PROFESSOR IAJUDDIN AHMED
(19TH PRESIDENT OF BANGLADESH)
(1 FEBRUARY 1931 – 10 DECEMBER 2012)
A BIOGRAPHY OF IAJUDDIN AHMED
Iajuddin Ahmed (1931-2012) was a Bangladeshi academic and politician who served as the President of Bangladesh from 2002 to 2009. He was born in Nayagaon, Munshiganj district of British India, which is now part of Bangladesh. He completed his higher education in the United States and obtained a PhD in SOIL SCIENCE from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
In 2002, Iajuddin Ahmed was appointed as the President of Bangladesh after the previous President, A. Q. M. Badruddoza Chowdhury, resigned. He served as the President for seven years, during which he faced several controversies and criticisms. In 2006, he was appointed as the head of a caretaker government to oversee the general elections in Bangladesh. However, the opposition parties accused him of being biased towards the ruling party, and the controversy led to widespread protests and violence. In 2007, he declared a state of emergency in Bangladesh and suspended the constitution, which was widely criticized by opposition parties and human rights groups.
After resigning from the presidency in 2009, Iajuddin Ahmed returned to academia and served as a professor at the Department of Soil Science at the University of Dhaka until his death in 2012.
Despite his controversial tenure as the President of Bangladesh, Iajuddin Ahmed was also praised for his contributions to higher education and research in Bangladesh. He was awarded the Ekushey Padak, one of the highest civilian awards in Bangladesh, in 1987 for his contributions to soil science research.
Known For: 19th President of Bangladesh (6 September 2002 until 12 February 2009)
Born: 1 February 1931
Birthplace: Nayagaon, Munshiganj (in India)
Father: Late Moulvi Ibrahim
Mother: Syeda Jinnatun Nessa
❏ Matric – Munshiganj High School 1948;
❏ I. Sc – (1st Div.) Munshiganj Haragonga College 1950;
❏ B. Sc. – Dhaka University 1952;
❏ M. Sc. – (Soil Science, 1st Class) Dhaka University 1954;
❏ M.S – Wisconsin University, USA, 1958;
❏ Ph. D – Wisconsin University, USA, 1962.
❏ Assistant Professor, Department of Soil Science, Dhaka University 1963;
❏ Associate Professor, Department of Soil Science, Dhaka University 1964;
❏ Professor, Department of Soil Science, Dhaka University 1973;
❏ Provost, Salimullah Muslim Hall, Dhaka University 1975-83;
❏ Chairman, Department of Soil Science, Dhaka University 1968-69 and 1976-79;
❏ Dean, Faculty of Biological Science, Dhaka University 1989-90 and 1990-91;
❏ Chairman, Public Service Commission 1991-93;
❏ Member, Senate, Syndicate, Academic Council and Board of Advance Studies, Dhaka University;
❏ Adviser, Caretaker Government 1991; (in charge of the Ministry of Food and Culture) 1991;
❏ Chairman, University Grants Commission 1995-99;
❏ Vice-Chancellor, State University of Bangladesh 2002.
❏ Cornell University, USA, 1983;
❏ German Technical University, Berlin;
❏ Research Centre Buentehof, Hannover, Germany, and
❏ Gottingen University Germany, 1984;
❏ Uppsala University Sweden 1984.
Research and Publication:
125 papers have been published in national and international publications and journals. 48 of the papers were released in international journals. Ahmed performed analysis on the effects of salinity on coastal paddy plants, selected high-yielding paddy in Bangladesh’s coastal region and determined the impact of soil salinity at various intervals and also developed a method to keep nutrients in the soil for a long time and provide them to plants as needed. Ahmed received great appraisal for the invention in the US.
❏ Ibrahim Memorial Gold Medal (1987-88)
❏ Srigyan Atish Dipankar Gold Medal (1990)
❏ Crest ‘ADAPHOS’ (1991)
❏ Ekushe Padak (Education) (1995)
❏ International Soil Scientist Association.
❏ Indian Soil Science Association.
❏ Soil Science Association of Bangladesh.
❏ Asiatic Society.
Spouse: Dr. Anwara Begum (Professor, Department of Zoology, Dhaka University;
Former Chairman, Department of Zoology and Provost, Shamsun Nahar Hall, Dhaka University.)
❏ Eldest daughter: Susan Ahmed, Ph. D. in USA;
❏ Eldest son: Adam Ahmed, Serving in USA;
❏ Youngest son: Imtiaz Ahmed, Serving in Montreal, Canada;
Death: 10 December 2012
Dying Age: 81
Death Place: Bangkok, Thailand
Early Life and Education
On February 1st, 1931, Iajuddin Ahmed was born in Bangladesh’s Munshiganj district, which at the time was a part of British India. His mother, Syeda Jinnatun Nessa, was a housewife, while his father, Maulvi Ibrahim, was a lawyer. His early schooling was completed in Munshiganj, where he was raised in a middle-class household.
