As if he is still with us, present very much in every activity of our lives in Dhaka. Journalist AHM Moazzem Hossain - our beloved Moazzem bhai - lives not just in the memory of his colleagues and friends, but for his deeds that make great people memorable to others for years and decades.
It was a huge shock when we came to know one of the pioneers of economic journalism in Bangladesh, Moazzem Hossain, passed away from the world here, in the evening on Wednesday, August 01 2018. Some of us knew he was suffering from a deadly disease but nobody expected him to leave "so early" in early 70s in view of his active presence in the industry. In the world hereafter, he has been showered with messages that indicate how much he was admired and revered by people of different walks of life. He was also a window of generation of pre-and-post-independent Bangladesh.
This author has no doubt that his was a complete and successful life. He was and will remain the role model for many of us. I didn't know why, when I met him last time at a gathering a few months before his departure, he hugged me, telling everyone there: "Khawaza Main Uddin is writing with a lot of courage and conviction…." He looked a bit emotional. Perhaps, he understood his imminent departure.
Many of our friends, seniors and younger brothers and sisters would agree with me that Moazzem bhai set a high standard of practising ethically-correct journalism. He was the one who upheld conservative values of journalism and followed it at the newspaper he served until the last day of his life. He always believed a journalist can say something, no matter how difficult the atmosphere is. He called it munshiana or skills proper which is required for telling the truth without making stakeholders hostile to the media entity. His family members would always have reasons to feel proud of him.
I had the opportunity, on behalf of members of the Economic Reporters Forum (ERF), to honour him with 'Lifetime Achievement Award' when I was elected ERF president in 2012. He was the founder president of ERF and one of the frontrunners who founded and established The Financial Express, the country's leading financial daily newspaper in English language that started its journey with a capital of Tk 7.2 million.
'We all in the industry must focus on building quality manpower and development of a good system for hiring people without unhealthy competition,' he once told this author in a formal interview. Moazzem Hossain was an old student of classical school of journalism - he favoured 'bite' but not cheap sensationalism. His way of thinking is more relevant for journalism in the country at a time when both the profession and the industry are at stake. At The Financial Express, he tried to prove journalism is a necessity for society.
Moazzem Hossain, as an individual journalist and as an editor, passed the baton to us to bring ahead his legacy and face challenges that are posed to journalism more often than not. We express our gratitude for his services to the nation. We promise we would try to follow you, Moazzem bhai, and uphold your ideals as a great son of the soil. We will miss you…
Khawaza Main Uddin is Content Specialist, FE.