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.
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

Primary section in secondary schools to close too

New Desk : dhakamirror.com The government today decided to close the primary section attached with the secondary schools till June 8 due to the ongoing heatwave. The government also instructed the authorities to suspend the assembly session at all schools. Additionally, the Directorate of Secondary and Higher education (DSHE) instructed all the educational institutions not ... Read more

Hero Alom picks up nomination papers for Dhaka-17 by election

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Ashraful Hossain Alam, known as Hero Alam, will contest the by-election to the Dhaka-17 constituency, scheduled for 17 July, which fell vacant following the death of actor Akbar Hossain Pathan Farooque. He collected the nomination paper from the Election Commission (EC) office in Dhaka on Sunday (4 June). Hero Alom said ... Read more

Mob beats, stabs youth over Facebook post, 10 cops injured

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A shopkeeper was beaten and stabbed by a mob in front of Police Staff College in the capital’s Mirpur-13 yesterday for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. A team of Kafrul Police Station rescued and sent him to Dhaka Medical College Hospital around 9:45pm, said Saddam Hossain, sub-inspector of the police station. “Someone ... Read more

Government primary schools will remain closed from tomorrow until June 8 due to heatwave

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Due to the severe heatwave in the country, the government has decided to keep all public primary schools closed from June 5th to 8th. The decision was taken considering the health safety of the children going to the schools, the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education said in a press release ... Read more

Community clinics will offer hypertension and diabetic drugs

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Drugs for hypertension and diabetes will now be available in community clinics across the country as part of the government’s plan to ensure primary health care in rural areas. The drug list update committee for community clinics has taken the decision in a meeting on May 14, 2023, according to a ... Read more

Odisha train accident: Identities of 2 injured Bangladeshis confirmed

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Two Bangladeshi citizens from Rajshahi and Bogura are among the injured in India’s one of the worst rail disasters in Odisha last night. Of the injured, Russel-uz Zaman, 27, from Rajshahi was a passenger of Chennai-bound Coramandel Express from Shalimar near Kolkata, a senior official of Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in ... Read more

NHRC, World Vision team up to stop violence against children

News Desk : dhakamirror.com World Vision, an international development agency dedicated to child welfare, and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) have signed a memorandum of understanding to end all forms of violence against children and build a country free of child marriage. A MoU signing ceremony was held on 1 June with National Human ... Read more

Shyamoli building fire kills one

News Desk : dhakamirror.com A commercial building in the capital Shyamoli caught fire last night, killing one person. The identity of the approximately 45-year-old deceased could not be immediately confirmed. His body was recovered from the 17th floor of the 20-story Rupayan Shelford building, said Abdul Mannan, senior station officer of Mohammadpur Fire Station. The ... Read more

Metro to run from 8:00am to 8:00pm

News Desk : dhakamirror.com From now on the metro rail will run from 8:00am to 8:00pm six days a week. Mahfuz Rahman, manager of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL), confirmed to The Daily Star that the metro rail started following the new schedule from yesterday morning. As per the new schedule, weekly closure of ... Read more

Biman fires captain for negligence

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Biman has fired Capt Dildar Ahmed Tufail for negligence in duty while captaining a flight on January 15. He was reportedly napping in the crew rest area, leaving the cockpit of the Boeing 777-300ER technically unmanned. A passenger had a heart attack during the overnight flight to Dhaka from Jeddah. Capt ... Read more

Noab demands withdrawal of tax, duties on newsprint

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The Newspaper Owners Association of Bangladesh has demanded the withdrawal of taxes and duties on newsprint in the budget for the fiscal year 2023-24. In a press release yesterday, Noab said it made the demands during a pre-budget discussion with the National Board of Revenue. The release mentioned that NBR Chairman ... Read more

E-toll to be compulsory on 9 bridges, 2 highways from November

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The government has made Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) System compulsory at nine bridges and two highways from November. The Roads and Highways Department (RHD) issued a circular in this regard. According to the circular, the government has already installed automatic toll machines at those bridges and highways. The nine bridges are ... Read more

Boeing offers Biman its latest 787-10 Dreamliner

News Desk : dhakamirror.com After Airbus, the American manufacturer Boeing has now offered its latest model aircraft, 787-10 Dreamliner, to the Biman Bangladesh Airlines. The company sent a letter in this regard to Biman’s chairman recently which will be discussed in the board meeting on Tuesday, said Shafiul Azim, managing director of Biman. “As we ... Read more

Fishing, tourism banned in Sundarbans for 3 months

News Desk : dhakamirror.com To ensure safe breeding and movement of fish and wild animals the Forest Department will enforce a three-month ban on fishing and tourism in the Sundarbans that set to be effective from 1 June to 31 August. During this period, the movement of all types of vessels, including boats and fishing ... Read more

Biman to operate special flights from Dhaka for RU admission seekers

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Biman Bangladesh Airlines will operate three special flights on the Dhaka-Rajshahi route from May 29 to May 31 to facilitate journeys of Rajshahi University admission seekers. The RU admission tests will take in four shifts starting from 9:00am and ending at 4:30pm on May 29, 30 and 31. The flights will ... Read more

First hajj flight with 419 pilgrims leaves Dhaka on Sunday

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The first hajj flight, carrying 419 pilgrims, is scheduled to leave Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport for Saudi Arabia at around 3.20am on Sunday (May 21). “A Biman Bangladesh Airlines will operate the first hajj flight from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Jeddah on Sunday at 3.20am,” Biman’s spokesperson Tahera Khondoker told ... Read more

7 Bangladeshis make Forbes 30 under 30 Asia 2023 list

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Seven Bangladeshis have made the list of ‘Forbes 30 Under 30′ Asia Class of 2023. The famous business journal, Forbes, first launched the ’30 under 30’ list in 2011, listing the thirty movers and shakers under the age of thirty. From 2016 to 2022, a total of 25 Bangladeshis were named ... Read more

Economic life of buses fixed at 20yrs, goods vehicles at 25yrs

News Desk : dhakamirror.com The government fixed the economic life of buses and minibuses at 20 years and that for goods-laden vehicles, including trucks and covered vans, at 25 years. In this regard, the Roads and Highways Division on Wednesday issued a circular which would be effective following a gazette notification. In 2010, the Bangladesh ... Read more

Fire hydrants will be installed in all DNCC markets, slums: mayor

News Desk : dhakamirror.com Mayor Atiqul Islam said fire hydrants will be installed in every slum and market under the jurisdiction of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) to deal with fire incidents. He made the announcement while inaugurating a fire hydrant in Sattala slum of Mahakhali in the capital on Thursday (18 May). He stressed ... Read more

Metro will operate from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, effective from May 31

Weekly closure on Friday News Desk : dhakamirror.com Beginning May 31, the metro rail will operate six days a week from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. MAN Siddique, managing director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Ltd, said during a briefing Thursday. He also said that the weekly closure will be changed from Tuesday to Friday ... Read more