Eminent politician Professor Mozaffar Ahmed, who is also currently the President of NAP (National Awami Party), has reportedly declined the most prestigious civil award given by the Bangladesh Government named the ‘Independence Award’. For many, this is reminiscent of the fact that he had once declined the post of minister as well, right after the independence of the country.
The 93 year old politician is the only surviving member of the Advisory Council of the Liberation War Bangladesh Government-in-exile.
Earlier this year, the government had declared names of 8 recipients including Professor Mozaffor for the Independence Award. Soon after, official statements from the National Awami Party had informed beforehand had the eminent politician had declined the award. Professor Mozaffor himself had also informed journalists about his decision.
In a glittering ceremony on Wednesday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed the Independence Award to seven recipients at Osmani Smriti Milonayoton. It was known that the name of Professor Mozaffor was omitted from the list on account of his disinterest. His name was even omitted from the introductory book list detailing information on the award recipients.
Cabinet Secretary Mosharrof Hossain Bhuiyan said, “He (Professor Mozaffor Ahmed) is not interested to receive it (the award). That is why his name was dropped.”
Although 212 individuals and 25 institutions have been conferred the Independence award, the highest civil award of the country till date, this incident of declining the award by any recipient is unprecedented and the first of its kind.