Book Review

Published:  12:00 AM, 25 December 2016

Amader Chunka Bhai: A book of memorabilia

Amader Chunka Bhai edited by Mohammed Ishaq, Bulbul Chowdhury, Amzad Hossain, Rafiur Rabbi & Jafar Ahmed, publisher - Ali Ahmed Chunka Foundation, February 25, 2012

Amader Chunka Bhai is the life-sketch of Ali Ahmed Chunka, a populist leader and politician of Narayanganj. Narayanganj City Mayor Dr. Selina Hayat Ivy is Ali Ahmed Chunka's daughter. She makes the best of her efforts to uphold the popular and idealistic image of her late father.

 "Amader Chunka Bhai" takes a look into the life and work of Ali Ahmed Chunka and his rise from an ordinary man to the status of a widely loved leader.

This book edited by a group of editors namely Mohammed Ishaq, Bulbul Chowdhury, Amzad Hossain, Rafiur Rabbi and Jafar Ahmed and published by Ali Ahmed Chunka Foundation, Narayanganj, is a life sketch of Ali Ahmed Chunka, Ex-Chairman of Narayanganj Municipality and a pen-picture of his image as a political leader, social worker and friends of mass people.

He had a distinguished personality but used to lead a modest lifestyle. Only at the age of 14, his political perception was unfolded. Generally, he was known as "Chunka Bhai" among all classes of people from the grass roots to the elites also.

He was born on Friday, 16th December 1934 at Deobhog, Narayanganj and surprisingly on this date of 1971 when the independent state of Bangladesh started its existence. His remarkable success in the political era was started at first in 1962 being elected as Basic Democracy member and later in 1977; he was elected as Chairman of Narayanganj Municipality. Chunka Bhai used to lead a very simple life and always wearing white Payjama and Punjabi.

Obaidul Kader M.P, Minister of Road, Transport and Bridges and present General Secretary of Awami League, described him as a person with the quality of suavity, fair-speaking and real sympathizer of the poor people. Obaidul Kader was the witness of burial ceremony of Chunka Bhai at Narayanganj where lacs of people gathered with their heartiest laments and grief for this leader.

Narrating the unusual qualities of Chunka Bhai, Professor Karunamay Goswami wrote about his general standard of academic qualification although Chunka Bhai was later fascinated to religious and spiritual surroundings. Ali Ahmed Chunka Bhai was a man of a different type. His generosity, kindness to the poor was boundless.

He had a strong belief in the truth and then he could establish many socio-cultural organizations including 'Sudhijan Pathagar', one of the biggest and renowned libraries in Bangladesh.

He possessed strong patriotism and being a dedicated follower of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, he was associated with the politics of Awami League up to his last breath. Chunka Bhai was adorned with the rear qualities of being holly and grieved for other people.

He was fully non-communal and his house was always open to people from every sphere of life where entertainment was free. The services and cooperation which Chunka Bhai tendered to the people of Narayanganj city is still a 'hear-say'.

In 1965 during communal riots, Chunka Bhai shows his best effort to save the minorities from the clutch of the riot. Even avoiding away all protocol, he had taken tea with the Hindus and Muslims of all walks of life and these real stories are narrated by Tarapada Acharjyee, a veteran income tax practitioner and a person with spiritual, mythological knowledge.

In 1975, Chunka Bhai attended the Christmas festival of Christian Communities at St. Paul Church, Narayanganj and with his promise he was successful to mark an area for the Christian Communities at Masdair Graveyard, which is one of his great socio-political activities.

 My dear father, "You are my treasure of pride"- is the real outburst of his daughter Dr. Selina Hayat Ivy, Mayor of Narayanganj City Corporation. Chunka Bhai could not proceed far in academic qualification due to early association with politics and social works but was serious in giving proper educational facilities to his offspring. To make his daughter smart enough, he also got her admitted in Narayanganj Rifle Club in practicing shooting.

Chunka Bhai was elected Chairman of the Narayanganj Municipalities for the second time in 1977. He was deeply grieved on the murder of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and led the mourn-rally after the killing of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 15 August, 1975.

In 1981, when Sheikh Hasina arrived in Kurmitola Airport, Chunka Bhai received the will-be leader of Awami League with innumerable Awami League followers. He used to advise his daughter and all not to give up the ideal of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

 In 1982, Sheikh Hasina was awarded reception at Narayanganj (1st meeting outside of Dhaka) arranged by Chunka Bhai at Chashara Balur Math where the key of Narayanganj town was handed over to Sheikh Hasina by Chunka Bhai on behalf of Narayanganj Municipality and that time Chunka Bhai was the President of the district and City Awami League.

Dr. Selina Hayat Ivy (then was a student) did also attend there. Chunka Bhai achieved love from all classes of general people. He used to say that through love to people, love of Allah and the Prophet (S.M.) can be gained.

 Chunka Bhai was a devoted disciple of Pir Khawaja Nazmul Hasan of Dhaka Nawab Bari. He was very fond of listening to 'Kawali' song. As a whole, he was in the belief of humanity above all conception. Chunka Bhai breathed his last on 25th February, 1984.

This memorial book is a brief, compact life-time narration of Chunka Bhai in a nutshell. The board of editors and publishers of Ali Ahmed Chunka Foundation, Narayanganj deserve thanks and praise for exposing the image of this great leader, loved by all classes of people, especially from Narayanganj. The book may be of much use to the inhabitants of Narayanganj as well as to the new generation of readers.


Dr. Shakill Al Mamun is a researcher while
Sib Sankar Modak is supplement editor of
The Asian Age

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