Eminent personas lost amid COVID pandemic, remembered
Publish- June 08, 2020, 05:53 PM
UNB NEWS - UNB NEWS
National Professor Dr Anisuzzaman. File photo
The Citizen’s Platform for SDGs, Bangladesh on Monday arranged a memorial event for remembering national professors- emeritus prof Dr Anisuzzaman and Dr Jamilur Reza Choudhury as they lost their respected members of the Advisory Group in quick succession.
Chairman of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Rehman Sobhan, its distinguished Fellow Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya and other participants in the webinar programme expressed profound shock at the recent death of the country’s several renowned persons including educationist Niloufer Manzur.
Rehman Sobhan discussed about their contributions in development projects including Padma Bridge and education sector of the country.
Reminiscing their challenges in pragmatic life, he said the professors played significant role in various development activities of the country.
Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya said such discussion will be helpful for young generation for the sake of sustainable development of the country.
National Professor Dr Anisuzzaman
Dr Anisuzzaman was an eminent educationist, writer and Emeritus Professor of Bangla Language and Literature department at the University of Dhaka.
He died of old age complications at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Dhaka on May 14 this year. He was 83.
Born in 1937 in Kolkata, Prof Anisuzzaman was a Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Chicago (1964-65), a Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellow at the University of London (1974-75), and was associated with research projects of the United Nations University (1978-83).
A Professor Emeritus at the Dhaka University, Dr Anisuzzaman taught Bangla literature both at the Dhaka University (1959-69 and 1985-2003) and Chittagong University (1969-85).
He was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Paris (1994) and the North Carolina State University (1995) and a Visiting Professor at the Viswa Bharati (2008-09).
Dr Anisuzzaman participated in the Language Movement, the 1969 Mass Upsurge and the Liberation War. After the country’s independence, he became a member of the National Education Commission with Kudrat-E-Khuda as its chief.
He authored many books in Bangla and English, including Muslim Manas O Bangla Sahitya (Dhaka 1964), Swaruper Sandhane (Dhaka 1975), Purono Bangla Gadya (Dhaka 1984), Factory Correspondence and other Bangla documents in the India Office Library and Records (London 1981), Creativity, Reality and Identity (Dhaka 1993), Cultural Pluralism (Calcutta 1993) and Identity, Religion and Recent History (Calcutta 1995).
Dr Anisuzzaman had conducted outstanding research on the history of Bangla literature and won many international awards in recognition of his contributions to literature.
He was a recipient of the Bangla Academy award for research (1970) and the Ekushe Padak, an award given by the State, for his contribution to education (1983). The Rabindra Bharati conferred upon him an honorary D. Litt (2005) and the University of Calcutta the Sarojini Basu Medal (2008).
He was a member of the Planning Commission to the government of Bangladesh during the Liberation War and the President of the Bangla Academy afterwards. He was elected a Fellow of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
National Professor Dr Jamilur Reza Choudhury
National Professor Dr Jamilur Reza Choudhury passed away on April 28 at a Dhaka hospital. He was 77.
Prof Choudhury was born in Sylhet and had his early education in Dhaka’s St Gregory's School and Dhaka College. He was a foremost civil engineer, researcher, and education advocate of this country.
As a civil engineer, Jamilur Reza Chowdhury’s hand was ever-present in the making of modern Bangladesh. At the time of his death, he was still heading the International Panel of Experts on the Padma Bridge, the country’s flagship infrastructure project.
Prior to that, he chaired the panel of experts who advised the government and a clutch of donors including JICA, on the Jamuna Multipurpose Bridge, completed in 1998.
He was the Team Leader for the Multipurpose Cyclone Shelter Programme and prepared the Master Plan for Cyclone Shelters in the coastal areas of Bangladesh.
Prof Choudhury was even appointed the chairman of a task force for developing software export and it infrastructure in Bangladesh from 1997 to 2000.
In 2013, in “gratitude for the cooperation and long standing contribution” to their activities, JICA conferred their special Recognition Award on Prof Choudhury, and in the citation, they said: ”No important development project in Bangladesh has been implemented without the involvement of Prof Choudhury.”
He was also a former adviser to the caretaker government of Bangladesh in 1996, and was the Vice-Chancellor of University of Asia Pacific before his demise.
He has received numerous awards during his illustrious career. He was awarded Ekushey Padak in 2017 and appointed as the National Professor the next year.
He also won a Commonwealth Academic Staff Fellowship in 1974 and spent a year at the University of Surrey, UK, as a Visiting Associate Professor.
Prof Choudhury is survived by his wife Selina Choudhury, daughter Charisma Farheen Choudhury and son Kaashif Reza Choudhury.
Educationist Niloufer Manzur
Niloufer, founder and principal of Sunbeams School, died of coronavirus on May 26. She was 74.
The educationist, wife of former caretaker government adviser and chairman of Apex Footwear Ltd Syed Manzur Elahi, was diagnosed with coronavirus and undergoing treatment at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH).
Niloufer was the daughter of Dr Mafiz Ali Chowdhury, a former minister in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's cabinet in 1972.