A Surprise ‘Happy 30th Anniversary, Shuddhashar!’

Tutul, for your steadfast determination to inspire people to listen, expand horizons, re-think assumptions, challenge ourselves, and work harder for more a humane and just world.

 

For Tutul
who never bends to our local brand of fascism,
who believes in culture and in transmission of culture,
who was reborn more valiant and more brave after he had been left for dead,  

my admiration, comradeship and support in our common fight for secular societies.
marieme

Marieme Helie Lucas
Algerian sociologist and founder of the international networks Women Living Under Muslim Laws and Secularism Is A Women’s Issue

 

Three decades ago, a small publishing house was launched in Bangladesh which committed itself to publish books which would force us to think differently. It promised to be the voice of reason and science and challenge the conventional wisdom. Ahmed Rashid Tutul, the founder of the press, faced the worst since, he was attacked and left to die, then exiled – yet he remains unwavering in his commitment. Shuddhashar, the journal, has become the platform for many of us to say what needs to be said and continues to inspire us to think differently.  Let the light continue to shine bright for many years to come. Happy 30th Anniversary to Shuddhashar.  

Ali Riaz

Distinguished Professor of political science at Illinois State University, USA.

 

Happy Birthday. Shuddhashar!   It is altogether admirable that this high-quality journal has survived so long in exile!  I read it regularly and hope that it continues at its current level of extraordinary coverage into the indefinite future.

Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak
University Professor in the Humanities

Columbia University

 

All too few Norwegians and Europeans are familiar with Shuddhashar and the work of Ahmedur Rashid Chowdhury. Untill a few years ago, I happened to be among them. But for thirty years, Shuddhashar has been an exceptional reminder of the myriad ways in which struggles for human rights, for social and gender justice, and for rights to human dignity link us all together in a global tapestry. The struggle for a planetary humanism made to the measure of the world has never been more important, and Shuddhashar and Ahmedur Rashid Chowdhury is to be found at the forefront of that struggle. 

Sindre Bangstad, Research Professor, KIFO (Institute For Church, Religion and Worldview Research), Oslo, Norway.  

 

Thirty years of Shudhhashor!  I first heard of Shudhhashor some years ago as a progressive publishing house.  I heard of this young dynamic fearless person at its helm, Ahmedur Rashid Tutul, but had never met him.  Even when he rented his office right opposite to my office, we still hadn’t met.

We eventually met and became close under the worst conditions possible.  It was 2015 when progressive writers, activists, bloggers, publishers were being killed, attacked with machetes unhindered, without restraint or control by the State.  Tutul too was attacked, end October, 2015.  That is how we first met, in the Emergency Room of Dhaka Medical College, with him fighting for his life.  He luckily survived, when most did not.  

He however paid the price of having to leave behind all his life’s work and take refuge in another country.

When most people would give up, wallow in self-pity, like the phoenix, he recreated Shudhhashor.  As an online journal, playing an important part.  Providing space and opportunities for the writer and the reader to continue to find a platform for free thoughts and truth to flourish.

Today, I salute Shudhhashor and Tutul for continuing to give us this platform.  It is not easy, but continuing to take up the challenge is so important for us all.

My sincere congratulations to the entire team.  May we continue to celebrate many more milestones in future.

In solidarity as always and congratulations to the team.

Best wishes,
Khushi Kabir
Friend and Activist from Bangladesh

 

It is an honor to be able to congratulate Shuddhashar on its 30 years’ anniversary!

Tutul’s work for freedom of expression, his strong belief in the value of sharing information, ideas and topics for debate is very important. The way that he has stood his ground, continued his work with Shuddhashar, despite serious threats and an attempt on his life, is nothing short of impressive and deeply admirable.

One of the great privileges of working for ICORN is getting to know strong and amazing people. People that make a change, people whose influence will be remembered and will have an effect for a long time. These people also make an impact on my own life. Tutul definitely is among those. What he has done and continues to do from exile is so important, both for people in his home country of Bangladesh, but also for others. He reminds us what courage is, but also that we need to hold on to the basic human rights. These fundamental freedoms, resulting from generations of dedicated struggle, should never be taken for granted.

