I am never satisfied with my limited knowledge. I was reading Aroj Ali Matabbor. Sristi Rohosso, Sttor Shondhane and Onuman I finished reading. Not sure why I downloaded the book from Muktomona "Shokhi Valobasa Kare Koi". I took psychology of religion and History and Philosophy of Psychology as audit course this semester. One thing I noticed that lecturer covered all the major theories of psychology in classes till cognitive psychology.
However, teacher seemed to avoid evolutionary psychology in Class with few superficial sentences. I was just checking Muktomona online library and I found something like 'Bibortonio Monobiggan'. Actually, I found this short essay of Avijit on evolutionary psychology before the book " Shokhi Valobasha Kare Koi". I read that first and then I started to read Shokhi Valobasa Kar Koi. This book is the one that I was looking for as I felt when I was reading.
Last one year, I was reading books on psychology but I could not explain things properly that I have experienced. E.g. the feeling of love. I interpreted love differently. First, I tried to relate with Oedipus complex and then serotonin as just chemical reactions then studying all sort of personality disorders but never ever thought from evolutionary perspective. If Avijit did not write this book, it was hard for me to understand when nobody explained in detail like him. I was confused so many issues happened with me and I had no explanation. I was depending of Freud's work. I sent one work based on one book 'Moses and Monotheism'. Muktomna did not publish that work. I sent so many essays actually but I got refused. This teaches me that maybe I have flaws in ideas.
After reading Avijit book, now I realize where I went wrong. The problem is I am yet to comprehend evolutionary psychology. I only now understand if I had not studied other theories I literally would not understand evolutionary psychology. Avijit talked about how genetic determinism and social determinism contribute to our behavior. One example is really striking, the fear of snake. We got this fear from our past ancestor when they hunted in jungle. I find nowhere this unique explanation why am I so cared of snake. Also, the examples of power and politics how men wish for power to gain females. First to last, I see each explanation is very unique.
I was wondering the things I learned in 2023, he knew and explained 10 years ago. We are very junior of Avijit when it comes to knowledge. I do not like to be arrogant rather I want to learn. Some complex issues Avijit dealt with very real examples are really amazing. I learned how jealousy works for men. He gave two examples. One is Canadian actress and another is a Bangladeshi Girl who went for higher education and his husband afraid of losing his wife and had physically tortured her. These are real examples that helped me to understand evolutionary psychology in better way.
Also, he gave the example of Newton as an unmarried man and the issue of productive writing after marriage. I was wondering how Dr. Avijit Roy was able to dedicate himself with Muktomana after he was married despite his work in office as well as managing home. Not sure if I can contribute to future generation like Avijit but I really appreciate his hardworking nature and dedication for youth learners.
Last but not least, I noticed he was referring to so many English scholarly books on evolutionary psychology and he referred Richard Dawkin's Selfish Gene to simplify for general Bengali speaking readers. I tried to grasp what is Selfish Gene but it was hard for me to understand. Avijit Roy gave so many examples that made me easy to comprehend. He started from love to female to tranfer our gene, then he talked about altruism about family members then he brought to nationalism how selfish gene works from individual level to national level. It is insane explanations. I was wondering how he could explain such broad issues within one single book. As a teacher, he did it so sincerely without being biased. He just presented scientific research and also criticized Marxism which pretends to be using pure science. I see he did exactly like Richard Dawkins not promoting pseudo-science. This is the uniqueness of his explanation.
Regardless of a readers' personal beliefs, they can read his book freely because he presented his writing based on academic research. I would encourage readers to read Avijit Roy's works if they really wish to seek knowledge sincerely. His works are based on extensive research but he did not let readers fall into trap with complex terms and vocabularies so that it becomes hard for general readers to understand. That is very inimitable character that I can guarantee for new readers.
~ Guest Writer: Md Maruf Hasan
PhD candidate, Department of Usul al-Din and Comparative Religion, International Islamic University Malaysia
Master, Department of Usul al-Din and Comparative Religion, International Islamic University Malaysia
Degree in English Language and Literature, International Islamic University Malaysia
E-mail: marufenglish021 at gmail dot com