The rueful month of August is remembered as one of the darkest days in history for the brutal assassination of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his family members on August 15, 1975. On that day, the then Director-General of DGFI (Directorate General of Forces Intelligence), Shaheed Brigadier General Jamil Uddin Ahmed, ‘Bir Uttam’, was the only one to sacrifice his life to save Bangabandhu.
Marking the 46th death anniversary of the assassinated martyrs and National Mourning Day 2021, the country’s premier news agency United News of Bangladesh (UNB) recently organized a first-ever video interview featuring seven grandchildren of the brave-heart remembered as ‘Colonel Jamil’: Masud Jamil Khan, Rumessa Mailloux, Jamil Khan, Nahar Khan, Armaan Jamil Hossain, Shaan Jamil Hossain and Zahra Jamil Rahman, together for the first time from home and abroad.
The special interview, hosted by noted visual artist Sourav Chowdhury, commemorated the valiant patriot who his grandchildren never met in person due to his heroic sacrifice and untimely departure. The grandchildren also fondly remembered their late grandmother Anjuman Ara Jamil, former Member of Parliament and an iconic entrepreneur in the country.
Sourav Chowdhury: Being the eldest grandchild, how do you view your grandfather and honour his legacy?
Masud Jamil Khan: Unfortunately, I couldn’t meet my grandfather in person - however, I always receive mass admiration from everywhere as the grandson of Colonel Jamil and my grandmother Anjuman Ara Jamil, a former Member of Parliament representing Kushtia, Meherpur and Chuadanga. She established the Jamil Foundation, empowering local women - which we are proudly continuing as their legacy. As the Deputy Managing Director of the Cosmos Group and also a father of three beautiful daughters, I always feel that the patriotism, sacrifice and dedication of our grandparents have always inspired us to gloriously move with confidence, pride and dignity.
Sourav Chowdhury: Cosmos Foundation has been focused on working towards preserving Bangladesh’s history and culture, namely the works and legacy of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu. Could you tell us about this?
Masud Jamil Khan:Through our Cosmos Foundation and its artistic wing Gallery Cosmos, we have been organizing several cultural activities to fulfill our commitment to the society - including special exhibitions, art camps, workshops and more, at home and abroad. We have published special books on the Father of the Nation, namely "Bangabandhu: Epitome of a Nation" and "Brave Heart". Written by Enayetullah Khan, these books are incomparable as these have featured exclusive memoirs of Bangabandhu and also our patriotic grandfather, and I hope we will see further publications in the future."
Sourav Chowdhury: Jamil Khan, you are currently joining us from San Diego California in the US. You are named after your heroic grandfather and you have a lot of similarities too, I hear. Could you tell us about your grandfather?
Jamil Khan:We grew up hearing the stories about our brave-heart Nana (grandfather) from my mom, my Nanu (grandmother) and my aunts. Recently, I learned that my Nana Bhai liked photography, and I like photography too - my photography exhibition was held in Dhaka back in December 2004. Nana bhai liked to travel, I like to travel as well. To preserve his legacy, I have plans to feature his heroism through writing and archiving publications, photographs and more.
Sourav Chowdhury:Rumessa Mailloux, thank you for joining us from Toronto, Canada. Please tell us about your thoughts and feelings on your grandfather.
Rumessa Mailloux: I was born nine years after my Nana’s passing, so we couldn’t meet in person. However, I was blessed to hear the stories regarding how charming, handsome, sincere, charismatic and humble of a person he was. He is the pride of our family and our nation, as he was the only one who sacrificed his life for Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman - the greatest leader and founding father of Bangladesh.
His legacy is being continued through his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Three years ago, my son did a project on Nana Bhai and I am so proud he shared his story with his Canadian mates, who were amazed to know about our family history. A true hero lives forever and remains immortal because of the heroic acts, and I hope my Nana and Nanu have reunited peacefully in heaven.