Thursday, June 13, 2024

Kabir Chowdhury passes away

Kabir Chowdhury, a national professor who became the icon of anti-communalism through his decades-long active stance against the forces of evil and injustice, succumbed to a cardiac arrest in the capital yesterday.
The reputed academic, considered as a voice of conscience during many national crises, was 89.
According to the family members, Prof Chowdhury breathed his last sometime between 3:30am and 6:00am in his sleep at his Naya Paltan residence.
He left behind his wife, three daughters, grandchildren and a host of relatives, well wishers and admirers to mourn his death.
As soon as news of his demise went out, grief-stricken relatives, friends, intellectuals, cultural personalities, journalists, publishers, leading politicians, ministers and lawmakers rushed to his house.
For many, it was difficult to believe that the legendary academic and writer who had gone beyond the scholarly arena to identify himself with a number of defining movements in this country, was no more.
A number of eminent citizens were heard saying that have lost “a guardian, a guide.”
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid rich tributes to Prof Chowdhury by placing a wreath beside his body at Gazi Bhaban. In a very sombre mood, Hasina stayed for around five minutes besides his body and also offered fateha and prayed for his eternal peace. She also talked to his daughters, wife and family members.
In line with his last wishes, Prof Chowdhury was laid to eternal rest at Mirpur Intellectuals’ Graveyard after Magrib prayers.
Winner of numerous awards, Kabir Chowdhury had expressed the desire that his body not be taken to a public place such as the Central Shaheed Minar, said his daughter Shaheen M Kabir.
His namaz-e-janaza was held at Dhaka University Central Mosque after Asr prayer. He was accorded a guard of honour as a mark of respect by a police contingent with trumpets playing a dirge after the janaza.
Prof Chowdhury played a leading role in many movements in the country, especially in the anti-communal movement, movement to establish democracy, and significantly in the movement to ensure the trial of those who had committed crimes against humanity and war crimes during the War of Liberation of Bangladesh in 1971.
“He was always very much vocal against communal and fundamental forces. He was never afraid to raise his voice of protest against injustice…no matter who was doing the injustice,” said journalist Shahriar Kabir, a close ally of Prof Chowdhury in the movement for the trial of war criminals.
“Whenever this country nation fell into a crisis, he [Prof Chowdhury] showed the path to an overcoming of it,” Dhaka University Vice Chancellor Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique commented.
Prof Chowdhury’s body was kept on the seventh floor at Gazi Bhaban at Naya Paltan. He lived in a fourth floor apartment of the building.
Prof Chowdhury, it may be mentioned, had returned home on Saturday after a successful pacemaker replacement at city’s Birdem Hospital.
“He was fine when he went to bed Monday night,” said Shaheen Kabir, a professor of English at Jahangirnagar University.
“He woke up from sleep once around 3:00am Monday night and had some water and also went to the washroom by himself. But, he did not respond when he was called at around 6:00am,” said theatre activist Ramendu Majumder, who is Prof Chowdhury’s brother-in-law.
His death was confirmed by a doctor later on, he added.
Some compare Kabir Chowdhury’s demise as dignified as his personality.
“He led a dignified life and left us in a dignified manner,” Ramendu noted.
Eminent cultural activist and freedom fighter Nasir Uddin Yusuf Bachhu described Prof Chowdhury as an individual who had crossed the arena of academic excellence to play a significant role in a wider national sphere.
“I am sure that we will not find such a person among us in the near future,” he added.
At his residence following his funeral, many expressed the belief that it was a must to ensure the trial of the war criminals of 1971 as a way of demonstrating ultimate respect to Prof Chowdhury’s soul.
Both Awami League General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam and Law Minister Shafique Ahmed promised to complete the trial of war criminals to make Prof Chowdhury’s dream come true.
Born in 1923 in Brahmanbaria district, Prof Chowdhury studied English Literature at Dhaka University in the early 1940s and joined the university as a teacher in 1974.
Prof Chowdhury wrote over 250 books.
For his contribution to education, literature and social movements, Kabir Chowdhury secured many prestigious awards in and outside the country.
Many social, political, educational and government bodies paid their last respect to him yesterday.
HIS LAST WISHES
As per his wish, he had asked to be buried promptly, definitely within seven or eight hours of his death. His namaz-e-janaza, said he, should be held in the nearest mosque and there should be only one janaza.
He asked to be buried in a public graveyard, at Azimpur or Banani or some such place, where another deceased could find his last resting place over his remains.
He also asked that no milad, qul-khani or chehlum be organised to mark his passing away. If it is considered necessary a citizens’ memorial meeting may be held, but that also can be dispensed with.

