Professor Aftab Ahmed was an exceedingly talented political scientist and a scholar. Anybody who heard him talk extempore for hours together on any issue with his very dramatic style, can’t have any doubt about his depth.
A leading freeodm fighter, he is credited with first articulating many famous slogans like ‘Tomar Amar thikan, padma meghna Jomuna’ or even possibly ‘Joy Bangla’. After independence he became a leading intellectual dissident of Awami League government and was one of the designers of Ziaur Rahman perceived Bangladeshi nationalism. He is the author of numerous authoritative text book on Political Science and Bangladesh.
Because his ideology and uncompromising intellectual activism was not in par with the popular mainstream in the intellect arena, he had to suffer a lot. In the year before his death, he was relenlessly atacked by a section of the media about his alleged corruption as national university VC and some sex scandal. Howevel, later after his death, it was found, per newspaper reports, that he left nothing for his sole mentally handicapped daughter.
He was shot by some unidentified gunmen at his University flat and he ultimately died on Sep 26, 2006.
There is absolutely no dobt that those who kiilled him, did this out of difference of opinioin or intellectual animosity. His outspoken uhindered style also didn’t help him much.
His death is one of the few successful killings attempted out of ideological rift, the other prominent killing of recent time was that of prof Yunus of RU. In the past, there have been failed attempts on Poet Shamsur Rahman or Prof Humayun Azad.
One year after Prof Aftab’s death, one thing saddens me more is that how silent our intellegentsia, our progressive secular community in protesting his death, or in remembering him or demanding a justice of his death. A scholar has been shot and killed and still we have difficulty forgetting the past eideological differences! What a shame!