Nurjahan Begum laid to rest | The Daily Star
11:10 AM, May 23, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:10 PM, May 23, 2016

Nurjahan Begum laid to rest

After two phases of namaj-e-janaza, Nurjahan Begum, the editor and publisher of weekly magazine Begum, was buried at Martyred Intellectual Graveyard in Dhaka’s Mirpur this evening.

The first namaj-e-janaza was held at her Narinda residence in Old Dhaka while the second one was held at the Gulshan Azad Mosque this afternoon.

Earlier in the day, people from all walks of life paid their last respects to Nurjahan Begum, who passed away at capital’s Square Hospital this morning at the age of 91.

She breathed her last at Square Hospitals around 10:15am, Md Akash, an official of customer service department of the hospital, confirmed The Daily Star Online.

Body of the Begum Editor was kept at the premises of the Central Shaheed Minar around 4:00pm where hundreds of people from different classes and professions thronged to pay the last respects to the renowned personality.

Body of Nurjahan Begum, the editor and publisher of weekly magazine Begum is kept at the premises of the Central Shaheed Minar in Dhaka where hundreds of people from different classes and professions throng to pay the last respects to the renowned personality on May 23, 2016. Photo: Mahdi Al Muhtasim

People from several socio-political and cultural organisations, journalists, teachers, students and other professionals placed wreaths and bouquets on her coffin at the Shaheed Minar.

Agricultural Minister Motia Chowdhury, Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and rights activist Sultana Kamal among others paid respects to the Begum Editor.

Nurjahan was admitted to the hospital with respiratory problems on May 4. She was on life support since May 7.

Meanwhile, President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed profound shock at her death. In separate messages, they conveyed deep sympathy to the bereaved family members and prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul, BSS reports.

Also READ: The becoming of Nurjahan Begum

Earlier, the prime minister had taken the responsibilities for her treatment.

On completion of the hospital formalities, the body was taken to her Narinda residence in Old Dhaka where her first namaj-e-janaza was held.

The second namaj-e-janaza will be held at the Gulshan Azad Mosque this afternoon and later she would be buried at Martyred Intellectual Graveyard in Mirpur today.

Meanwhile, Nurjahan Begum’s eldest daughter Flora Nasreen Khan said the Kulkhani would be held at her Narinda residence on Friday.

Nurjahan Begum and Rokonuzzaman Khan
Nurjahan Begum and her husband Rokonuzzaman Khan, fondly known as Dadabhai. Photo: courtesy

Born on June 4, 1925, she is a daughter of prominent journalist Mohammad Nasiruddin, editor of Bangla literary journal Saogat and awarded the Ekushey Padak in 2011.

Saogat, also called Saugat, (meaning Presentation) was a leading Bengali literary journal, first published in Kolkata in 1918.

While Nurjahan's contributions to our society and the empowerment of women are more than just commendable, one cannot forget her father and her husband – the two men who had the greatest influence on her life and success in her career. Her father was the one to lead her down the path of journalism. Her husband, Rokonuzzaman Khan, who she married initially against  her father’s will later became a renowned journalist himself. Popularly known and remembered as "Dadabhai", Khan had worked for Saogat, and was later editor of the literature and feature pages of the daily Ittefaq as well as of “Kochikanchar Ashor" for children.

READ more: Begum - How One Magazine Began a Revolution

The weekly Begum was first published in Kolkata on July 20, 1947, when India was ready to attain freedom from the British colonial rule.Many Hindu women, at the time, were involved in the struggle for freedom, where Muslim women were kept behind doors. But even at a time like that there were some Muslim women who were pioneering the feminist movement, like Begum Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain, who consistently wrote about women's education and worked tirelessly for it.

The first editor of the magazine was Begum Sufia Kamal, while the founder was Mohammad Nasiruddin. Subsequently, the journal was edited by his daughter Nurjahan Begum.

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