-With The Daily Star input

Related News

5 magnitude earthquake jolts parts of Bangladesh

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A magnitude 5 earthquake jolted a large part of the country on Sunday (2 June) afternoon., including Dhaka. The quake struck at 2:44pm from a depth of about 110km, according to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department, and was centred in the Mawlaik area of Myanmar, 441 km southeast of Dhaka. The quake ... Read more

Over 2cr to be fed as daylong Vitamin ‘A’ plus campaign begins

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The National Vitamin A-plus campaign is being conducted with a target to feed the capsules to over 2.22 crore children, aged between six months and 59 months. The campaign started at 8am on Saturday (June 1) and will continue till 4pm. Feeding Vitamin A capsules prevents blindness in children, ensures normal ... Read more

Postponed notice fake, HSC exams on June 30 as per schedule

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and equivalent exams will be held on time as per previous announcement, beginning on 30 June. The routine deferring the exams for a month that is making rounds in social media, is fake, the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, Dhaka said on Saturday. A circular ... Read more

3 month-long ban on fishing, tourism in Sundarbans begins

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The forest department has imposed this three-month ban on fishing and tourism in the Sundarbans. Local communities, including fishermen, wood and honey collectors, who depend on the Sundarbans for their livelihoods, are concerned about a three-month ban on all activities in the forest starting Saturday. The restriction applies to visitors, including ... Read more

Appellate Division upholds HC verdict on DU teacher Samia’s demotion

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The Appellate Division today (26 May) upheld the judgement of the High Court which declared illegal the demotion order of Dhaka University faculty Samia Rahman on charges of plagiarism. A four-member appellate bench headed by senior judge M Enayetur Rahim of the Appellate Division rejected the appeal of DU as invalid. ... Read more

3.2 million children at risk as Cyclone Remal hits Bangladesh coasts: UNICEF

News Desk : dhakamirror.com As Cyclone Remal hit the coastal areas of Bangladesh, over 8.4 million people, including 3.2 million children, are at high health, nutrition, sanitation, and safety risks, according to UNICEF. ‘Our thoughts go out to the children and their families at this critical moment as they endure the storm’s impact,’ said UNICEF ... Read more

Classes suspended at coastal area schools due to cyclone

News Desk : dhakamirror.com No classes will be held at schools in the coastal areas due to Cyclone Remal, said State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Mohibur Rahman. He said this after a meeting of the inter-ministerial disaster management coordination committee at the Secretariat on Sunday. According to a bulletin of the Met Office, ... Read more

Cyclone Remal forms over Bay, signal 7 at Payra and Mongla

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The deep depression over the east and west central Bay of Bengal intensified into a cyclonic storm “Remal” at around 9:00 pm today and is expected to hit the country’s coasts between 6pm and 11:59pm tomorrow, according to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD). The Met Office asked the Payra and Mongla ... Read more

Admissions for Class XI start tomorrow

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The first phase of applications for Class XI admission for the 2024–2025 academic year will begin tomorrow, May 26, and run through June 11th. According to the XI class admission circular 2024-25, the online application system is divided into three phases with designated application windows, result announcements, and confirmation periods. Students ... Read more

