Ajoy Roy

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Ajoy Roy
Born Dinajpur, British India (now Bangladesh)
Education PhD (Physical chemistry)
Alma mater
Spouse(s) Shefali Roy
Children Avijit Roy

Ajoy Roy (born March 1, 1935) is a retired Professor of Physics at the Dhaka University of Bangladesh, but is best known for his prominent role in Bangladesh human rights activism and freethinking. He has been one of the eminent educationists promoting secular humanism in Bangladesh.

He is founder and President of the Shishka Andolan Mancha (Platform For Education-Movement) and chairman of Shamriti Mancha (Platform for peace-harmony-tranquility).

Roy is editor in chief of Muktanwesa (Bengali: মুক্তান্বেষা) magazine, a Bengali publication for promoting freethinking and Secular Humanism. He is also the member of advisory board of the Mukto-Mona, an internet forum of freethinkers, rationalists, skeptics, atheists and humanists of mainly Bengali and South Asian descent. He is an Honorary Associate of the Rationalist International, an organization that defends rationalist ideas. He has been contributing as a columnist to the national newspapers of Bangladesh. In 2012, he received Ekushey Padak, the highest civilian award of Bangladesh.

Early years and education

Roy was born in Dinajpur, Bangladesh. He received his Bachelor's degree and the Master's degree from Dhaka University, and took his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Physical Chemistry from Leeds University of England. He was among a group of teachers who formed an advanced center of Solid State Physics and crystallography established in 1969 under the sponsorship of UNESCO. His work led to the discovery of some fundamental processes in radiation chemistry of aliphatic and amino acids and their salts. The process of dissociative electron capture and the subsequent fate of electron is considered to be his major contribution as a scientist.[1][2] His scientific works have also been cited in the contents of volumes (1–50) of Progress in NMR Spectroscopy.[3]

Human rights activism

Roy participated in many progressive movements in Bangladesh including Language movement of 1952, Mass Movement in 1969, and Non Co-operation movement of 1970 and most prominently, in the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971 as a freedom fighter. He was one of the teachers of Dhaka University who were directly involved with the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971, paramilitary as a member of Mukti Bahini (or liberation army) involving in guerrilla warfare in Comilla border to fight against the West Pakistani army. Later he became a member of the Planning Commission to the Government of Bangladesh during the liberation war and worked as a General Secretary of East Pakistan Teachers' association in Kolkata.,.[4][5] He also established several cultural organizations to inspire the freedom fighters where Mamunur Rashid and other noted actors took active part.[6] After Liberation Prof. Roy was the General Secretary of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh in the 1972-73 period, succeeding Ahmed Sharif.[7]

When Pakistani freethinker Dr. Younus Shaikh was in prison and awaiting the death penalty for alleged blasphemous remarks regarding Muhammad in 2000, Ajoy Roy organized the 'Save Dr. Yunus Shaikh Committee' and held meetings, processions, seminars, road side demonstration and staged demonstration against Pakistani president General Pervez Musharraf in front of the Pakistan High commission at Dhaka.[8]

Following the 2001 general elections, there was a wave of violence and oppression towards the minority Hindu community, Prof. Ajoy Roy took active stand to help the victims. He also created control and monitoring cell at Dhaka before the election of 2008 to prevent similar atrocities on minority population of Bangladesh. He has also been working for the rights of the indigenous and hill people of Bangladesh [9]

Freethinking and secular humanism

Roy translated the first chapter of Richard Dawkin's The God Delusion in Bengali[10] and took active role to introduce Aroj Ali Matubbar, the rationalist, peasant-philosopher of Bangladesh[11] in the west. He defended Taslima Nasrin and her plight in various essays.[12][13] He has been working to build up a science-based culture for rapid development of the country.[14] He is also one of the pioneers to organize Darwin Day rally at Dhaka.[15]

His son Avijit Roy, an engineer who blogged about secular humanism, was hacked to death in Dhaka on February 26, 2015.[16]


The list of the prominent books written by Ajoy Roy :

  • Biggan O Darshan: Jor er Shondhane (Science and Philosophy: The Quest for Matter) (1993–94)
  • Adi Bangali : Nritattik O shomajtattik Bishleshon (The Ancient Bengali) (1997) [Nominated as the best book of the year from Itihash Parishad]
  • Swatantra Bhabna (Independent Thought) (2008) [17]
  • Biswash O Biggan (Belief and Science) (2012) [18]
  • Rabindranath O Upanishad (2012)
  • Leela Nag: Shoto Borsher Sroddhanjoli (Leela Nag - A Tribute) (2003)
  • Podartho Bidya: Resnick/Halliday (co-translation of Fundamentals of Physics by Resnick/Halliday)
  • Bangla Academy Biggan Kosh (Bangla Academy Science Encyclopedia)

Recognition and awards


  1. "Bulletin # 88". Retrieved 2 March 2015. 
  2. secularvoiceofbangladesh
  3. Forty years of Progress in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (see Appendix, Ajoy K. Roy and Paul T. Inglefield Solid state NMR studies of local motions in polymers)
  4. একাত্তুরে রণাঙ্গন, শামসুল হুদা চৌধুরী
  5. মুক্তিযুদ্ধে বুদ্ধিজীবীদের ভুমিকা, মেজর রফিকুল ইসলাম
  6. Mamunur Rashid tells New Age (March 26, 2009)
  7. About the Author, Prof. Ajoy Roy's Article page in Mukto-Mona.
  8. Roy's Speech at the Jahanara Imam Memorial Lecture on receiving the Medal
  9. "Present CHT situation threat for future". dailystar.net. 2008-02-11. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  10. Bengali Translation of The First Chapter of The God Delusion
  11. Aroj Ali Matubbar: Rationalist Philosopher of Rural Bangladesh : Paper read in the conference by Rationalist International in 2001
  12. Taslima Nasrin's present plight: A conversation with me
  13. বিষন্ন এক সংগ্রামী নারীর মুখোমুখি
  14. "The Daily Star Web Edition Vol. 5 Num 404". Retrieved 2 March 2015. 
  15. বাংলাদেশে ডারউইন দিবস উদযাপন
  16. "Blogger Avijit hacked to death on DU campus". New Age. Dhaka. 26 February 2015. Retrieved 26 February 2015. 
  17. স্বতন্ত্র ভাবনা - বাঙালী ফ্রিথিঙ্কারদের একটি সাহসী সঙ্কলন
  18. প্রকাশিত হল মুক্তমনা লেখকদের সংকলন-গ্রন্থ ‘বিশ্বাস ও বিজ্ঞান’
  19. "15 personalities awarded Ekushey Padak, BDNews24.com, 20 Feb 2012 01:13:27 PM Monday BdST". Retrieved 2 March 2015. 
  20. এবারের একুশে পদক পেলেন অধ্যাপক অজয় রায় ও হুমায়ুন আজাদ
  21. এবারের (২০১১) বাংলা একাডেমী পুরস্কার পেলেন অধ্যাপক অজয় রায়
  22. "bdnews24.com". Retrieved 2 March 2015. 
  23. New Age Newspaper Report