Legendary journalist and Editor of The Financial Express, A. H. M. Moazzem Hossain, is no more. He had been suffering from a severe lung disease and was under treatment at the Square Hospital where he breathed his last on Wednesday evening. We are deeply shocked with his death and pray to the Almighty for salvation of his departed soul. We convey our deepest sympathy to his bereaved family members and also pray to the Almighty for empowering them to withstand this great shock.
Moazzem Hossain's death has caused a great loss in the country's print media, because he has maintained the highest ethical standard in the journalism profession. Moazzem Hossain graduated in Economics from Dhaka University and worked in the country's almost all leading newspapers. He started his journalist career joining the erstwhile Pakistan Observer, which is the now-defunct Bangladesh Observer and subsequently worked in the New Nation, UNB (United News of Bangladesh), the Dhaka Courier. the Daily Star and the Telegraph. Later on, he published the country's leading English daily, The Financial Express, which is known as the only professional newspaper in the country's economic and financial industry. Moazzem Hossain has loved this profession and upheld the standard of this profession. He played a pioneering role in establishing the Economic Reporters' Forum and he was the founding president of this association.
I knew Moazzem Hossain since my university life from when I have been reading this newspaper on a regular basis and even after coming to Canada, I have been able to continue this habit because of introducing the online version of this newspaper. I knew him as a reader, so it was not possible for me to come close to a renowned journalist like Moazzem Hossain.
After immigrating to Canada, I started contributing to The Financial Express that took me to his close touch. In 2016 when I was visiting Bangladesh, I wanted to meet him. Although he was awfully preoccupied with his multiple responsibilities, yet he spared some valuable time for me. We had very pleasant time and fruitful discussion what mostly covered the country's banking industry.
During discussion, he highly appreciated my writing what really made me very proud because appreciation from the renowned journalist Moazzem Hossain was the great recognition in my life. At one point of discussion he expressed his concern over substantially lowering of the interest rate on deposits because that will result in a negative interest rate. He also advised me to write on this issue and after coming back to Canada I wrote one article on this topic. He has highly encouraged me to continue my writing about the country's contemporary banking issues, because, according to him, very few people have persistently written on banking and finance and I am one of them, so I must continue it.
His great success in maintaining the high professional standard of his daily The Financial Express which has been established as a mirror of the country's business and economic developments. This newspaper has been playing a great role in mobilising expert opinions in the country's trade and businesses. Under his dynamic leadership and prudent advice, this newspaper has been able to maintain a very high standard and objectivity in journalism and there is not a single incident of criticism or controversy over the publication of any news or article whereas this kind of debate or controversy has now a days become a very common feature in the country's print media. Moazzem Hossain was a member of the Board of Directors of Southeast Bank so he has special interest in this sector. While discussing with him, he has shared his prudent thought, ideas and experience in the country's banking industry. He was very regrettable about some anomalies and malpractices taking place in the country's banking industry. At the same time he was very optimistic about this sector's turnaround with tremendous growth prospect. He believed that with some remedial measures, this sector can easily be rejuvenated. Since he himself was actively involved with the country's banking business, his daily, The Financial Express, always publishes articles and opinions on banking with priority. Based on my experience and instances of some countries in the world, I prepared a very comprehensive six-part article on managing the country's NPL (Non-Performing Loans) which I deliberately sent to The Financial Express just prior to my visit to Bangladesh in 2016 because I had the impression that they might not publish such a long series article. So I wanted to personally meet and request him to publish this article that was not needed at all. They started publishing this series before I landed in Dhaka. While discussing with him, I pointed out this matter and in response, he assured me that they always attach equal importance to every contributor's write-up and moreover, NPL is the most crucial issue, so articles have been published as per editorial policy.
Moazzem Hossain has participated in many television talk-shows where he has made very constructive deliberation. I myself even after living thousands of miles away have eagerly watched his discussion in the TV talk-show. In his later stage, he stopped appearing in TV talk-shows and when I asked about his remaining away from talk-shows, he told me that the way talk-show is conducted; he does not feel comfortable in discussing, so he has refrained from participation. He was so decent and gentle that he did not say a single word against TV talk-shows like other people. At the end of discussion, he gave me some valuable advice which helped me to a great extent in writing articles. I am neither a journalist nor a professional writer; instead I just try to share my limited knowledge and experience with the readers through contributing articles. Two renowned persons have directly helped me in ameliorating my writing skill and they are Sontash Gupta and Moazzem Hossain. Both of them are no more with us, however, their ideology is always with us.
Writing is probably the most powerful tool that strengthens the bondage among the people. I was not a relative of Moazzem Hossain but became more than that. I got the news of his death, when I was in office and this sad news made me so sad that I could not focus on my official responsibility. I know he had been suffering from a complicated lung disease; he had taken treatment from Singapore and was undergoing treatment at Square Hospital but could not think that he would finally leave us. After his death I lost one of my guardians especially in the field of writing. His death is an irreparable loss in the country's journalism which will not be recovered. However, Moazzem Hossain will be vividly remembered by the country's whole print media and particularly those who are in the banking profession. After the end of his legendary career, he has reached the place of no-return where he will remain with heavenly blessings.
Nironjan Roy, CPA, CMA, Banker, Toronto, Canada.
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