Vol. 5 Num 57 Fri. July 23, 2004  

Tribute to Tajuddin Ahmed on his 79th birth anniversary
An unsung hero

Although many an epithet is attached to his name describing him essentially as a lonesome, private, and introverted person, but in reality Tajuddin Ahmad was a man who was a worshipper of work and work only. He loved his work religiously. A trait rare indeed in this day and age.

If one made an intense study of his own handwritten diaries or followed his life closely, the face one would see emerging from the depths of time would be that of a man devoted wholly to his country and fellow man. Committed, dedicated, focused, and of unwavering conviction to the cause of the welfare of this land and its people throughout his life -- that was Tajuddin Ahmad, the unsung hero of our history.

He was not the conventional, flamboyant political leader as can be found in plenty around us, it were rather his accomplishments that were more illustrious than his persona. It was not the limelight he sought for himself, as a true believer of his cause, he had dedicated his entire life at making better the lives of the lot of hapless people of this country. An epitome of integrity and self-sacrifice, Tajuddin had kept to the path of truth to the very final moment of his life, without deviating in the slightest from his ideals.

Inordinately gifted, of impeccable honesty and razor sharp intellect, this undaunted leader with his unequalled tenacity, wisdom, and temerity combined, had imparted a unique leadership to his people in their great war of liberation that had seen the birth of an independent nation after nine long months of bloodbath. Tajuddin had in effect sacrificed his very life upholding the sanctity and spirit of our liberation and freedom, right down to his final breath.

Today this unpretentious, selfless leader barely exists in our mind and memory, there isn't even a trifle mention of his enormous feat and contribution in our war of independence in 1971. The glory of advent of a free nation entails some integral factors, one of these factors, or probably the chief one, being the recognition of the person or persons responsible for the leadership in a war of liberation. For it is on the firm ground of that recognition from which stands tall the real history of a people -- the true and inherent history of a nation's step by step transition to democracy hinges on the very foundations of the recognition of their founding fathers. Woeful it is, but true nevertheless, today standing on the changed plane of realities, this unassuming, ascetic, and principled leader is being brushed off with icy indifference while we choose to sit back and gleefully watch the proceedings with diabolical complacence.

I remember with great honour and pride one of the greatest sons of the soil, a noble freedom fighter Tajuddin Ahmad, the founding Prime Minister of the first legitimate and valid Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. All other successive governments of Bangladesh till today have been the legacy of that government formed on the 10th of April 1971 and sworn in on the 17th of April 1971 in Mujibnagar, Meherpur, that brilliantly led our armed struggle for independence spanning nine months, bringing about the final victory on 16th of December 1971.

Great feats do not long for a reward, nor await a return, but then we as a nation shall only be free from the ironhold of our conscience the day we will find it in our hearts to break free from the shackles of collective amnesia to unabashedly recognise and validate the work of this man for his country. That will have been the most singularly elevating event happening to our psyche.

It is such freedom-seeking and timeless leaders who have been celebrated and revered from nation to nation, from age to age across the globe for their heroic roles in history making. Tajuddin Ahmad, undoubtedly, was one such leader.

Perhaps in the final analysis, time and history, by dint of their unerring judgement, will someday bestow upon this man the honour he deserved in his own right.

It is today the 79th birth anniversary of Tajuddin Ahmad. What better moment can there be than this to pay tribute to his undying soul. Salute to the sacred memories of the unsung hero.

Mahjabin Ahmad is the daughter of Tajuddin Ahmad.

Tajuddin Ahmed with his family