed and his wife and writer Rafida Ahmed Bonya was brutally wounded by secret members …

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Bangladesh and the crisis of freedom of speech

Bangladesh and the crisis of freedom of speech

Bangladesh is a small nation in South Asia, gaining independence in 1971. After 24 years of existence under the religious defined Pakistan, created at the end of the British Raj, Bangladesh was born based on a nationalism centred on language. The aspirations of economic, political and intellectual emancipation accelerated and organised the country’s birth. All …

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Shuddhashar urges to free Shahidul, drop charges against him

Shuddhashar stands with the international community to demand the immediate release of Shahidul Alam and to drop all the cases against him. Shahidul, a Bangladeshi photojournalist with international recognition, was seized from his home by plainclothesmen on August 5. He was blindfolded and dragged into a van. This occurred only a few hours after Shahidul’s …

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