Trisha Ahmed, stepdaughter of slain writer-blogger Avijit Roy, remembers him as a fun dad who taught her to be informed, bold, and unafraid.And by dying for his cause, her father gained worldwide attention to the oppression and murder of scientific thought in Bangladesh, she said.In a special article for CNN that marked a year of the Bangladesh-born American’s murder in Dhaka, Trisha recalled Avijit as a person who treated her as his equal.“It felt strange to call him dad because he had the aura and wit of a fun uncle,” said the second-year student at Johns Hopkins University at Baltimore, US.Wit did not take away the seriousness with which Avijit approached rationalism, Trisha’s recollection revealed. “As brutal as his death was, I don’t think my dad would have wanted to live any differently.”She said: “I know that Al Qaeda, ISIS, and other manifestations of religious extremism are alive and well. But by writing and sharing my story, I am making my impact. I – and so many others – am slowly, thoughtfully, and certainly chipping away at the ideologies that seek to destroy us.”Trisha recalled her parents visiting her at the university before flying to Dhaka, their hometown.Thirteen days later, on Feb 26 last year, she was shell-shocked when she received messages informing her father was dead and her mother was in the ICU in Bangladesh.That afternoon (US time), she posted this on Facebook.
“My dad was a prominent Bengali writer, most famous for his books about science and atheism. He and my mom went to Bangladesh last week to publicize his books at Bangladesh’s national book fair. 15 hours ago, Islamic fundamentalists stabbed my dad to death. My mom was severely wounded from the attack and is still in the hospital. His death is headline news in Bangladesh.“The reason I’m sharing this is less for me and more for my dad. He was a firm believer in voicing your opinion to better the world.“He and my mom started dating when I was six years old. In the twelve years that followed, he became my friend, my hero, my most trusted confidante, my dance partner (even though we’re both terrible dancers), and my father. Not once did he tell me to simmer down or be more polite; he taught me to be informed, bold, and unafraid.“To say that I’m furious or heartbroken would be an understatement. But as [screwed]up as the world is, there’s never a reason to stop fighting to make it better. I’ll carry the lessons he taught me and the love he gave me forever. I love you so much, Dad. Thank you for every single thing.”Those are the words the public saw, Trisha wrote on Friday.“But what they didn’t see was me downing sleep medicine every night, so I wouldn’t dream of my dad lying in a pool of his own blood. What they didn’t see was the worry that I wouldn’t see my mom again, and that if I did, she would never be the same, and I would be an incompetent caretaker.“What they didn’t see was me watching Bangladeshi news networks at all hours of the day, watching footage of thousands of people marching in the streets with my dad’s face painted on banners, demanding justice for his murder.“What they didn’t see was a girl who had gone mute.”
source: greenwatch desk