Politicians

A BIOGRAPHY OF BEGUM KHALEDA ZIA

A BIOGRAPHY OF BEGUM KHALEDA ZIA

BIOGRAPHY OF
Begum KhaledaZia
(Famous Bengali politician, Prime Minister from 1991 to 1996 and again from 2001 to 2006, and current chairperson and leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)
(August 15, 1945 — Continuing)

A BIOGRAPHY OF BEGUM KHALEDA ZIA

Begum Khaleda Zia (born KhaledaKhanamPutul in 1945) is a Bangladeshi politician who was the country’s Prime Minister from 1991 to 1996 and again from 2001 to 2006. She was the first woman to lead a democratic government as Prime Minister in the country’s history, and the second in Muslim majority countries (after Benazir Bhutto). She was the wife of Bangladesh’s former president, Ziaur Rahman.She is the current chairperson and leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) which was founded by Rahman in 1978.

Due to her outspoken resistance to Ershad’s military dictatorship in the 1980s and her determination to restoring democracy in Bangladesh, she developed a reputation as the “Uncompromising leader”. Ershad’s administration placed her under house arrest multiple times, followed by Sheikh Hasina’s government.  In 2011, the New Jersey State Senate named her a “Fighter for Democracy.”

Forbes magazine put KhaledaZia at number 14 in 2004, number 29 in 2005, and number 33 in 2006 on its list of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World.

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⨭ Famous Bengali politician
⨭ Prime Minister from 1991 to 1996 and again from 2001 to 2006
⨭ Current chairperson and leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)
◉ Born: August 15, 1945
◉ Place of Birth:Jalpaiguri, Bengal Presidency, British India (then undivided Dinajpur District and now in Jalpaiguri District, India)
◉ Nationality: Bangladeshi
◉ Religion: Islam
◉ Education
⨭ Dinajpur Missionary School
⨭ Dinajpur Girls’ School
⨭ DinajpurSurendranath College
◉ Father: Iskandar Majumder
◉ Mother:TaiyabaMajumder
◉ Spouse: Ziaur Rahman
◉ Children: 2
⨭ Tarique Rahman
⨭ Arafat Rahman (died in 2015)
◉ Siblings:
⨭ Sayeed Iskander (brother)
⨭ Khurshid Jahan (sister)
⨭ Shamim Iskandar (younger brother)
⨭ Selina Islam(younger sister)
◉ Relatives:
⨭ Shahrin Islam Tuhin (nephew)
⨭ Saiful Islam Duke (nephew)
◉ Political Party:Bangladesh Nationalist Party (1979–present)
◉ Other Political Affiliations:
⨭ Four Party Alliance (2001–2011)
⨭ 18 Party Alliance (2011–present)
⨭ JatiyaOikya Front (2018–present)
◉ Awards and Honors:
◉ MOn 24 May 2011, the New Jersey State Senate honoredKhaledaZia as a “Fighter for Democracy”
◉ Forbes magazine put Khaleda Zia at number 14 in 2004, number 29 in 2005, and number 33 in 2006 on its list of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World.
◉ Eponyms:
◉ Begum Khaleda Zia Hall, a residential hall at Islamic University, Kushtia.
◉ Deshnetri Begum Khaleda Zia Hall, a residential hall at the University of Chittagong.
◉ Begum Khaleda Zia Hall, a residential hall at Jahangirnagar University
◉ Begum Khaleda Zia Hall, a residential hall at the University ofRajshahi.
◉ Bibliography
⨭ Ullah, Mahfuz (18 November 2018). Begum Khaleda Zia: Her Life, Her Story.

Early Life and Education of “Khaleda Zia” :

Khaleda Khanam “Putul” was born in 1945 in Jalpaiguri, Bengal Presidency, British India, in the then-undivided Dinajpur District (now in Jalpaiguri District, India). She was the third kid in a family of five. She was the daughter of tea merchant Iskandar Ali Majumder, who was the son of Salamat Ali Majumdar, who was the son of Azgar Ali Majumdar, who was the son of Nahar Muhammad Khan, who was the son of Murad Khan, a Middle Eastern immigrant from the 16th century. TaiyabaMajumder, her mother, was from Chandbari (now in Uttar Dinajpur District). They moved to Dinajpur when India was partitioned in 1947. (now in Bangladesh).

Khanam began her education at Dinajpur Missionary School and graduated from Dinajpur Girls’ School in 1960. In the same year, she married Ziaur Rahman, a Pakistan Army captain at the time. She went by the moniker “Khaleda Zia” or “Begum Khaleda Zia” after that. Khaleda continued her education at DinajpurSurendranath College till 1965, when she moved to West Pakistan with her husband. They relocated from Karachi to Dhaka in March 1969. Following Rahman’s appointment, the family relocated to Chittagong’s Sholoshohor neighborhood. She was imprisoned at Dhaka Cantonment in 1971 during the Pakistan Army’s Major General Jamshed’s Freedom Fight/Liberation War of Independence.

