BIOGRAPHY OF ABDUR RAZZAQ
(1 August 1942 – 23 December 2011)
Abdur Razzaq was a prominent Bangladeshi politician and freedom fighter. He dedicated his life to the nationalist causes and democratic movements of Bengalis from his student days until his death. Razaq made major contributions during the Liberation War and later held key positions in the Awami League party and government. He is remembered as a fearless organizer and selfless patriot. He was one of the few Awami League leaders and activists who was a beacon of hope during the difficult times of the party after the assassination of the country’s founding president, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Razzaq was the minister for water resources between 1996 and 2001 when the Ganges Waters Treaty between Bangladesh and India was signed. Razzaq devoted his entire illustrious political life to the movement for the rights, independence, peace, and freedom of the common people. He played an active role in the education movement of ’62, the six-point movement of ’66, the mass uprising of ’69, and the Great War of Liberation 71.
Life of "Abdur Razzaq" At a Glance
Real Name: Abdur Razzaq
Date of Birth: 1 August 1942
Date of Death: 23 December 2011
Place of Birth: South Damudya village, Shariatpur district
Father’s Name: Alhaj Imamuddin
Mother’s Name: Begum Akfatunnesa
Profession: Politician, Freedom Fighter
➢ Passed SSC from Damudya Muslim High School in 1958
➢ Passed HSC from Dhaka College in 1960
➢ Enrolled at the University of Dhaka
➢ Passed BA (Honors) in Political Science in 1964
➢ Passed MA in Political Science
➢ Passed LLB in 1967 and enrolled as a lawyer in 1973
Experience and Ranking:
➢ Student union executive member (1959 -1960)
➢ Central Member of East Pakistan Students League (1960-1962)
➢ Unopposed Assistant General Secretary of Fazlul Huq Hall, DU (1962-1963)
➢ Assistant Joint Secretary of Bangladesh Chhatra League (1963-1965)
➢ General Secretary of East Pakistan Chhatra League (1965-1967)
➢ Sector Commander of Mujib Bahini during the Liberation War (1971)
➢ General Secretary of Awami League (1978-1981)
➢ Minister of Water Resources (1996-2001)
➢ Chief of Awami Volunteer Core (1969 – 1972)
➢ Organizing Secretary of Bangladesh Awami League (1972-1975)
➢ Secretary of BAKSAL (19751978)
➢ Secretary-General of Bangladesh Awami League (1978-1981)
➢ General Secretary of BAKSAL (1983-1991)
➢ Presidium Member of Bangladesh Awami League (1991-2008)
➢ Minister of Water Resources (1996-2001)
➢ Member of Advisory Council of Bangladesh Awami League (2008-2009)
Spouse : Farida Razzaq
Children: Nahim Razzaq , Fahim Razzaq
Alma mater: University of Dhaka
Occupation: Politician and Lawyer
Early Life and Education
Abdur Razzaq was born on August 1, 1942, in the Shariatpur district village of South Damudya. He was born into a low-income family; his father, Imamuddin, was a local religious authority, and his mother, Begum Akfatunnesa. He passed his SSC from Damudya Muslim High School in 1958 and his HSC from Dhaka College in 1960. Razzaq continued his study at the University of Dhaka, where he received a BA (Honors) degree in Political Science in 1964, followed by a Master’s degree in the same area. Later, in 1967, he earned an LLB degree from Dhaka University. Razzaq married Farida Razzaq in 1973 and is the father of Nahim Razzaq and Fahim Razzaq.
Razzaq’s political career began when he was still a student when he joined the East Pakistan Chhatra League, the Awami League’s student branch. He was a member of the central committee of the East Pakistan Chhatra League in 1960-62. He served as the joint general secretary of the Chhatra League from 1963-65. In 1963, he was elected the general secretary of Fazlul Haq Hall at Dhaka University. Abdur Razzaq was elected the general secretary of the East Pakistan Chhatra League twice consecutively in 1965-67. In the 1962-63 elections in the Fazlul Haq Hall student parliament at Dhaka University, he was also elected joint general secretary uncontested. He led the historic Six Point Movement in 1966, for which he was imprisoned from 1967 to 1969. Razzaq was also a key figure in the 1969 popular revolt against the government.
