Hitchens, a U.K.-born zealous preacher of atheism, journalist, author, and
polemicist, died of cancer on December 15 in a hospital in Texas, U.S.A. He was
He was quite
vocal in both writing and lecturing about issues and matters that he strongly believed
in. He was proficient in the use of English language.
an Anglican, Christopher Hitchens later changed religions several times before
he became a socialist and then an atheist. Along with Professor Richard Dawkins
and some other atheists, he took upon himself the duty of preaching atheism
through writing, speeches and debates.
emphasized upon the use of logic and reasoning in place of blind faith in
religion. He called upon all not to believe in God because, according to him,
what religions teach about God are fictions or made-up stories. Religious
leaders used religions to control minds and hearts of people.
world-wide publicity when he called Mother Teresa of Calcutta a “Hell’s Angel” through
a book. He was equally scathing in his remarks on some politicians.
Some of his
books on the subject of religion and atheism are: The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever; Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens;
The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in
Theory and Practice; god Is Not
Great: How Religion Poisons Everything; and Is Christianity Good for the World?
In the past,
our blog Bangladesh Canada and Beyond
gave coverage on Christopher Hitchens in the following write-ups:
observes its 40thBijoy Dibosh
(Victory Day) today. Forty years ago, on this day, General Niazi, who was head
of the Pakistani occupation forces in East Pakistan (later renamed Bangladesh),
surrendered to the joint forces of India and Bangladesh muktijuddhas (freedom fighters).
It is sad
but true that the ideals that spurred the independence movement did not get
realized fully even in the last 40 years of independence. The question of freedom,
democracy (holding regular elections is only a part of democracy; real democracy
also means enjoyment of rights and practice of responsibilities), political
stability, the rich and poor divide, violation of the rights of the minority
ethnic groups, corruption, naked nepotism, law and order situation,
implementation of true justice, and economic stagnation still need to be
is in the middle age now. It has attained enough maturity to think for itself
and work for the greatest interest and good of its people – majority people who
are Muslims as well as minority peoples, who are Hindus, Buddhists, Christians,
aboriginals and small ethnic groups.
understand the history, significance and meaning of the Bijoy Dibosh, you may read the following:
Retired Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha of Lahore, Pakistan
Photo courtesy: The Catholic Register (Nov. 20, 2011)
Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha of Lahore, Pakistan, on a recent visit to Toronto,
said after the naked murder of Christian minister Shahbaz Bhatti on March 2, 2011, Pakistani Christians are living in fear and
their voice is silenced, reports The
Catholic Register of Toronto.
also mentioned educated Pakistani Christians are abandoning their country to
take shelter abroad. Those remaining in the country “are keeping their heads
down and their mouths shut,” he said.
“In such a
situation, minorities don’t have much place. There’s no tolerance for other
religions,” he said. “Either you convert or you leave.”
A number of
churches have to post guards and build concrete barriers to prevent attack on
Regarding Human Rights of Its Minorities, Pakistan is a
is officially called “The Islamic Republic of Pakistan.” It has a population of
over 132.35 million, of whom 95% are Muslims and 5% are Christians,
Hindus and other minorities.
but true that Pakistan today is a prime example of infamous “Blasphemy Laws”
which have been causing widespread persecution among the minority groups in the
name of Islam. The minorities are hostages in the hands of some religious
extremists who use the blasphemy laws to settle scores with their rivals or
competitors, to take revenge on someone, or to outright grab lands of
politicians, judges and law enforcement personnel, to keep their positions
intact, allow themselves to be used as toys in the hands of the radical Islamists.
of a nation is proven by how it treats its own minorities. Pakistan has
miserably failed in this respect. An Islamic republic is supposed to follow the real Islam and protect the rights of minorities, but, in reality, Pakistan is failing in this regard.
democratic countries, in general, are keeping mum on this matter to receive the
support of Pakistan in their fight against terrorism. Their deafening silence is going
against the minorities’ rights in Pakistan.
Call them window cleaners, call them window washers -- they are of the same profession and work. They can be seen on scaffolds hanging from high-rise buildings and skyscrappers all over the world.
These men take bold risks in this cleaning business. They stand on scaffolds hanging down with strong ropes from top of the building. They have a pulley system to go up or down according to their need.
When I see them scrubbing, brushing and rinsing glass windows several stories high, I shudder but, at the same time, I marvel at their fait accompli.
Sometimes there is a news on how some ropes give way and the cleaners with their scaffolds fall to the ground with deadly consequences. Can you imagine how their families suffer?
In spite of such a danger and risk, window washers take their job seriously. Risking their lives, they are giving a service to humanity. Such risk takers are making our lives easy. We definitely need to appreciate their work and give them proper respect.
Benedict XVI, on October 29, appointed Father Sebastian Tudu the new bishop of
the Diocese of Dinajpur, Bangladesh. Bishop-elect Tudu will succeed Bishop
Moses Costa, CSC, who in last May was transferred to the Diocese of Chittagong.
Sebastian Tudu, at the time of the announcement, was the Vice Rector and
professor of the Holy Spirit Major Seminary in Dhaka. He will be the first
Santal (one of the several ethnic groups) Bishop of Bangladesh. He will be consecrated as a bishop on January 27, 2012.
the Pratibeshi, the national Catholic
weekly of Bangladesh, Bishop-elect Tudu was born on June 17, 1967 at Changura
Village under Mariampur Catholic Church of Dinajpur District.
at Mariampur Catholic school, St. Philip’s High School of Dinajpur, Dinajpur
Govt. College, Notre Dame College of Dhaka and Holy Spirit Major Seminary. He
has a Ph.D. in Theology from the Pontifical Urbaniana University of Rome,
He became a
priest on December 30, 1999. As an assistant parish priest, he had served at
Dhanjuri and Ruhea parishes.
The Diocese of Dinajpur, with an area of 12,638,991 sq. km., has a population of more than 16,000,000 people and among them more than 42,000 are Roman Catholics who belong to the Bangali (Bengalee), Santal, Oraon, Mahali, Mundari, Malo and Mal Pahari ethnic groups.