We see brilliant result-makers in education institutions in our country. Science students have more opportunities to earn higher numbers in exams and so make better results, too, than students of other divisions. In school, science is also considered a subject that promises high income careers and so usually sought after by parents for their children who prove to be more intelligent than their siblings. The doors of high-income careers of professionals like doctors, engineers, IT specialists are open to them. But we hardly see any scientists born out of these talented children.
What prevents these brilliant, extra-ordinarily talented students to be anything more than merely some high-income professionals in life? It is because, from the beginning, they and their dreaming parents have cared more about money than science as knowledge. To them studying science is a guarantee for a financially secured life. From the beginning their mindset is not to pursuit knowledge for the sake of humanity, but financial gain in life. Even in such a dreary situation, some persons like a young friend of mine comes along with a very different mental composition and perseverance in the field of scientific research and innovation genuinely for love of humanity and the country. But in this country, they are rarely anything but fish on land snatched out of water.
Death is the other side of life, so natural and unsurprising. Yet many deaths in reality are very unnatural and quite shocking. Death which embraced Anwarul Azim Khan Anjan, a young scientist, is quite unimaginable and raises some basic questions about the structure of society. The structure of the state and society should be such that creative minds can flourish and develop freely. The present social and state structure is of the kind that such minds must shrink and die ultimately under the heavy burden of paralyzing barriers.
Anjan was a very good writer and a person of good scientific attitude and progressive cultural standards. In January 2009 he wrote a very informed and passionate article on scientist Jamal Nazrul Islam, which was first published in Shikkhalok and later in Biggan O Sangskriti, a little mag. He has innovated an alternative fuel made out of wood dust thrown away at sawmills. This fuel, briquettes, innovated by him is cheaper than the traditional one made out of rice husk and yet more heat-generating. He received Intellectual Property Protection Award 2019 from the government and wrote about this innovation in the Shikkhalok in June 2019. He once worked as a technical director of a cinema. Creative thinking and scientific innovation were in his blood.
Anjan set up a factory called Projukti at his village home for producing briquettes from wood dust for handloom industries in Pabna and elsewhere. But he got carried away by his emotion of teaching science at a local school in Kashinathpur and paid little attention to his innovation and business. This caused the business to go down and he had to suffer a huge loss of money for this. Afterwards, he had to leave his teaching job and was determined to start the factory anew.
Recently, on this past 1 April, he was invited to do a presentation of his innovation of alternative biomass fuel at the 4th Shikkhalok Lekhok-Shilpi Shommilon, a get-together of writers and artists. Professor Shahidul Islam, Syed Badrul Ahsan, Dr. Amin Uddin Mridha and Professor Niranjan Adhikary were chief guests in the day-long program of discussion on various topics. Anjan's presentation entitled 'Biomass Fuel Made from Waste Materials' was widely discussed and appreciated in the program.
This young scientist, a great mind full of scientific attitude and rich ethical values, fell victim to brain stroke, perhaps collapsing under pressure of bitter experiences from some unexpected quarters. But he deserved much better support from the society, state institutions and those who worked long with him. A real star of ever shining talent, patriotism and moral values dropped from the sky with this very unexpectedly visiting death.
He was born on 30 June in 1976 in the village of Natun Bharenga in Bera upazilla, Pabna. He and I became friends since 4 to 5 years back. During our visit to his factory at Natitabari, Pabna, towards the end of February, we talked throughout the journey from Dhaka to Pabna on many topics and I was enlightened by many of his insights. Who knew then that we were going to lose him forever in a little more than a month, on 19 May, at the Neurosciences Hospital (NINS) in Dhaka after 11 days of unconscious state?
He was a member of the editorial board of the little mag Biggan O Sangskriti and wrote articles for it. For the latest Rokeya issue of this little mag, I asked him whether he could write something on Begum Rokeya. Before this, I had requested him to do the review of a book by Jamal Nazrul Islam. He agreed but found it difficult to put his mind into writing due to some unwanted troubles of life. I collected J. N. Islam's The Ultimate Fate of the Universe, but will never be able to send him the book for the intended discussion.
With his absence from this world, I have lost a very good friend, young boys and girls have lost a great teacher of science and the country has lost an innovator, scientist, thinker, patriot, humanist and writer. Our loss can never be recovered.
The writer is Editor, Biggan O Sangskriti.
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