The distinguished economist and activist currently chairs the Dhaka School of Economics and the Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation
Dr Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, an economist and activist, appeared In the twelfth episode. He is the founder-chairman of Bangladesh Development Council, and former president of Bangladesh Economic Association, in addition to many other honours.
He currently chairs the Dhaka School of Economics and the Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation. The distinguished economist and activist looked back on his life in the twelfth episode of IPDC Finance Limited Presents Ogroj.
A member of the live audience commented on the stream, asking Dr Kholiquzzaman: “The dreams of the riverine people whose fortunes ebb and flow with the tide are no different from the dreams of Bangabandhu, whose daughter has been hard at work to turn those dreams real using her position at the helm of our nation for over a decade. Can you provide any insight into any permanent resolutions to their challenging lives?”
In response, Dr Kholiquzzaman said: “We all know that in spite of our economic growth, marginalization and income inequality is still prevalent. The inequality has only intensified during the pandemic. But the government’s incentives have not lost pace. The government has plans to hand over houses to thousands of homeless families. When the ruling party campaigned for re-election, they specifically identified and listed problems like inequality and have been working to address it.
“A nation always faces new crises. Even global leaders like the United States of America face their share of crises. What should be of note is whether these challenges are tracked and solutions are developed. We have many goals as a nation. We are well on our way with the Padma Bridge, metro rail, etc,” he replied.
He stressed the importance of upholding the spirit of the Liberation War in every aspect.
As is customary in the show, host Anis A Khan asked Dr Kholiquzzaman on his experiences during the Liberation War.
“For many of us, the March 7 speech was in essence the call for independence. I was not far from the dais where Bangabandhu spoke. Because of my affiliations, I was afraid my house would be targeted, and my family left. I took up refuge with a relative for three months until April when the military attempted to make everything seem normal and eased restrictions on transports. Wearing nothing but a lungi, I managed to get out of Dhaka to Sylhet and then across the border to Karimganj in India. After reaching Kolkata, I reunited with many of my contemporaries and we formed the Planning Cell for the Bangladesh government-in-exile.”
His sage advice to his succeeding generations included instilling empathy, compassion, unity, and preventing the country from falling into decay. Noting that privilege plays a part, he said the privileged should work to uplift the underprivileged, thereby reducing inequality and discrimination for a better society and country.
A remarkably distinguished scholar with 40 books and over 250 articles to his credit, he currently unwinds with music and writes songs on unity and humanity when he can.
He was honoured with the Ekushey Padak in 2009 and Swadhinata Padak in 2019. He has been widely honoured both domestically and internationally.
IPDC Finance Ltd presents Ogroj takes place from 8pm-9pm every first and third Thursday of the month. Guests on previous episodes include ex-Finance Secretary Matiul Islam, CPD Founder-Chairperson Prof Rehman Sobhan, Adcomm Limited Chairperson Geeteara Safiya Chowdhury, ex-Finance Minister AMA Muhith, ex-Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Farashuddin Ahmed, ACI Limited Chairperson M Anis Ud Dowla, novelist Selina Hossain, ex-Finance Minister M Syeduzzaman, MediaWorld Limited Chairperson Rokia Afzal Rahman, composer Shujeyo Shyam, and dramatist Ramendu Majumdar.