Liberation War Museum trustee Ziauddin Tariq Ali dies with Covid-19
Liberation War Museum trustee Ziauddin Tariq Ali died with Covid-19 at Bangladesh Specialized Hospital this morning.
He breathed his last around 11:00am, confirmed Sarwar Ali, another trustee of the museum.
Tariq Ali was admitted to the hospital around a week ago, Sarwar Ali said.
His body was taken to Liberation war Museum premises around 2:30pm so that people can pay their tributes to him, he said.
He will be buried at Martyred Intellectuals Graveyard at Mirpur following namaz-e-janaza after Asr, he added.
He and a few other freedom fighters in 1994 decided to set up a museum on Liberation War. The Liberation War Museum in Dhaka's Segunbagicha opened in 1996.
Over the years, Tariq Ali and others developed an impressive collection of documents, official letters, photographs etc. covering the Liberation War.
Recalling his contribution, renowned media personality, fellow trustee of Liberation War Museum and Executive Vice Chairperson of Asiatic3sixty, Sara Zaker, said, "Tariq Ali embodies the spirit of a Bengali fortified by the Liberation War. He made great sacrifices during his lifetime to retain his individuality. His contributions towards the Liberation War Museum are unforgettable. His personality made him a great friend. We have lost a dynamic companion."
Another trustee of the museum, Dr Sarwar Ali said, "We began preparing for the construction of the Liberation War Museum sometime around 1994. Most of us [trustees] would spend our evenings engrossed in discussions at his [Tariq's] house. It wasn't rare for us to return home in the morning after nightlong discussions. When the museum's huge building was erected, Tariq Ali was the member-secretary and we've been fortunate to have an architect of global calibre in him to lead the museum's construction. Each and every project was done under his supervision. Without him, it would have been very difficult for us to get the work done. I was discussing this with several others today, how we're going to maintain the buildings without Tariq -- that is the extent of the responsibilities that he bore on his shoulders."
In a special write-up -- published in The Daily Star -- marking Martyred Intellectuals Day in 2015, Tariq Ali wrote: "The objective of the Trustees of the museum has been that the ordinary citizen should take ownership of the museum. The citizens have done that, most emphatically. The museum has proved once again that Bengalis can be extremely generous when it comes to a good cause. The Trustees sensed that the ordinary citizen was proudly taking ownership of the museum from the day it began its journey, from the way they started referring to the small 2000 sq. ft. building in Segun Bagicha as 'our museum' and then when the new building was being built in Agargaon, in the way ordinary people donated (there is a school-girl in Brahmanbaria who gave us three and a half Takas from her tiffin money) to the building fund. Today the museum is not far from its avowed goal that more than half of the funding of this 102 crore building should be generated through the participation of the citizens. The government, on the other hand, has been outstandingly supportive, and despite being ordinary citizens, the Trustees are humbled by the love and respect that they get from the ordinary citizen, the news-media and the government."
"The museum has played a very important role in the trial of those charged with crimes against humanity by the International Crimes Tribunal, 1973 by providing documents related to the war. It also helped build public opinion in favour of the trials during the last 5 years by holding many seminars on trials regarding crimes against humanity and the experiences of other similar courts on genocide, in which many noted international scholars have participated," he added.