Philanthropy is a legacy. It is a compilation of activities of the legends whose intent was born out of the love for fellow people. The name of Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu got widespread with his long term contribution to society and politics. Indeed, man dies; this momentary period fades away as time goes by… leaving behind the marks on the path they just walked off. And the only thing that persists with time is the tangible things they create and establish. And the memory that they create with the people – bound with love and respect. Akhtaruzzaman Babu, the note-worthy philanthropist, big-hearted leader, and visionary politician had indeed a short time to live. The short time he had wasn’t unretentive. Rather, his life was flourished with accomplishments.
Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu was a versatile contributor. In politics, he was an ideal leader. He pioneered the very first practices in the Industry and Economy of our country. But among all his deeds, the most remarkable thing remains his leadership quality. Since his youth, politics and leadership have been a set of implicit inborn qualities. This became a field of his expertise as years passed by, rendering more experience.
The list of few revered people that ever nurtured the purest well-being for our motherland must contain his name – a man who outshines his fame with numerous contributions. He could envision the big picture of the coming days; an extraordinary quality that many leaders don’t possess. He had a unique perspective that resulted in prioritizing the betterment of mass people over every other thing. From the War of Independence and thereafter, Mr. Chowdhury undertook the right actions on the crucial most moments. Even the very threats against life and gradual political crises couldn’t deviate him from his ideology. The dreams, desires, and opinions of the people of our country were reflected upon his toil and endeavor.
Where it all started:
Aktaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu had the friendliest approach to the fellow people in Chittagong. The love of common people is the most precious achievement of Akhtaruzzaman Babu. It’s a validation of people who knew the best that his conduct and intentions would never get along with greed or envy. An influential impression was created among the people by his voluntary, welfare and benevolent services. During the time of crises, he was regarded as a man of reliance, shelter and support. All these combined qualities of leadership & management eventually resulted in his getting elected to the East Pakistan provincial assembly. He became the representative of Anwara-West Patia in 1970.
Trail-blazing along the path of Independence:
On the eve of the Liberation war of Bangladesh, Akhtaruzzaman Babu was among the organizers of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra in Chittagong. The South District Awami League stated: “…at the time of the non-cooperation movement on the eve of the liberation war, the struggle committee conducted its tasks from its Jupiter House in Patharghata. The tasks included dispersing Bangabandhu’s declaration of independence when it first arrived in Chittagong. The declaration of independence was sent from Akhtaruzzaman’s residence to all places including Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra.” The support given by Akhtaruzzaman made the broadcast happen in reality. In the very climatic conditions, the people of Bangladesh came to know that the war was declared and it was time to fight back.
Leading throughout the War:
Like the other leading personnel of the Awami League, in between the war, Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu went to India. He carried out important roles being a part of the newly formed government of Bangladesh. The relief and rehabilitation committee of the Mujibnagar government was under his accountability.
Akhtaruzzaman Babu visited different parts of Europe and the US while the liberation war was ongoing. He wanted to create worldwide opinion in favor of the martyr’s sacrifice and let the world know the brutal torture inflicted upon Bangalis. His journey as a delegate started in the UK. Then he traveled to the US as a representative of Bangladesh – from a team led by Justice Abu Saeed Chowdhury. He himself fought in the battles and worked as a facilitator to pave the way to independence.
Aptitude turned into Daily Dose of activities:
Akhtaruzzaman Babu started his journey as a social worker and politician before the Liberation war period. The practices kept coming to an ever-increasing stride after the independence of our country. His intent in practicing politics meant more than gain & fame. He deliberately pursued the development and progress of the then newly born country. The records of his activities were proven promising over the years.
Ideology as a People’s man:
Akhtaruzzaman Babu is a mention-worthy politician. His natural ability to get along with common people impacted not only his home city Chittagong but also throughout the country. His devotion to the people of Anowara Karnaphuli was utmost; it was considered a moral liability by him. The political ethics and norms which were trail-blazed by Bangabandhu were perfect stimuli for Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu. He became one of the persons who would devote himself to the betterment of the people. The historic Chittagong movement was led by him.
Right in the first decade of independence, Bangladesh went through a number of critical political crises. Several heroes of the Liberation war diverged in their ideology. they eventually got perplexed with the controversies that resulted in an unworthy brutal massacre. In those critical times, Mr. Chowdhury kept calm and took action. Even if they meant risking his life and threaten him to confinement, his actions did not go in vain.
Building up & guiding the new Nation:
After independence, Akhtaruzzaman Babu utilized his insight and experiences in reforming the constitution of Bangladesh. He was a consecutively elected Member of Parliament – in the years of 1986, 1991 and 2009. Moreover, he presided over the standing committee of the Ministry of Jute and Textile of the 9th national parliament. From 1967 to 1975, Akhtaruzzaman Babu was the elected chairman of Haildhar Union Parishad. He held onto this position even after independence.
Dependable member of the Party:
Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu was not only a democratic leader but also a significant role-player of the party. He presided over the South District zone elect of the Awami League. He also took positions as the Central Industry and Commerce Secretary. After the assassination of the Bangabandhu family in 1975 the foundation of the Awami League was shaken by this heinous massacre. At that moment, Akhtaruzzaman Babu risked his life and kept in touch with the leaders and workers of the League. This initiative turned the table of consequences, both in the revival and reorganization of the party. Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu also led the protest against the anti-authoritarian movement despite the torture and jail confinement threats inflicted upon him.
As a politician of Bangladesh, Akhtaruzzaman carried out every duty that reflected upon the dreams of Bangabandhu and the vision of our honorable PM Sheikh Hasina. Let it be as a member of the parliament or an important placeholder of the party, he never lost a chance to contribute with what he has the best to offer. He was a dependable member of the party, a confident team-player who worked out the odds in favor.
The impression created by an accomplished man like Akhtaruzzaman Babu is a synthesis of a lifetime. It is a compilation of years of activities, experience and norms held deep inside the heart. As said by the prodigious Steve Jobs, “When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.” Indeed, he saw through the background of a fact that becomes a taken for granted truth. A truth that cannot be realized enough unless it is given the time to materialize itself. The void created by his passing away is a loss to our country and the party alike. Nevertheless, the trail that he left for us awaits further enhancement, yet to be nurtured and built by the generations to come.