Today is the 46th death anniversary of the eminent politician and labour leader Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury.
He was one of the founding members of Bangladesh Awami League, and a leading organiser of the Liberation War of Bangladesh.
Zahur Ahmed was a member of the first cabinet of Tajuddin Ahmed in independent Bangladesh and also of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He was also involved in language movement and was elected people's representative in different positions from 1953 to 1973.
The dedicated leader died on July 1, 1974.
His grandson Chowdhury Yameen Anam, a young businessman has written an article for The Business Standard remembering the eminent leader:
I am Chowdhury Yameen Anam, Late Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury's grandson. The legacy that he has left behind is undeniable, even today, us, his third-generation are recognised by people because of him.
Me, my siblings and most of my cousins were not fortunate enough to have our grandfather around while growing up. However, we all were raised listening about his life's work, ideologies and principles not only from our family but also from strangers, whose life he had touched in some way or the other.
He was known for being vocal and honest, irrespective of the situation and the audience. He wasn't always politically correct but always remained true to his principles and community. It may be difficult for people who did not know him or hear about him to comprehend how he was an ideal example of a political leader for the people.
Notwithstanding his power and position, he led a very simple life and remained true to his roots. Growing up, we heard of stories of when he was appointed as a Minister in the Cabinet of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. A luxurious new imported vehicle was sent to him as his official car but he returned it immediately. Instead, he asked the concerned authorities to sell the vehicle and utilize the proceeds to help the poverty-stricken people of the nation. This is just one out of the many exemplary stories we have heard about him.
His altruism, generosity, honesty, dedication, commitment, and responsibility towards the community he represented can be best described by what he left behind for his family. Though he was a Minister for various key portfolios and was an undisputed leader of Chittagong, before and after the liberation war, when he passed the only material asset he left behind was a dilapidated house with a leaking roof, where he had lived with his family. He believed that his legacy for his children was not in the material things but rather the morals and principles by which he lead his life, and which we, his successors, even today, still continue to try and abide by.
As stated, my grandfather did not leave behind any material assets, however, his teachings are the most valuable resources Allah has blessed us with. I know we cannot live up to the ideals set by him, but it is my goal to try and hold on to his morals, principles, and honesty. Though I come from a political family, I do not hold any political or institutional position, but with time, I am coming to realise that it is my responsibility and duty to stand with the community as my grandfather did, and be of use to them.
Chowdhury Yameen has urged the younger generation to have more humility and to abide by the moral and ethical code set by our predecessors, such as my grandfather. He also urged to remain true no matter what is the situation.