In the passing away of Professor Kabir Chowdhury, the nation has lost a leading light, who wielded considerable influence on the national thought process by his writings and spoken words. Living to the fullness of his life, he spent his waking hours productively, creatively and compassionately leaving a versatile legacy in scholarship, literary output including translation, and above all, as an articulate voice against orthodoxy and communalism in any shape or form.
Soft-spoken, amiable in disposition and his face always beaming a smile, he was enormously endearing as a person.
Teacher and educationist by profession, he went on to receive the highest accolade of being elevated to national professor in 1998. As director of Bangla Academy, he championed secular values during the mass movements in 1969-70. He was member-secretary of the first national education commission after independence. He authored as many as 250 books.
For his contributions to education, literary and social movements, Kabir Chowdhury has been honoured nationally and internationally. Among the numerous awards he received are the Bangla Academy Literary Awards, Ekushey Padak, Shadhinota Padak, Bangabandhu National Award, Mohammad Nasiruddin Literary Award, Sher-e-Bangla Award and William Carey Award (India).
With him, ends an era of men of letters and action, a rare breed that has all but vanished. They lived by and for principles they believed in and upheld with a force of conviction that will remain a beacon to guide us through the travails of life.
As we mourn his demise in the full knowledge that his works remain as a valuable reference point, we express our profound condolences to the members of his bereaved family hoping that they will bear the loss with fortitude the deceased would have liked them to.