ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Sib Narayan Ray

Sib Narayan Ray’s passing away on February 26, 2008, at the age of 87, was a great loss to the intellectual movement in general and the radical humanist movement in particular. He was well known for his commitment to human values, courage of conviction, |independent thinking, originality and simplicity. He wrote and fought for building a “new human civilisation” and for the development of a “new human culture”. He edited the collected works of M N Roy (published by Oxford University Press). He wrote a monumental biography of M N Roy (published in four volumes) for which he did a great amount of research and travel all over the world. He was founder-editor of Jignasa, a cultural quarterly in Bengali.

I have been associated with the radical humanist movement and the socialist movement from my college days in 1954. I knew Sib Ray when he was the co-editor of the Radical Humanist (RH) along with Ellen Roy and a professor in a college in Mumbai. After his first visit to Europe and Japan in 1962, he wrote an article in the RH in which he expressed his inability to convince the intellectuals abroad regarding some ideas in “new humanism”. The reasoning of M N Roy about “Man rising out of the background of law governed universe, he is essentially rational and so moral” and partyless politics did not convince them. To most of the intellectuals abroad, Sib Ray felt that those questions could be better understood from the angle of anthropology and psychology instead of defining man from the background of the law governed universe.

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