Iajuddin Ahmed enrolled in Dhaka College after completing his secondary education to pursue science. He transferred to Sylhet Agricultural College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1952, but soon discovered that his passion was in agriculture. Before being awarded a scholarship to study in the United States, he spent some time working as an agricultural officer for the government of East Pakistan.
In order to acquire his higher education, Iajuddin Ahmed emigrated to the United States in 1955 and enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1958, he earned a master’s degree in soil science, and in 1962, he earned a doctorate in the same field.
While studying in the United States, Iajuddin Ahmed also became involved in political and social issues affecting Bangladesh. He was a member of the Pakistan Students Association and the East Pakistan Students League, and he actively campaigned for the rights of the Bengali people.
After completing his Ph.D., Iajuddin Ahmed returned to Bangladesh and joined the faculty of the Department of Soil Science at the University of Dhaka in 1962. He remained associated with the university for many years and served as its Vice-Chancellor twice, from 1992 to 1996 and again from 2001 to 2002.
Ahmed returned to the University of Dhaka and joined the faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of Soil Science. He advanced through the ranks until he was appointed full professor in the division. He served as dean of the faculty of biological sciences at Dhaka institution as well as chairman of the department of soil science at the institution. Additionally, he served as Salimullah Muslim Hall’s provost.
Ahmed is credited with creating a method that kept nutrients in the soil and then released them as the vegetation required. Professor Ahmed was a visiting Professor at Cornell University in the United States, the German Technical University, the University of Göttingen in Germany, and Uppsala University in Sweden in 1984.
Career – A Beginning of Ahmeds Controversy
As President, Iajuddin Ahmed had limited executive powers, as Bangladesh is a parliamentary democracy where the Prime Minister wields most of the executive power. However, he did play a role in the political arena and was involved in several controversial incidents during his tenure.
One of the most controversial incidents during his presidency was the 2006 general elections, which were marred by allegations of fraud and violence. Iajuddin Ahmed was the Chairman of the Election Commission of Bangladesh and was responsible for overseeing the election process. His handling of the election was criticized by opposition parties and civil society groups, who alleged that he favored the ruling BNP and did not take adequate measures to prevent election irregularities.
In the wake of the election, the opposition parties launched a series of protests and called for a re-election. Iajuddin Ahmed declared a state of emergency in January 2007 and assumed executive powers, which further intensified the political crisis in Bangladesh. He resigned from the post of Chief Advisor (as the President is called in Bangladesh) in 2008, following widespread protests and criticism.
Overall, Iajuddin Ahmed’s political career was marked by controversy and criticism, particularly over his handling of the 2006 elections and the subsequent state of emergency. Despite this, he remained a respected figure in academic circles and was widely regarded as a scholar and educator who was committed to the development of higher education in Bangladesh.
Iajuddin Ahmed spent much of his professional life in academia, although he also had a brief career in politics.In 1991, Ahmed served as an adviser for the caretaker government. From 1991 to 1993, he also served as the Public Service Commission’s chairman. From 1995 to 1999, he presided over the University Grants Commission.
Professor Ahmed served as the head of Bangladesh’s Federation of University Teachers Association (FUTA) throughout the 1990s. He led the opposition to autocracy.
Ahmed was the sole candidate to register for the presidency, and he was elected president of Bangladesh in 2002. At that time, the Bangladeshi government’s prime minister’s position was the top political .
Hundred Years of Bangabhaban and Bangabhabaner Shatabarsha are two publications about the country that Ahmed oversaw the writing and release of when he was president. These were released by Bangabhaban’s press wing in 2006 at his advisor Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury’s suggestion.
Iajuddin Ahmed’s tenure as the Chief Advisor of the 2006-2007 caretaker government in Bangladesh was marked by controversy and criticism. The caretaker government was tasked with conducting free and fair parliamentary elections, but its credibility was called into question following allegations of bias and interference in the electoral process.
One of the main controversies surrounding Iajuddin Ahmed’s role as the Chief Advisor was his decision to also serve as the Chairman of the Election Commission of Bangladesh, which was responsible for overseeing the electoral process. This was seen as a conflict of interest by many, and led to widespread protests and calls for his resignation.
The opposition political parties and civil society groups accused Iajuddin Ahmed of bias towards the ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), and criticized his handling of the electoral process, particularly the voter registration process, which was marred by irregularities and allegations of voter suppression.
The situation escalated into violence and unrest, with the opposition political parties boycotting the elections and staging mass protests. In January 2007, Iajuddin Ahmed declared a state of emergency and postponed the elections indefinitely, further fueling criticism and controversy.
Overall, Iajuddin Ahmed’s role as the Chief Advisor of the 2006-2007 caretaker government was widely criticized for its perceived bias and interference in the electoral process, and its failure to ensure free and fair elections in Bangladesh.
