Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury taught us to be simple and honest

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Published on July 1, 2021
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Chowdhury Yameen Anam:

On this day every year, I am overwhelmed with a range of emotions. I keep remembering my grandfather, and I am left thinking of just one question: If ever got the chance to see him and spend some time with him? I keep wondering what it would feel like to catch a glimpse of him, to hear his legendary stories, or to witness his political decision-making.

All that I have left today are the lessons and ethics he left behind through his children - my father and my uncles.

Over the years, I have learned a lot from the lessons that my grandfather left behind. He always taught his children to live a simple and honest life and to never step into greed or any misdeeds, no matter how difficult the circumstances are.

I have lived a privileged life so far - I have been fortunate enough to attend a private school and university abroad. However, upon moving back to Bangladesh, I felt as though I faced limitations in every step - whether from my family, my circumstances, or just life in general. Yet, through it all, my grandfather's teachings reminded me to stand my ground and remain strong in the face of adversity.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to be selected as a member of the Finance and Planning Affairs Sub Committee of Bangladesh Awami League. I realize how rare and life-changing this opportunity is, and I am eternally grateful to have received it.

Yet, the second I received this news, I felt burdened by the weight of its responsibility. I keep asking myself, will I be able to live up to the greatness of my grandfather's legacy? He was very vocal about injustice in our society, but in today's world, we tend to silence our beliefs to fit into certain molds.

Now, when I am in a situation where I have the privilege to have my voice heard, I remember my grandfather and what he would have done. It is now that I understand how difficult it must have been being in his shoes, yet nothing could ever silence him. I pray to keep his legacy alive, in the same way.

When my grandfather passed away, he only left his home to his children. Even while being a minister of three separate ministries, Family Planning, Social Welfare, and Labour, he didn't leave behind money or land.

My grandfather offered his dedication and life to this country and asked for very little in return. He may have left his family without any real financial security, but we live in the honor of his name and good deeds.

On this special day, I feel closer to him than ever, as I witness his teachings and life lessons being passed on through the third generation of our family.