Bangladesh is a country in South Asia with a population that exceeds 161 million people. It’s a place recognized by its rickshaw art, the Royal Bengal tiger, their traditional rice cakes called Pitha, but also because of the existence of media censorship. Ahmedur Chowdhury, known as Tutul, shares his experience on this topic and how education, as well as technology, can counteract this issue to improve the future of younger generations.
Tutul expresses his interest in participating in the College Freedom Forum, considering the diverse opportunities to connect with young people of different areas of the world and to use this platform to speak up about freedom of speech along with the reality in his country. To him, writing and literature are powerful tools that can inspire individuals to take accurate actions on issues such as authoritarian regimes and human rights violations.
Literature is a very important part for the people and it is the most important tool to motivate, inspire, and change people's thinking." - Ahmedur Chowdhury
Ahmedur reveals that as a result of the introduction of technology in Bangladesh most young people are starting to write and express their opinion. Also, that as a Muslim based country the community has a lot of taboos that prevent development, however, the opportunity to get access to information made it possible for individuals to start dialogues on homosexuality, authoritarianism, and other restricted topics.
For Tutul, an essential step to reduce the manipulation of Government is to educate people on diverse topics related to economy, freedom of speech, liberty, politics, science and more; this to have better results and avoid taking actions that will not be functional in the long term. Also, he shares that the best way to bring attention to a country is to be alert to all Government decisions that could jeopardize freedom and allow an authoritarian regime to be imposed.
Journalists and writers, cannot express their opinion freely because they are afraid of being kidnapped and killed.”
Chowdhury concludes by inviting the audience to get involved with the work he does in his publishing house and the Shuddhashar magazine, to acknowledge issues associated with feminism, religion, authoritarianism, censorship, LGBTQ movement, and more. In addition to this, he expresses that it doesn't matter where individuals come from, everyone has a responsibility to preserve democracy, freedom, equality, and human rights.
Journalist and secular publisher
Nuestra misión es la enseñanza y difusión de los principios éticos, jurídicos y económicos de una sociedad de personas libres y responsables.
Universidad Francisco Marroquín