During Bangladesh’s Liberation War in 1971, Razzaq was the sector commander of Meghalaya (one of Mujib Bahini’s four sector commanders). He was also an organizer and trainer for Mujib Bahini and was educated in Dehradun by Indian Army General Uban. Mujib Bahini, also known as the Bangladesh Liberation Force (BLF), was founded to resist Pakistan’s military forces.
Razzaq was elected to parliament many times after Bangladesh’s independence. During the stormy decade of the 1970s, he served as Secretary of BAKSAL and later as General Secretary of the Awami League. During the anti-Ershad uprising of the 1990s, Razzaq was imprisoned once again for his pro-democracy efforts. Razzaq was a member of the Provincial Assembly in 1970 and elected member of the parliament of independent Bangladesh in 1973, 1991, 1996, 2001, and 2008. He served as the General Secretary of the Awami League in 1979 and 1981. He also served as Minister of Water Resources. He was one of the movement pioneers demanding the trial of the killers and war criminals of 1971. The unique contribution of the Razzaq to building an enlightened, prosperous, and secular democratic Bangladesh will remain immortal in the memory of the Bengali nation.
From 1969-72, Abdur Razzaq was the head of the Awami League’s volunteer wing. He served as the organizational secretary of the party from 1972-75. He served as the general secretary of the Awami League consecutively twice from 1978-81. Then in 1983, he formed Baksal and served as its general secretary until 1991. In 1991, he dissolved Baksal and rejoined the Awami League. From 1991-2009, he was a member of the Presidium of the Awami League. On July 24, 2009, after the Awami League National Council, he was elected a member of the party’s Advisory Council. His brightest time was as Minister of Water Resources under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina from 1996 to 2001. During his presidency, the historic Ganges Water Sharing Treaty with India was inked in 1997.
In his distinguished political career, Abdur Razzaq fought tirelessly for the benefit of the nation and its people until his death. He was constantly ready to contribute to the development of Shariatpur and its people. He built many institutions, including Abdur Razzaq College and Burirhat Polytechnic College, to enhance education in his area. In his father’s honor, he established Alhaj Imam Uddin High School. When Abdur Razzaq was Minister of Water Resources, he built a powerful dam on the Jayonti River to alleviate the suffering of those impacted by river erosion. He established the Water Development Board, banks, and the Damudya Municipality to better people’s lives. He has started many programs to provide jobs for underprivileged areas and help them become self-sufficient.
Abdur Razzaq, throughout his life, battled for this nation and its people. He was a driving force behind every democratic movement in Bangladesh. He made a significant contribution to Bangladesh’s liberation movement. Without him, the history of the liberation struggle is incomplete. As long as Bangladesh survives, the name of Abdur Razzaq, a famous son of history, will live on in the hearts of the people. He played a significant role in the campaign calling for the prosecution of war criminals. He served in the Awami League administration as a minister. His personality included working closely with ordinary people for their development. This late Awami League leader dedicated his life to improving the lives of common people in Bangladesh. He was well-liked by individuals of all social backgrounds and professions. He carved himself a place among the political figures of pre- and post-independence Bangladesh through personal honesty and political caution. The Ganges Treaty he negotiated as minister remains crucial to Bangladesh’s water interests.
Abdur Razzaq had a remarkable life, braving persecution and incarceration to advocate for his views. He made significant personal sacrifices for his country’s liberty and growth. Razzaq remains an inspiring figure and an emblem of Bangladesh’s progressive, secular culture decades after his death. His personal narrative is intertwined with the tale of the nation’s birth.