Marianne Wulfsberg Hovdan
Protection Manager
ICORN – International Cities of Refuge Network

 

My heartiest congratulations to Tutul and everyone who in various ways has been involved with Shuddhashar for the last 30 years. Tutul’s tireless efforts for free speech and free thought are important contributions to a better and enlightened world. May Shuddhashar continue to inspire and impress us for many, many years to come.
Ingeborg Kværne,  Koordinator for de norske fribyene / Coordinator for the Norwegian cities of refuge
Norsk PEN / Norwegian PEN

 

It is a daunting prospect to reflect on the longevity and survival of a space like Shuddhashar as it reaches its 30th anniversary. My own involvement with the platform has been relatively recent and I am honoured to have played a part in its recent growth into podcasts. At the heart of both its long-standing ethos and its willingness to adapt is Tutul Bhai’s open-mindedness and compassion towards others. As a queer Bangladeshi, I can empathise with the dangers of being unwelcome in our common homeland, though my own experiences pale in comparison to what Tutul Bhai has survived. No, not just survived; he has used his experiences of violence and trauma to champion the vulnerable and the marginalised around the world. It is understandable if someone in his position chose to spend the rest of their life focusing on safety and self-care. That he has chosen instead to dedicate his time to continuing a platform built on free speech, free expression and free thought – all values that are under growing threat in a world that is lurching further to the right every day – is a more accurate testament to his character and to Shuddhashar’s importance than my meagre words can express. I look forward to seeing it thrive for another 30 years and continue to grow from strength to strength.
Ibtisam Ahmed
Doctoral Researcher at the School of Politics and International Relations, University of Notthingham

 

I am delighted to see Shuddhashar is celebrating its 30th anniversary. Many congratulations to Ahmedur Rashid Tutul on this occasion. We all are aware that this long journey for Suddhoshor hasn’t been smooth.  Tutul personally and Shuddhoshor deserve to be acclaimed for their courageous role in defending freedom of expression. 

Best.
Sultana Kamal
Human rights lawyer and activist, Bangladesh 

 

Ode to Tutul and Shuddhashar
Congratulations on 30 years this December 2020
What a proud moment when your first issue was on poetry
You owe your life to Tutul and his vision for a better world
When he conceived you way back in Dec. 1990.

A world where freedom of thought and expression will prevail
Those who oppose it to no avail
Those who join and support you will prevail.

Have 30 years made a difference?
Lo and behold there’s now a place of solace for refugees and asylees
For those persecuted for believing in a world of freedom of expression and thought
For those who seek a better world for the entire lot.

Shuddhashar, you are no longer an infant
Not even a child or a teenager
You are wise beyond your 30 years
Offering hope and salvation for years and years.

You were conceived with love and hope
You provide light to those who mope
You have helped to wash away pain and sorrow better than any soap.

You shall live beyond our wildest dreams
You help smooth the pain better than any balms or creams
You shall be the legacy of Tutul and his legion of fans across the globe.

Not just for another 30 years, 100 or even 300 years
But for all eternity with the light and love you have cast across the globe.

Best regards,
Sheela Murthy
President and CEO, Murthy Law Firm

 

 

 

“To inspire not to impress”
“To inspire not to impress:” that’s the title Tutul chose for his contribution to our publication in French of Bhagat Singh’s “Why I am an Atheist,” and those simple words are always an inspiration in our publication work and constant reminder that the temporary universalization of oppression and obscurantism will be always met and defeated by the universalization of creativity and freedom.

Asymmetry Press
editionsasymetrie.org/

 

Tutul, Rashid Ahmedur from Bangladesh is a phenomenon in international Publishing, being a multifaceted publisher, an editor, and a poet. His main impetus is to communicate a humanistic outlook on life regardless of religion and politics. His genuine commitment is his compelling force.

He created the journal Shuddhashar, and his publishing company sprang out of that. His belief in his work has pushed him ahead, even in exile.

His journal Shuddhashar is recreated digitally in the small town of Skien in Norway. 

He has received many international prices as well as a price from Norwegian PEN, and he is included in the Association of the leading editors of Norway. 

Tutul`s voice will remain important for another thirty years.

William Nygaard
Retired head of Norwegian publication house Aschehoug and former chairman of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation and Norsk PEN.

 

 

To inspire, not to impress is a very cool slogan and motto, and you certainly live up to it. We congratulate Shuddhashar with surviving and living through these 30 roller coaster years with reflection and respect. We are more than impressed. The fight for freedom will never end, so please hang in there!   

Bente Riise
General Secretary

Norsk tidsskriftforening
The Norwegian Assosiation of Journals   

 

Vi anbefaler dere på det aller varmeste å lese de mange gode og viktige artiklene i shuddhashar! Gratulerer Shuddhashar! 
Rune Ottosen
Professor Emer. i OsloMet
Tidligere Sjefredaktor i Røde Fane
What a pleasure to watch the steady growth and development of the online Shuddhashar magazine. I had the honour to meet its editor three years ago at the Arts Rights Justice Academy at the University of Hildesheim where we shared a week of discussions, knowledge-sharing and mutual support amongst 30 artists and arts organisations committed to free artistic exchange. It must have been like climbing a mountain to re-establish Shuddhashar from its new base.  But you did it! And so many around the world are benefitting from your three decades of wisdom.  Thank you and congratulations!
Mary Ann DeVlieg
Co-Founder at International Arts Rights Advisors

 

 

 

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