Seven prominent personalities have received the Independence Award this year.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed over Bangladesh’s highest civilian award on Wednesday at Dhaka’s Osmani Memorial Auditorium.
Late finance minister Shah AMS Kibria, matinee idol of yesteryear Abdur Razzak and Professor Emeritus Anisuzzaman are among the awardees.
Eight people were chosen for this year’s honour, but Professor Mozaffar Ahmed, the only living member of the war-time Bangladesh government, has refused the awards.
The NAP chairman, who was an advisor to the 1971 government, had formed a special guerrilla force in 1971 to fight the Pakistan Army and its local collaborators.
His name is not included in the brochure for the recipients of the Independence Award.
“Mozaffar Ahmed’s name was dropped as he was not keen to receive the award,” said Cabinet Secretary Muhammad Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan.
Slain during the BNP regime in 2005, former minister Kibria has been conferred the award posthumously for expressing his allegiance to the Bangladesh government and creating pro-liberation opinions in the US when he headed the then Pakistan embassy in Washington in 1971.
Professor Anisuzzaman has been awarded for his contribution to Bangla literature.
A professor emeritus in Bangla Language and Literature at Dhaka University, he fought for Bangladesh during the War of Independence.
Actor Razzak, fondly called as ‘Nayak Raj’ (king of heroes), has been honoured for his role in the cultural arena.
Late Commandant Manik Chowdhury received the honour posthumously for his contributions in conducting the war in Sylhet in 1971.
Apart from organising the freedom fighters, the former MP also fought the war on the front.
Mamun Mahmud received the award (posthumous) for his allegiance to the Bangladesh government in 1971 despite being the then Rajshahi range’s deputy inspector general of police. He was killed by the Pakistani occupation forces during the war.
Late journalist Santosh Gupta has been honoured for his contribution to journalism.
Gupta actively joined the War of Independence and all movements against communalism and for democracy.
Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute’s former director general Mohammad Hossain Mandal received the award for research and training.
The government every year names the award recipients ahead of the Independence Day on Mar 26.
So far, 212 individuals and 25 organisations have been given the award, which comes gold medal, a certificate and Tk 100,000 in cash.
Source: Bd news24