Veteran journalist DP Barua passes away

Nonagenarian journalist and former chief editor and managing director of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) Deba Priya Barua passed away on Wednesday morning at his Maghbazar residence, reports BSS.

“He breathed his last at 5.30 am at his own house . . . he was asleep as he died,” Barua’s youngest son Dipta Barua said adding his father was suffering from various old age complications for long.

More known as DP Barua, the veteran journalist left behind three sons, a number of admires in his profession and in other professional and social groups and a host of relatives.

The death of such journalist cast a pall of gloom in the journalist, socio-cultural, literary and political arena.
The mortal remains of late Barua was first taken to city’s Kamalapur Dharmarajika Buddhist Monastery and later International Buddhist Monastery at Merul Badda . Buddhists monks and devotees in separate condolence meetings paid tributes to Barua and fondly recalled his contribution for the nation.

DP Barua during his life time has made deed to donate his mortal remains at his free will to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University for medical studies.

But the COVID 19 situation created complexities to fulfil his will and instead he was cremated at Ashulia Bodhigyan Meditation Centre crematory this afternoon amidst religious rites.

A 1952 language movement veteran Barua made his debut in journalism in 1958 when he was recruited by now defunct The Morning News newspaper. He also had a brief background in PR profession as a pubic relation officer in the then State Bank of Pakistan.

He later joined BSS and eventually became the Chief Editor and Managing Director of the state owned news agency BSS in 1991. Ahead of his appointment as the BSS chief he served as its managing editor for years.

His interview of the then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in New Delhi for BSS was widely acclaimed while he visited the Indian capital along with Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1974.

Born on April 10, 1930 in a respectable and enlightened family Mohamuni village of Raaojan upazila of Chattogram, Barua had his academic background in English literature while he secured his honours and masters degree from the University of Dhaka (DU).

Barua was the first Buddhist student to become elected General Secretary of DU’s Jagannat Hall dormitory Students Union.

He was the President of Bangladesh Institute for Mentally Retarded, Executive Member of the Trustee Board of Bangladesh Independent University, former executive members of Bangladesh Editors Council and Commonwealth Press Union.

He served for three tenures as Vice Chairman of Special Olympics of Bangladesh for Disabled Athletes.
A prolific writer Barua authored the biography on Dr BM Barua, the first Doctor of Literature in Asia, which was published from Bangla Academy.

He also authored ‘Culture and Tradition of Bengali Bouddha’ , ‘Bangladesh–China Relationship from a Buddhist Perspective’ and ‘His Holiness Sangaraj Shilalankar, 8th highest religious leader of the Buddhist – a short biography .

Considered as a Bangladeshi Buddhists spokesman he represented the community abroad as general secretary of Bangladesh Boudha Krishti Prachar Sanga, Bangladesh chapter of Asian Buddhist Conference for Peace (ABCP) and World Fellowship of Buddhists (WFB).

Barua was honoured with ‘International Buddhist Peace Award’, ‘Atish Dipankar Sreegyan Gold Medal Award’, World Peace Envoy , ‘Biddabaridi’ by Supreme Sangha Council (monastic order) and ‘Dr BM Barua Memorial Award’ for his contributions to the cause of humanity, establishing rights and struggle for secular and equality based state.

Incumbent BSS Chief Editor and Managing Director Abul Kalam Azad mourned Barua’s death particularly recalling to his service to the national news agency and conveyed his sympathy to the members of his bereaved family.

Jatiya Press Club (JPC) President Saiful Alam and General Secretary Farida Yasmin issued a joint statement condoling Barua’s death as he was the senior most member of the club and its frequent visitor until recently.