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19 May, 2019 00:00 00 AM

Remembering A K Shamsuddin, the great martyr

Abul Kalam Salauddin
Remembering A K Shamsuddin, the great martyr
Abul Kalam Shamsuddin

Today, the 19th of May 2019, is the 48th anniversary of the passing of my beloved father, Shaheed Abul Kalam Shamsuddin.  Abba was one of the leading organizers of Bangladesh’s Independence struggle in 1971.  He was a born-leader who despite having everything going for him as a privileged CSP officer and the SDO of Sirajganj, chose to engage in active resistance movement against the occupation Pakistan Army and led by example.  At a young age of twenty-eight, it was his destiny to stand out amongst his ranks, to dare to go against the establishment and risk everything for a singular reason, Freedom. The precious Freedom that would stop the socio-economic injustice and would create endless opportunities for a new nation. The message of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s call to arms in his historic 7th-March- 1971-World-Heritage speech resonated in my father’s veins to rise up, organize and lead resistance against the occupation Pakistan Army. He was successful in realizing his dream partially but not without paying the ultimate price--giving his own life for his dream of a new nation. The Pakistani Army's crack party led by a one said major inhumanly tortured him for 3 days until they took his life in Dhaka Cantonment. He gave his life, yet they could never take his pride.  He believed Pride is worth dying for, pride is integrity and establishing your identity. But till this date in today's Bangladesh question remains if we have truly realized that dream of socio-economic injustice and endless opportunities.

It took the Government of Bangladesh 41 years to recognize his ultimate sacrifice for a greater vision, the message of Bangabandhu's historic world heritage speech of 7th March,1971.  The Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina honored his bravery and extraordinary sacrifice for this nation by awarding him the nation's highest civilian award, ShadhinotaPadak 2012 (The Independence Award 2012) posthumously.

As his only son and a representative of his family, I had the distinguished honor of receiving the award on behalf of my beloved father.  It was the proudest and highest moment of my life.  I remember that day, the 25th March 2012, pride swelled my heart and tears rolled down my eyes that was hard to control as I received the award on behalf of my father, the Great Shaheed Shamsuddin. That Great Shamsuddin whom Bangladesh and especially the people of Sirajganj will never forget. That Great Shamsuddin who dared to fight and go against the establishment. The people of Sirajganj honor and celebrate that Great Shaheed Shamsuddin every day; they have dedicated a beautiful gate in front of the District Commissioner's Office in Sirajganj.   They will forever cherish his memory with a memorial Office dedicated to his honor.  The people of Sirajganj enjoy major sporting events inthe Shaheed Shamsuddin Stadium. Shaheed Shamsuddin was born on the 2nd of August,1943 in Tangail. He completed his matriculation from Nawabpur Government High School and his higher secondary studies from Notre Dame College in Dhaka. For higher education he was awarded a scholarshipthat was exclusive to the West Pakistanis and attended the University of Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan where he earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Chemistry with distinction in 1963 and 1964 respectively. He declined a scholarship to earn a PhD in Canada and decided to pursue a carrier in Civil Service. Prior to joining the Civil Service of Pakistan in 1967, he briefly served as a Scientific Officer in the Atomic Energy Commission in Dhaka.

Shaheed Shamsuddin was one of the finest and brightest of the civil service cadre of his generation as his distinguished friends and colleagues affectionately and respectfully remember him today. He is among one of a few civilians who have been buried in the Military Cemetery in Banani, Dhaka. People of Bangladesh, especially Sirajganj, respectfully remember him and the memories of “Colonel” Shamsuddin for his invaluable contribution to the struggle for freedom.   Shaheed Shamsuddin will never grow old for us as we will always remember him as a young, dedicated officer- a tall and dark handsome man. His family, including his only son Biplob, daughter-in-law Dipty, his grandson Orko and his wife Shamim, asks their friends and family to pray for his departed soul and to ask the Almighty to grant him the eternal peace in heaven for his ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of his nation.

The writer, the only child of Shaheed Shamsuddin, is a USA based

IT professional


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Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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