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 cherish his values. We have to follow the path of building a modern digital Bangladesh under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina with his ideals in mind. He nurtured the ideals of Bangabandhu all his life. In 2021, Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu was bestowed with the posthumous Independence Award as an organizer of the Liberation War who had made special contribution to the Liberation War.
Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu was an enlightened man in his political, family and social life. To him, politics was the means of greater human welfare. He was the son of a wealthy and renowned industrialist of the country and was involved in the politics of the common man till his death to uphold the banner of Bangabandhu's ideology.
Akhtaruzzaman Babu is not only a name but also an idol. He was a famous ideal politician, freedom fighter and one of the facilitators of the greatest Liberation War in Bangladesh. He devoted himself to the welfare of the people in Anowara, Karnaphuli. He was one of the leaders of the Chittagong movement and his contribution to organizing the Awami League after 1975 was immeasurable. He was a nationalist and materialising the 'Sonar Bangla' dream of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the leader of the people, Sheikh Hasina, was his only aim.
Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu was born in a very aristocratic family. Even after reaching the top of the business in Bangladesh and being one of the best industrialists, he was not comfortable introducing himself as a prominent businessman. He used to feel more comfortable to introduce himself as a politician because he loved the country and its people. I am not fit enough to talk about the whole life of such a big leader. A big-hearted leader like him was always helpful to all the people who were in need. Allah has created mankind just to be helpful to everyone and he has done it quite successfully. His presence during worse times of the team has boosted the other leaders, staff and the team. His memories will eternally live as the guardian of the greater Chittagong.
Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu's savings were the love of the common man. Until his death, he worked for the betterment of people. He contributed to the struggle period by carrying the light of hope through service and great deeds. He 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 hearts of the people of Chittagong but also in the hearts of the people of Bangladesh. Today marks the 5th death anniversary of him. Some souls are apparently dead, but positive energy and karma give them immortality. The void created in the Awami family by his death will never be filled.
Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu was always the backbone of the staff and team during many obstacles not only in politics but also in businesses and industrial sectors. He helped reduce the unemployment rate of this country. He was the president of the South Chittagong Awami League for a very long time. He was an Awami League presidium member and elected as the national parliament member 4 times. In the 9th National Parliament, he was the chairman of a standing committee of the Ministry of Jute and Textile. Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu was born in 1945 in Anowara Haildhor village. His father's name is Nuruzzaman Chowdhury. He was an advocate and landlord. His mother's name is Khorsheda Begum. He was married to Nur Nahar Zaman, second daughter of the Late Sirazul Islam Chowdhury, one of the renowned industrialists, from Chittagong's Boyalkhali Upazila. He completed his secondary school certificate in 1958 from Patiya High School and he was admitted to Notre Dame College in Dhaka in the same year. During his intermediate education life, he achieved a scholarship and got himself admitted to the Illinois University of Science and Technology in the USA. Later, he studied business administration at New York University. He came back to the country in December 1968 after completing his associate degree there. He was elected to the South Zilla Student League in 1958. In 1967 he joined the central committee of Awami League. In the 1970 election, he was a member of the regional council from Anowara and West Patiya. He was one of the organisers of the Liberation War in 1971. During the non-cooperation movement organised on the eve of the liberation war, all the activities of the war committee were carried out from his Jupiter house in Pathorghata. Bangabandhu's declaration of independence was circulated using the cyclostyle machine from his Jupiter house. He was a committee member of the Relief and Rehabilitation of Mujibnagar Government. During the middle of the liberation war, he went to many regions of Europe and America for mobilising public opinion. Firstly, he went to London. He went to America as the representative team member which was led by Abu Syed Chowdhury. Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu was elected Member of the Provincial Assembly in 1970. After liberation, he became a member of Bangladesh Constituent Assembly which adopted the Constitution of Bangladesh. He was one of the signatories to the Constitution in 1972.
He was elected as a Jatiya Sangsad (national parliament) member in 1986, 1991, and 2008. Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu was elected as the South Zilla Awami League president. He worked as the industry and trade secretary of the central Awami League. Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu risked his life by maintaining contact with the members of the party after the assassination of the entire family of Bangabandhu in 1975 and later he played a brave role in reconstructing the party.
The writer is a former private secretary of the late Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu