with files from bdnews24.com
Zaglul Ahmed Chowdhury, 65, a CJA stalwart with a career in journalism spanning nearly four decades, was killed in a tragic road accident in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, on Nov. 29, 2014.
He was buried at the new Azimpur graveyard in Dhaka on Monday, hours after his daughter Antara arrived from Washington.
“Zaglul Bhai and I were supposed to join a talk-show on ATN Bangla together,” said Shyamal Dutta, Daily Bhorer Kagoj Editor and Secretary General, CJA Bangladesh member who is also on the CJA Executive Committee. “He called me around 8 pm to say he will be there shortly. But he never arrived.”
The news came as a great shock to journalists in Bangladesh and to journalist colleagues in the CJA.
“We offer our deepest sympathies to his family and to Hassan, Farid, Shyamal and other members of CJA-Bangladesh,” said CJA President Rita Payne.
Chowdhury was a consulting editor of The Financial Express.
A former chief editor of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha, or BSS, Chowdhury earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s in political science at Dhaka University.
He also worked as Bangladesh Correspondent for TIME magazine and Times of India.
The veteran journalist was a permanent member of the National Press Club and Dhaka Reporters Unity, and was the assistant secretary general of the undivided Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists in 1988-89.
Chowdhury, who lived at Dhaka’s Banani, is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
Chowdhury was born in January, 1949, at Pyaim village in Habiganj’s Madhobpur Upazila. His father Nasiruddin Chowdhury was the law minister of the 1954 Jukta Front or United Front government.
President Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia expressed deep shock over his death and offered condolences to the grief-stricken family members.
In a condolence message, the prime minister said the country lost a bright star of the world of journalism. “I have lost a classmate and well-wisher,” she said. “The void created by Zaglul Ahmed Chowdhury’s death cannot be filled up.”
CJA President Emeritus Hassan Shahriar, CJA Bangladesh President Farid Hossain and Shyamal Dutta in a joint condolence message expressed their shock and urged authorities to take stern action against the driver of the bus involved in the fatality.
“Zaglul Ahmed Chowdhury has been an active member of the CJA Bangladesh executive committee since the branch was formed in 1997,” they said. “He took part in discussions when CJA held its silver jubilee conference in Dhaka in 2003.”
CJA leaders and members from across the Commonwealth have also expressed their condolences for the untimely death of Zaglul Ahmed Chowdhury:
“He was so engaged and active it must be such a shock” – President Rita Payne of CJA UK.
“He was a dear friend. During my last visit to Dhaka, in June, he came only to meet me at the conference I was attending, to hug me. He remembered my wife Naina and daughter Arati by name and would always inquire about them. A good professional, he continued to write after quitting BSS.” – Mahendra Ved, CJA India and ExCo vice president.
“Such a tragedy and such a distinguished man. Condolences from us all in Canada.” -CJA vice president Chris Cobb, Canada.
“Very sad indeed. My heart goes out to his wife, children and relatives. May God rest his soul in peace.” – Henry Gombya, CJA UK
“This really very sad news for all of us.” – Fauzia Shaheen, CJA Pakistan ExCo member
“Tragic news. A genuinely secular, old school journalist, Zaglul bhai will be sorely missed by all members of the CJA fraternity.” .- Jayanta Roy Chowdhury, CJA India and Exco vice president
“What a tragedy. Condolences to his family and the family of journalists in Bangladesh.”– Cheryl Dorall, CJA UK
“May God rest the departed soul in eternal peace and grant courage and fortitude to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss.” – Ehsan Ahmed Sehar, CJA and RMNP Pakistan
Top photo: Hassan Shahriar, then CJA President (now President Emeritus), presenting a copy of the Kuching Conference communique to Kamalesh Sharma, Commonwealth Secretary General in Dhaka in 2008. Also present were: Zaglul Ahmed Chowdhury (next to the Secretary General), Farid Hossain, CJA Bangladesh chapter president and Enam Ahmed Chaudhuri, President of the Commonwealth Society of Bangladesh.
Photos courtesy of bdnews24.com and Hassan Shahriar