Bangladesh: A photo went viral of a couple kissing in rains immediately after a photojournalist Jibon Ahmed posted on his Facebook page on Monday.
Many people reacted positively to the photo which was clicked on the University of Dhaka campus which has witnessed protests and violent incidents in the past few months. Three students were suspended in July for allegedly assaulting two students who were holding hands.
Others found the picture indecent where extremism is deepening in Bangladesh which is a Muslim majority country.
The photojournalist said that the couple didn’t object to picture and wouldn’t tolerate being a victim of moral policing.
In an interview with The Washington Post, Ahmed said that he was searching for photographs near the University on Monday and when he saw the couple ‘lip kissing’ he captured it and sent it to his newsroom. He was disappointed when the editors decided not to run it citing that it would prompt a negative response.
In his reply to the editors, Ahmed said, "I said, no, you cannot portray this photo negatively, because I found it a symbol of pure love.”
In spite of the editor’s rejection, he posted the picture on Instagram and Facebook, where within an hour it was shared 5,000 times.
Next day, some of his fellow photographers roughed him up and his boss asked him to return his ID and official laptop without giving him a proper reason for firing him.
Editor, on the other hand, said, when Ahmed told his colleagues about the attack, they supported him and decided to take legal action.
Nur-e-Naharin, editor of Purboposhchimbd said, "The attack was not related to the professional duties. These attacks were the result of his personal transactions." The editor also said that he didn’t come to the office and has been absent from office since July 24th.
Ahmed said he was "disheartened" at how the matter was handled.
"The couple had a spontaneous lip kiss; I found nothing wrong in them or no obscenity. Of course, I am disheartened. Some people in our country became educated only in papers, but they are not educated in a real sense. They failed to realize the underlying meaning of my photograph. I am also a bit worried about myself," Ahmed added.
Tanim Ahmed, a special correspondent wrote an opinion piece with a headline ‘Kissing liberty goodbye?’ in Dhaka Tribune that during ‘suffocating’ times, a photo like this ‘instills hope that all is not yet lost’.