Ihsanul Karim was a journalist of integrity and courage

Journalist and valiant freedom fighter Ihsanul Karim never compromised with the spirit of the liberation war. For 52 years he carried out journalism with integrity and courage. Even in the darkest days he never compromised his ethics. His death has left an irreparable loss in the world of news media.

These sentiments were expressed by senior journalists and journalist leaders at a commemoration event held in his honour yesterday, Monday, 25 March, at the National Press Club in the capital. The event was organised by the Indian Institute of Mass Communications (IIMC) Alumni Association. Ihsanul Karim has been president of the association. He was the first student to go on a scholarship back in 1979 to IIMC at New Delhi in India.

Ihsanul Karim passed away on 10 March while undergoing treatment at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU). He had been Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s press secretary at the time of his death.

Ihsanul Karim began his career in 1972 as a staff correspondent of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS). He served in various capacities in BSS. He served from 1997 till 2001 as the BSS correspondent in New Delhi, India. He also worked as a journalist for the international media including BBC, PTI, India’s The Statesman, India Today and more.

After serving for four years as the BSS managing director and chief editor, Ihsanul Karim retired on 12 February 2013. After retiring from BSS, on 20 May the same year he was appointed as the press secretary to President Abdul Hamid and remained in this office till June 2015. On 15 June 2015 he was first given a one-year appointment as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s press secretary. This contract was later extended twice, by three years each time.

Speaking at the commemoration, president of National Press Club Farida Yasmin said that Ihsanul Karim had given her courage and inspiration in her career as a journalist. His friendly manner won the hearts of all journalists, young and old. His death has been an irreparable loss.

General secretary of the National Press Club, Shyamol Dutta, proposed that a publication be brought out in Ihsanul Karim’s memory. Speaking at the event, he said this will be an institutional initiative to express deepest respect for Ihsanul Karim.

BSS managing director and chief editor Abul Kalam Azad said, alongside being a good journalist, Ihsanul Karim had been a good man too. He never harmed anyone.

IMCCAA BD general secretary Zahid Newaz Khan said Ihsanul Karim had been a valiant freedom fighter. He never compromised with the spirit of the liberation war

Speaking at the memorial, Ihsanul Karim’s son Moeenul Karim said as a journalist he had always stood by the side of journalists in difficult times. He was very caring about his family too. His father would always say, people’s lives do not always remain the same. One must accept any situation cheerfully. He would always tell his family members never to compromise with integrity.

IMCCAA BD’s senior journalist Farid Hossain said that Ihsanul Karim had all the qualities required of a journalist.

In his opening speech, IMCCAA BD general secretary Zahid Newaz Khan said Ihsanul Karim had been a valiant freedom fighter. He never compromised with the spirit of the liberation war. Due respect will be shown if journalism is practiced with the spirit and values of the liberation war.

Also speaking at the event commemorating Ihsanul Karim were president of Dhaka Union of Journalists, Sohel Haider Chowdhury, president of Diplomatic Correspondents Association of Bangladesh (DCAB) Nurul Islam Hasib, Bangladesh Journalists Welfare Trust managing director Subhash Chanda (Badal), Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) president Omar Faruk, BSS managing editor Anisur Rahman, BSS chief news editor Samir Kanti Barua, former managing editor of BSS Manoj Kanti Roy and Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) former president Md Shafiqul Karim. Also present at the event among Ihsanul Karim’s relative was his cousin Kanka Karim.

IMCCAA BD executive council member Nazrul Islam read out the condolence message. The event was presided over by IMCCAA BD acting president Azizul Islam Bhuiyan. The meeting was moderated by ATN News’ senior news editor and IMCCAA BD member Ghani Adam. Other members of IMCCAA BD were also present on the occasion.

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