Legacy is a memory. To be concise, a compilation of memories of the legends whose fate deliberately coincided with their fellow people. 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 whispers of both criticism and appreciation prevail in the air. The more impact one creates, the longer his/her life story persists and reverberates through generations.

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. 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.

Mr. Chowdhury was an influential speaker and impactful person in business and politics alike. The impression that he left is never-perishing. Although he was thought of as a powerful placeholder of the currently reigning party – Awami League, his inborn humbleness and modesty are still talked of by the people who watched him closely.

The Close Comrade, The Nearest Witnesser:

Borhan Uddin Chowdhury Murad, the personal secretary of Akhtaruzzaman Babu has accompanied him for several years. He had been an earnest companion to Mr. Chowdhury – escorted him through thick and thin. He said, “I find myself extremely lucky to have the companionship of someone as great as Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu. I am blessed to have the opportunity to cooperate with him; my service was indeed gratified. The very few words I say can never fully depict the fabulous life of this eminent leader. Amused by my verbose deficit, I still reminisce how closely I could watch him over time. Being by his side through ups and downs. Every work experience with him is lore by itself.” 

Murad continues to appreciate Mr. Chowdhury’s implicit virtues, “I was baffled with amazement every time in his actions. None of them went in vain to teach me something new. He was a big-hearted leader who took the distress of mass people into his account. He stretched his helping hand unconditionally every time as if it was his sacred duty. Man is a supreme being created by Allah. As such, man’s supremacy is validated by his benevolence, kindness, and charity. Mr. Chowdhury abided by this norm throughout his life and is proven to be a worthy human being.” 

Akhtaruzzaman Babu’s loyalty to his party was evident by his secretary’s experience, “Mr. Chowdhury’s conspicuous presence in the party brought life and enlightenment to the team’s inner soul. He never sat out reluctantly during the critical times. Rather, he spent his own money and came forward in action, even if it meant risking his life. As a political guardian of the greater Chittagong, his memory and contributions will be cherished forever.”

Akhtaruzzaman Babu blazed forward the trail of reforming the then newly independent country. His intentions of developing the country’s economy, industry, and politics were over greed and self-accomplishment,” says Murad, “Actually every person gets busy creating one’s own world of happiness and prosperity. But very few can leave their unique signature in intellect, achievement, and amicability. Those who congregate all of these can create a colorific orb with their impactful charisma. Mr. Chowdhury was certainly one of them. As a facilitator, organizer, and soldier of the Liberation war, his contributions are beyond measure.”

Murad regrets the death of Akhtaruzzaman Babu, “…with his death, there has been created an irreplaceable vacancy. As if a world with a lively aura has suddenly disappeared. His political ideology has always been inspired by the ideals of Bangabandhu. Even the most critical situations couldn’t derail him from the paragon of Sheikh Mujib. This is what makes him a perfect leader, worthy to be followed. His death hasn’t only left Chittagong unprotected but also created a huge void from a political point of view. Despite his death, he lives in our memories and our hearts… where we deeply commemorate his significant life built with esteemed norms and deeds.” 

Through the Eyes of an Appraiser:

Md Maksudar Rahman Chowdhury is deputy controller, BGC Trust University and former principal of Pahartali University College, Chattogram. He mourned the death of the legendary leader, “Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu is not with us today, yet he is ever awake within us. Today we remember with reverence, his memory, meaningful life, and his cherished values. We have to follow the path of building a modern digital Bangladesh under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina with his ideals in mind. Today, there is a great need for a sacrificial leader like Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu. He has nurtured the ideals of Bangabandhu all his life. His vows were inspired by humanity. To him, politics was the means of greater human welfare. His efforts were tireless in his pursuit of love, friendship, and understanding.  He was a son from a wealthy family and a renowned industrialist of the country and was involved in the politics for the common man till his death to uphold the banner of Bangabandhu’s ideology.”

“Ethics and morality were his unique wealth,” said Maksudur Rahman, “Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu is one of the persons who sacrificed himself to uplift the respect, pride, values of all the Bangladeshi people. He was one of the leaders of the Chittagong movement and also his contribution to organizing the Awami League after 1975 was immeasurable. The skills that are needed to be an honest and idealist politician and social worker, were all present in Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu. Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu was a pure patriot and one of the visionary people behind the creation of the Shonar Bangla dream of Bangabandhu. He was a nationalist and rebuilding the Shonar Bangla dream of the father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the leader of the people Sheikh Hasina was his only aim.”

The most noticeable virtue of this eminent leader was enlightened by the critic as well – as he said, “Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu has proved that if you love people and work for them, people will reciprocate your love. That is why Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu is alive even after his death. He is alive not only in the heart of the people of Chittagong but also in the hearts of the people of Bangladesh. Today is the 8th death anniversary of him. He is more radiant, more popular today. Some souls are dead, but positive energy and karma give them immortality. Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu, a short-lived great public leader, who was a gift to the world and civilization. The void created in the Awami family by his death will never be filled.”

By the Leaders of the Nation:

The whole country was overwhelmed with despair at the death news of Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu. The democratic leaders of the nation mourned his death and regretted the uncompensable loss. In a condolence message, Zillur Rahman said that the country has lost a veteran politician and social worker. His contributions towards national development would remain unforgettable.

Honorable Prime minister of the current time, Sheikh Hasina said that the nation would forever remember with gratitude his invaluable contribution towards Bengalis’ movement for autonomy and the Liberation War under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. She recalled his brave role in the anti-autocratic democratic movement after the assassination of Bangabandhu and his family in 1975. “With his death, the Awami League has lost a dedicated leader and the nation has lost a valiant freedom fighter and a patriotic politician.”

Speaker of the Parliament Abdul Hamid, Deputy Speaker Shawkat Ali, Jute and Textiles Minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui, Communications Minister Obaidul Quader, State Minister for LGRD Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Post and Telecommunications Minister Shahara Khatun, BNP Vice-Chairman Abdullah Al Noman and many other political personalities and organizations expressed mourned his death saying that Babu was ‘a friend in need’.

Fellow People from the Party:

Many leaders and activists of Chittagong Awami League said that Babu was like a guardian to them in politics and a friend in need. They said his death was an irreparable loss for the camp that stood for the freedom struggle. Chittagong District Council Administrator MA Salam said that Babu was one of the front leaders in major street movements since the War of Independence.

Babu’s long-time political associate and AL’s Chittagong south district unit General Secretary Moslem Uddin Ahmed told bdnews24.com: “The South district unit President for a long time, Babu Bhai was an honest and dedicated leader of the party. He suffered tortures for the party and even went to jail.”

“Though he was a successful businessman in personal life, he would be unhappy if anybody called him an industrialist. He wanted all to call him a politician. He liked very much to work for the people,”
said his former secretary.

Awami League’s metropolitan unit General Secretary Kazi Enamul Haque Danu said that Babu always stood by the party in all the movements and struggles. Danu who is also a freedom fighter, further said, “The loss of Chittagong Awami League in his death cannot be compensated even in the lifetime of the current leaders.” 

[Source: The Independent News, The Guardian, BDnews24]

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