Exam will not be postponed for Cyclone Remal: NU

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The National University has decided not to postpone the Introduction to Government Policy exam for 4th-year Political Science honours students for the academic year 2022, despite the warning for the approaching Cyclone Remal. The exam is scheduled to be held on Sunday (26 May) at 1:00pm, the same day that the ... Read more

Gold price cut by Tk 1,084 per bhori

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The prices of gold in the country’s local market witnessed a fall on Thursday as the Bangladesh Jewellers’ Association (Bajus) slashed the price of 22-carat gold by Tk 1,084 per bhori (11.664 grammes). The new rate for the precious metal will come into effect on Friday, BAJUS said in a press ... Read more

Don’t pay anyone for visas, or work permits: Italian envoy

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Italian Ambassador to Bangladesh, Antonio Alessandro, advised visa-seekers not to pay anyone for visas, emphasising that the embassy only charges small taxes and processing fees. “Our services are free except for these official fees,” he said today (21 May) following a meeting with Shofiqur Rahman Choudhury, the State Minister for Expatriates’ ... Read more

Bangladeshi mountaineer Babar Ali conquers Everest

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Babar Ali from Chattogram has summited Mount Everest and raised the red and green flag on the world’s highest peak. He reached the summit at 8:30am local time (8:45am Bangladesh time) on Sunday, proudly raising the red and green flag of Bangladesh. He began his journey on 1 April, after necessary ... Read more

Price of gold increases by Tk1,178 per bhori

The new rate will be effective from Sunday (19 May) News Desk : dhakamirror.com The Bangladesh Jewellers Association (Bajus) today (18 May) increased the price of gold by Tk1,178 per bhori, followed by a price hike in the local bullion market. According to a Bajus statement, 22-carat gold will now cost Tk1,18,460 per bhori (11.664 ... Read more

9 Bangladeshis named in Forbes “30 Under 30 Asia” list

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Nine Bangladeshis have been named in Forbes “30 Under 30 Asia” list for their contributions across various industries. Forbes announced its prestigious “30 Under 30 Asia” list for the ninth consecutive year yesterday (15 May), showcasing 300 exceptional young individuals under the age of 30 who are making significant strides across ... Read more

SC Stays HC Verdict On Condemn Cell

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The Appellate Division on Wednesday stayed a High Court verdict that asked the jail authorities not to put death sentence inmates in the solidarity confinement before the end of all legal processes. The Appellate Division judge in chamber, Justice M Enayetur Rahim, granted the stay after hearing an appeal filed by ... Read more

BRTA to take ‘no helmet, no fuel’ policy for bikers

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Besides, no battery-run auto-rickshaws will be allowed to operate in Dhaka The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has decided to take a “no helmet, no fuel” approach for motorcycle riders across the country. Besides, no battery-run auto-rickshaws will be allowed to operate in Dhaka, according to decisions taken at a meeting ... Read more

MV Abdullah finally arrives at Ctg port

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The 23 crew members of Bangladeshi flag carrier MV Abdullah, which was recently freed from the captivity of Somali pirates, has reached the Chittagong Port today (14 May). The Chittagong Port Authority has a reception at the New Mooring Container Terminal (NCT) to welcome back the sailors. Their family members are ... Read more

JnU female student gets 5 yrs in DSA case

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A Dhaka tribunal has sentenced Tithy Sarker, a suspended student of Jagannath University, to five years imprisonment in a DSA case filed for making derogatory comments about religion on Facebook. However, it has granted her a year-long probation on eight conditions, including regular care for her aged father, following traffic rules, ... Read more

Detention in condemned cells before final disposal of the case unlawful: High Court

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The High Court (HC) has ruled that it is illegal and unlawful to detain convicts in the condemned cell (blind cell) of the prison before the death sentence is finalised by the verdict of the Supreme Court’s Appellate Division. The High Court bench of Justice Sheikh Hasan Arif and Justice Md ... Read more