Under intense pressure from opposition political parties and civil society groups, Iajuddin Ahmed resigned as the Chief Advisor of the caretaker government on January 11, 2007, appointing Fakhruddin Ahmed, a former central bank governor, as Chief Adviser. His resignation came in the wake of widespread protests and allegations of bias and interference in the electoral process.
In his resignation speech, Iajuddin Ahmed cited the deteriorating law and order situation in the country as the main reason for his decision to step down. He also expressed regret for any mistakes that may have been made during his tenure as the Chief Advisor, and called on all parties to work towards restoring peace and stability in the country.
Following his resignation, a new caretaker government was formed, headed by Fakhruddin Ahmed, a former governor of the Bangladesh Bank. The new government took steps to restore law and order, and worked towards conducting free and fair elections in Bangladesh.
Despite his resignation, Iajuddin Ahmed’s tenure as the Chief Advisor of the caretaker government remained controversial, and was widely criticized for its perceived bias and interference in the electoral process.
Iajuddin Ahmed was a private person who kept his personal life away from the public eye. He was known for his simplicity and humility, and was widely respected for his integrity and honesty.
He was married to Anwara Begum, who was also a professor at the University of Dhaka. The couple had eldest daughter Susan Ahmed, eldest son Adam Ahmed, and youngest son Imtiaz Ahmed.
Iajuddin Ahmed was a devout Muslim and was known for his philanthropy and charity work. He was involved in several social and charitable organizations and supported initiatives to improve healthcare, education, and social welfare in Bangladesh.
He was also an avid reader and had a keen interest in history and politics. He was fluent in several languages, including English, Bengali, and Arabic, and was known for his erudition and intellect.
On October 28, 2012, Ahmed had further cardiac surgery. He spent more than a month on life support after experiencing kidney-related issues, and he passed away on December 10th, 2012, at the age of 81, at Bangkok’s Bumrungrad International Hospital.
President Zillur Rahman, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia, and former Presidential Advisor Mukhles Chowdhury all released statements of mourning. The body of Iajudiin Ahmed was brought from Bangkok to Dhaka on December 12, 2012.
For him, four namaz-e-janazas were held. His first one was held in Bangkok on December 11, 2012, his second was held at his family’s home in Munshiganj on December 13, his third was held in the Central Masjid of Dhaka University, and his fourth and last one was conducted in the Baitul Mukarram National Masjid. Ahmed was buried in the Banani cemetery.
Iajuddin Ahmed’s legacy is primarily that of a distinguished scholar and academic, who made significant contributions to the development of higher education in Bangladesh. As a professor of soil science at the University of Dhaka, he published several research papers and books on agriculture, environmental issues, and soil science, and was widely respected for his expertise in these fields.
As the Chairman of the University Grants Commission of Bangladesh, he played a key role in the development of higher education policies and initiatives in the country, and was instrumental in establishing several new universities and colleges.
Iajuddin Ahmed’s brief stint in politics as the President of Bangladesh was marked by controversy and criticism, particularly over his handling of the 2006 general elections and the subsequent state of emergency. However, he remained a respected figure in academic circles and was widely regarded as a scholar and educator who was committed to the development of higher education in Bangladesh.
In recognition of his contributions to higher education and public service, Iajuddin Ahmed was awarded several honors and awards, both nationally and internationally. He was also remembered for his humility, integrity, and commitment to social welfare and philanthropy.
Overall, Iajuddin Ahmed’s legacy is that of a visionary leader and an outstanding scholar, who dedicated his life to the development of higher education in Bangladesh and left an indelible mark on the academic and social fabric of the country.
Iajuddin Ahmed was a renowned scholar, educator, and public figure in Bangladesh, who made significant contributions to the development of higher education and public service in the country. He was widely respected for his integrity, humility, and erudition, and was known for his commitment to social welfare and philanthropy.
While his brief stint in politics as the President of Bangladesh was marred by controversy and criticism, particularly over his handling of the 2006 general elections, his contributions to the field of academia and public service remain widely acknowledged and celebrated.
Iajuddin Ahmed’s legacy continues to inspire future generations of scholars, educators, and leaders in Bangladesh and beyond, and his commitment to excellence, integrity, and social welfare remains a guiding light for all those who aspire to make a positive impact on their communities and the world.
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এই ওয়েবসাইটের সমস্ত বিষয়বস্তু সরল বিশ্বাসে এবং শুধুমাত্র সাধারণ তথ্যের উদ্দেশ্যে প্রদান করা হয়েছে। একটি জীবনী তথ্যের সম্পূর্ণতা, নির্ভরযোগ্যতা বা সঠিকতা সম্পর্কে কোন গ্যারান্টি দেয় না। এই ওয়েবসাইটের উপাদানের ফলস্বরূপ আপনি যে কোনও পদক্ষেপ গ্রহণ করেন তা সম্পূর্ণরূপে আপনার নিজের ঝুঁকিতে। একটি জীবনী আমাদের ওয়েবসাইট ব্যবহার করার ফলে কোনো ক্ষতি বা ক্ষতির জন্য দায়ী নয়।