An Eulogy; to our aunt: Professor Momtaz Begum

Imran Ahmed Chowdhury || It is a very poignant day for me to pen a few words as a homage and tribute to our aunt Professor Momtaz Begum, An advocate in Bangladesh Supreme Courts, an ex-Member of Provincial Assembly in 1970, a Member of Parliament of Independent Bangladesh, Who was the General secretary of Bangladesh Womens Awami League. Above all she was a Freedom Fighter of our liberation war. 

Mrs. Begum breathed her last yesterday in Dhaka, Bangladesh, She left behind her son Chandon, Daughter Farhana and her husband. 

I spoke to her a recently to seek her permission to write about her in my forthcoming book on Bangladesh Liberation War and also promised to go and see her during my next visit to Dhaka, I knew she loves shawls and I bought a few Pashmina shawls for her too. But alas she is no more with us. I have had a message to pass on to her who my mother told me to convey it to her personally. 

Last Friday night I was writing about her and her generous help to my family in distress as refugees in India during our liberation war; I finished writing around 04:00 hours on Friday/Saturday nights small hours. I wake up in the morning in the UK to find that she has left us all for eternity in between those hours. 

She and my mother had a very strong friendship and they both have been well wishers of each others. When we were literally submerged in the worst juncture of our lives as refugees in India in 1971, it was she who came to our lives as a God send messiah ; an angel to save us from tipping over. My family will remain ever so grateful to her for all her help. 

Amena fufu (her nick name) a very enlightened woman who dedicated her whole life for the emancipation of the women of Bangladesh. I remember after the war she organised a national wide ‘’Womens Rehabilitation Programme’’ for those women who were compromised by the brutal Pakistan Army during the war. She even brought my mother in to a spearhead the project in the worst war torn regions to socially, economically and psychologically help build their lives once again from the backdrop of the catastrophe of the heinous mental and physical scars inflicted by the occupying neo Nazis of Pakistan. 

A close associate of our Father of the Nation and his family for over 60 years. She was selected an MPA in 1970 and there were only 7 women representative in the whole country. She has been a close aide to our present Prime Minister; both of them were political activists during their student days. She led the liberation war from the front and organised Freedom Fighters Training in Tripura during our war of Liberation. A rare women leader of our country to sacrifice her life for organising the Liberation War – she was. She took a sabbatical to go back to teaching and legal profession and build one of the legal practices in the country along with her husband and daughter. 

Lastly, she was the Chairman of National Womens Organisation. 

A rare breed of woman she was; who have sacrificed her life for the nations since her secondary school life from mid 1950s. 

Please join me for a moment to homage and respect to this Golden Daughter of Bengal. 

She was an inspiration and may her legacy live long. 

I am so saddened that, I could not publish the book whilst she was here. 

Rest in peace Amena fufu. 

Imran Ahmed Chowdhury ( Shaheen/ Munna) 
United Kingdom.