Family:

Tarique Rahman (b. 1967), Zia’s first son, entered politics and rose to become the acting head of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. Arafat Rahman “Koko,” her second son, died after a heart attack in 2015. Khurshid Jahan (1939–2006), Zia’s sister, served as Minister of Women and Children Affairs from 2001 until 2006. Sayeed Iskander (1953–2012), her younger brother, was a politician who served in the JatiyaSangsad from the Feni-1 constituency from 2001 to 2006. Shamim Iskandar, her younger brother, is a former Bangladesh Biman flight engineer. Selina Islam is her younger sister.

Political Career:

Khaleda Zia had shown little involvement in politics or public life until her husband, President Ziaur Rahman, was assassinated in an abortive military coup in Chittagong on May 30, 1981.Following President Ziaur Rahman’s assassination, Vice-President Justice AbdusSattar assumed the role of Vice President and BNP Chairman. On March 24, 1982, Army Chief of Staff General Hossain Mohammad Ershad deposed Justice Sattar.

Justice Sattar appointed Khaleda Zia as the BNP’s vice-chairman in March 1983. She took over as chairwoman in February 1984, after Justice Sattar stepped down from politics. She was elected chairman of the party on August 10, 1984.

In 1983, the BNP formed a seven-party alliance led by Begum Zia and started a persistent campaign against General Ershad’s dictatorial administration. Begum Zia did not compromise with Ershad’s dictatorial and illegitimate regime during the nine-year fight. The government imposed restrictions on her movements as a result of her strong commitment to the ideals. President Ershad arrested Khaleda seven times before resigning on December 6, 1990, after nearly nine years of dictatorial reign.

Ershad finally turned up power to a neutral caretaker administration on December 6, 1990, in the face of a huge uprising led by coalitions formed by Begum Zia and Sheikh Hasina. The Bangladesh Nationalist Party won a single majority in the legislative elections conducted on February 27, 1991, during this government. In three successive parliamentary elections, Begum Zia ran in five constituencies and won all of them. Of course, this is a one-of-a-kind achievement in the country’s electoral history.

Prime Minister:

◉ First Term:
In 1991, the BNP-led government reinstated the parliamentary system by the 12th amendment to the Constitution, which was passed unanimously across all political lines. On February 27, 1991, a neutral caretaker administration conducted elections that were widely regarded as free, fair, and really democratic. With the support of the majority of parliament members, Khaleda Zia became Bangladesh’s first female Prime Minister. Sheikh Hasina was elected as the formal opposition leader.
Begum Zia’s administration achieved significant progress in the education sector while in power, including the establishment of free and obligatory elementary education, tuition-free education for females up to class ten, female student stipends, and the Food for Education program.
◉ Second Term:
After the BNP won a resounding win in the sixth JatiyaSangsad general election on February 15, 1996, she became Prime Minister for the second time. All other major parties, on the other hand, boycotted the election, asking that it be held under the supervision of a neutral caretaker administration, following charges of cheating in a 1994 by-election.
◉ Third Term:
In order to reclaim power, the BNP forged a four-party coalition on January 6, 1999, with its erstwhile political rival the Jatiya Party, the Islamic party Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh, and the IslamiOikya Jot, and began many anti-Awami League agitation campaigns.The four-party coalition then ran in the general elections on October 1, 2001, and won with a two-thirds majority of seats in parliament and 46 percent of the vote (compared to 40 percent for the main opposition party), re-electing Khaleda Zia as Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
◉ End of Term:
On October 27, 2006, Khaleda Zia’s term in office ended.

Illness:

Khaleda Zia has been suffering from chronic kidney conditions, decompensated liver diseases, unstable haemoglobin, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and other age-related complications.Several members of Zia’s crew tested positive for COVID-19 in April 2021. Zia was also infected with the virus, but she showed no symptoms and recovered later. The medical board constituted for Zia’s care revealed on November 28 that she had been diagnosed with liver cirrhosis. The court has turned down a request to enable him to go overseas for medical treatment. Zia was treated at Evercare Hospital in Dhaka from April 27 to June 19, 2021, and again from October 12 to November 3, 2021, and since November 14, 2021. Zia was moved from the critical care unit on January 9, 2022. (CCU)

Awards and Honors:

>> MOn 24 May 2011, the New Jersey State Senate honoredKhaledaZia as a “Fighter for Democracy”
>> Forbes magazine put Khaleda Zia at number 14 in 2004, number 29 in 2005, and number 33 in 2006 on its list of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World.

Eponyms:

◉ Begum Khaleda Zia Hall, a residential hall at Islamic University, Kushtia.
◉ Deshnetri Begum Khaleda Zia Hall, a residential hall at the University of Chittagong.
◉ Begum Khaleda Zia Hall, a residential hall at Jahangirnagar University
◉ Begum Khaleda Zia Hall, a residential hall at the University ofRajshahi.

Bibliography

  • Ullah, Mahfuz (18 November 2018). Begum Khaleda Zia: Her Life, Her Story.

Former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, possesses qualities of leadership, organization and political acumen that have enabled her to dominate the parties, despite the many men who have aspirations to lead these parties and the nation. Khaleda played a key role in restoring democracy. She serves as an inspiration to millions in her country and around the world.

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