NAP Chairman Mozaffar Ahmed refuses Independence Award26 March 2015 bdnews24.com
Veteran politician Mozaffar Ahmed, who had rejected a cabinet position after independence in 1971, has now refused the Independence Award.
The chairman of the National Awami Party (NAP) is the only living person who was associated with the wartime Bangladesh government of 1971. The 93-year-old was a member of its Advisory Council. On Mar 4 this year, the government announced the names of eight chosen for Bangladesh's highest civilian award. But NAP said that its chief would not accept the award. Ahmed also spoke to the press explaining the refusal.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed over the awards, but Ahmed's name had been dropped because of his 'reluctance' to accept it. "His name was dropped as he was not keen to receive the award," Cabinet Secretary Muhammad Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan told bdnews24.com. So far, 212 individuals and 25 organisations have been given the award, but it is the first time someone has refused the honour. The NAP chairman says his politics has never been about such recognition as being a cabinet minister or recipient of an award. "Politics is about serving the country and its people...Sheikh Mujib tried to give me a number positions or titles, but I refused," he told bdnews24.com on Wednesday. "I am a follower of Mahatma Ghandhi and Maulana Bhashani."
Ahmed will turn 94 on Apr 14. "Patriotism and humanitarianism was all that encouraged me to join politics, not any award or recognition," he said. "Those who truly fought the Liberation War did not expect anything in return."
During the 1971 Liberation War, the NAP chairman formed a special guerrilla force to fight the Pakistan Army and its local collaborators.