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Jamilur Reza Chowdhury: The National Professor’s Demise and His Glory


Mehnaaz Pervin Tuli


It is an apparent trend in our country to be less proud or concerned about the real merit of the nation’s genius minds. These gems do not achieve as much recognition and attention as they are entitled to. Defying the mode, let us commemorate the loss of the great mind Professor Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, who was an engineer and researcher, and served as the advisor to the caretaker government in 1996.

He was not assiduously popular like the other celebrities in and out of the country, but he was an educationist with remarkable contribution to the infrastructural development of our country. Not only this, but this eminent engineer should be recognised for being the pioneer of popularising computers and ICT in Bangladesh. He was honoured with the Ekushey Padak for his contribution in the field of science and technology in 2017.

He always engaged himself towards leading the experts’ panels on the Bangabandhu Bridge, Padma multipurpose bridge, Dhaka elevated expressway, Karnaphuli tunnel, and many other remarkable projects.

Today, it is our utmost endeavour to glorify our national professor for his immeasurable service. He breathed his last in the early hours of 28 April, 2020, due to a cardiac arrest. 

In this calamitous time of a virus outbreak, our brilliant mind — who was aged more than 70 — could have had no active role in the process of minimising the harmful reverberations. Nevertheless, the death could not snatch away his glory and principles that will live on in the works and words of his inheritors.

We find this a sensible way of handling the shock, and contemplate their concern for the people from a Facebook post by the deceased professor’s son-in-law, who requested everyone as follows:

“Dear all, it is our wish as the family of JRC sir that under the current circumstances, please do not attend his Janaza prayer in congregation. The last thing he would have wanted is to be the cause of any harm to his countrymen.” 

Later, he sought prayers and good wishes from people by asking them to stay in their respective residences instead. How decorous and purposeful a proclamation, that too following such personal loss!

In this phase of rampant eruption where there is the tragedy of death and contagion, no congregation, condolences, protests, or prayers should go on publicly. The meridian of your personality, existence, and notability can be measured by acts of genuine mindfulness towards humanity, rather than counting the sheer number of people in your commemoration. No political or religious affiliation can have supremacy over the security of the human race.

 


Tuli likes to have small talks with people of various cultures, religions, and races. She can’t sit at home and would prefer living out of a suitcase at any time.

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