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 cherished 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. Today, there is a great need for a sacrificial leader like Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu. He has nurtured the ideals of Bangabandhu all his life.
Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu was an enlightened man in his political life as well as in his family and social life. His wanderings in the social and business spheres were above politics and over the consequences of political differences. His vows were basically 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. Resistance against conflicting and violent politics was strong but humble and calm. 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.
Akhtaruzzaman Babu is not only a name but also an idol. He was a famous ideal politician. He was a freedom fighter and one of the facilitators of the greatest liberation war of Bangladesh. This utmost friendly person was close to all the mass peoples. He enlightened the whole Chattogram also the politics of Bangladesh. Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu devoted himself for the people in Anwara Karnaphuli. Ethics and morality were his unique wealth. He won the heart and souls of the general peoples and always thought as the closest one. 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 Chattogram movement and also his contribution to organize the Awami League after 1975 was immeasurable. The skills that are needed to be an honest and idealist politician and social worker, all of them were in Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu. Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu was a pure patriot and one of the visionary people behind the creation of the Sonar Bangla dream of Bangabandhu. He was a nationalist and rebuiling of the Sonar Bangla dream of the 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 aristocrat and rich family. By reaching to the top of the business in Bangladesh and being one of the best industrialists, still he didn't feel comfortable to introduce himself as a prominent businessperson or an industrialist. He used to feel more comfortable to introduce himself as a politician because he loved the country and the people. The length of his work life career was huge. I feel so proud and blessed because I got the chance to be the companion and to take care of such big-hearted person like Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu. To analysis and talk the whole life of such big leader is beyond of my qualification level. It made me really amazed what I experienced by getting in touch with him. A big-hearted leader like him always tried to be a helpful hand to all the people who is in danger and risks. Allah has created mankind just to be helpful to everyone and he has done it quite successfully. His presence during every worse times of the team has boost up the other leaders and staffs, he never detached from the team during the bad periods. His memories will eternally live as the guardian of the large Chattogram.
Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu's savings were the love of the common man. Until his death, he worked for the masses from above greed and envy. The man who contributed in the struggle period by carrying the lamp of hope through service and great deeds is today asleep in his own village. 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 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 apparently 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.
Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu was a famous politician and one of the organizers of liberation war. He was always being the shelter and backbone to the staffs and team even in many obstacles. Not only in politics but also in businesses and industrial sectors, his support was unexplainable for the country and people. He tried to create vacancy for the people and helped to reduce the unemployment rate of this country. Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu was active for many years in politics of Chattogram. He was the president of South Chattogram Awami League for a very long time. He was an Awami league presidential member and 4 times elected member as the national parliament. On 9th national parliament, he was the president of standing committee of Ministry of Jute and Textile. Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu was born on 1945 in Anwara Haildhar 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 one of the renowned industrialists of Late Sirazul Islam Chowdhury 's second daughter Nur Nahar Zaman from Chattogram's Boalkhali upazilla. Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu completed his secondary school certificate in 1958 from Patiya High School and immediately he admitted to Dhaka Notre Dame College on the same year. During his intermediate education life, he achieved scholarship and got himself admitted to Illinois University of Science and Technology in USA. Later he studied on business administration in New York University. He came to country on December of 1968 after completing associate degree from there. He started business on 1965. Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu elected as the South Zila Student's League on 1958. On 1967 he joined the principle committee of Awami League. On 1970 election he was the member of regional council from Anwara and West Patiya. On 1971 during the liberation war, Alhaj Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu was one of the organizers. On the eve of the liberation war on the boycott movement, from his Jupiter house in Patharghata all the activities of war committee were conducted. Bangabandhu's liberty declaration was outreached by cyclostyle method from his Jupiter house after coming to Chattogram. Liberty declaration was delivered to everywhere including radio centers. Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu went to India and taken various responsibility of Bangladeshi immigrants. He was the committee member of Relief and Rehabilitation of Mujibnagar Government. During the middle of liberation war, he went to many regions of Europe and America for the development of world's people's opinions. Firstly, he went to the London. He went to America as the representative team member which was leaded by Abu Syed Chowdhury. On 1970, Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu became the regional council member (MPA); following on 1972, he became the member of Bangladesh constitutional member and helped composition of Constitution of Bangladesh. He was one of the signers of the constitution in 1972.
After the liberty, he was elected as the national parliament member on 1986, 1991 and 2008. Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu was elected as the South Zila Awami League president. He worked as the secretary of central Awami League industry and trade. Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu risking his life by maintaining contact to the staffs of the party after the slaughtered of the full family of Bangabandhu on 1975 and later he played a brave role to reconstruct and resurrection of the party. Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu also played a strong role in the anti-authoritarian movement in the eighties. He was tortured in prison while participating in the anti-authoritarian movement. Not only a successful politician but also, he was a successful businessman and an industrialist. Before independence, he set up a factory called Boyle Industry on Batali Road. Later Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu established Asif Steel Mill, Javed Steel Mill, Asif Synthetic, Panam Vegetable, Afroza Oil Mill, Bengal Synthetic Products etc. He purchased Vanguard Steel Mill and Synthetic Resin Products and established the Zaman Industrial Group in the first two decades of independence in Bangladesh. He bought a foreign-owned Armit Mill and built it on a solid foundation. He played a pioneering role in establishing the private banking sector in Bangladesh. He is the founder and founding chairman of United Commercial Bank Limited (UCBL), the second private bank in the country. He was re-elected chairman of the bank in 2011 and held the post until his death. Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu also played an important role as the spokesperson and business leader of the country's business community. He was twice the President of the Chattogram Chamber and in 1988 he was the President of the FBCCI, the country's top business organization. He also served as President of the OIC Chamber of Commerce. In 1989, he was elected Vice Chairman of the 77 Jati Group. He is the only Bangladeshi who has been elected vice chairman of this prestigious international organization. He is the father of three sons and three daughters. Akhtaruzzaman Chowdhury Babu was a patron, humanitarian and philanthropist. He was the elected chairman of Haildhar Union Parishad from 1967 to 1975. He was also the chairman of Haildhar Union Parishad and the chairman of Thana Parishad after the independence. He established many mosques, madrasas and school colleges in Anwara and West Patiya in Chattogram. He was also involved in many charitable works.
The writer is deputy controller of BGC Trust University Bangladesh and ex-principal of Pahartali University College, Chattogram