A BIOGRAPHY OF MAHMUDUR RAHMAN
(6 July 1953 )
Businessman, Writter & active editor of ‘Amar Desh’ newspaper
A BIOGRAPHY OF MAHMUDUR RAHMAN
Mahmudur Rahman is a successful businessman and author in addition to being the acting editor of one of Bangladesh’s most famous newspapers, Amar Desh. He is also the owner of it. Exploring different working fields, Mahmudur Rahman is now working as an active editor of ‘Amar Desh’ newspaper.
Mahmudur Rahman was appointed the executive chairman of the National Investment Board in 2002. This means he was in charge of attracting foreign investments and increasing energy capacity in Bangladesh. In 2005, he became even more important when he became the national energy adviser.
This means he was responsible for making sure there was enough energy for everyone in Bangladesh. While Rahman was successful in attracting foreign investors, he also did things that made people angry, like increasing petrol prices or developing open-pit mines. These decisions caused protests across Bangladesh.
Since the government changed in 2008, Rahman has not liked it. He writes about this in his newspaper. People who work for the government have gotten mad at him more than 50 times and have charged him with defamation and sedition cases from 2009 to 2013.
He is the only person to be sentenced for contempt by the Bangladesh Supreme Court. International human rights groups and press organizations have said that the government’s actions against him are not fair. Critics have said he has lied about bloggers and activists associated with the 2013 Shahbag protests and this has caused religious tensions and fighting.
Known for: Editor of newspaper ‘Amar Desh’
Born: 6 July 1953
Birthplace: Comilla, Bangladesh
Mother: Mahmuda Begum
Bachelor of Chemical Engineering
Diploma in Ceramic Engineering
Master of Business Administration
Occupation: Journalist; owner and editor of the daily ‘Amar Desh’
Spouse: Firoza Khan
Joy Ashole Bharoter
Jel Theke Jele
1/11 Theke Digital
Jatir Pita O Ononno
Kar Maan Kokhon Jai
Durnitimukto Desh: Shomaj Chintokder Bhabna
Musolmaner Manobadhikar Thakte Nei
The Political History of Muslim Bengal: An Unfinished Battle of Faith
Early Life & Education
Mahmudur Rahman was born in Comilla, Bangladesh.His mother’s name is Mahmuda Begum. He received his Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in 1977. After working for a Japanese firm in engineering, he returned to finish a graduate diploma in Ceramic Engineering at Dhaka University’s Institute of Business Administration. He also obtained an M.B.A. from Dhaka University’s Institute of Business Administration.
Rahman started his career by working for British Oxygen, a big company that owns a lot of gas. He also worked for Munnu Ceramics, Duncan Brothers, Shinepukur Ceramics, Beximco Group, and Padma Textile. He even worked in Japan for some years. But he came back to Bangladesh and started his own company in 1999 called Artisan Ceramics Limited. It was the first bone china plant in the country and it was a big deal because of the technology they used. Artisan Ceramics was sold in 2013.
Rahman was chosen by Khaleda Zia to be the head of the National Investment Board. In 2002, he explained that there were five things that made it hard for people from other countries to invest in Bangladesh: “image, information, infrastructure, implementation and inefficiency.” He promised that the government would work on fixing these problems. He said that the power plant Meghna Energy opening was a good start.
The government’s energy deregulation has limited Kanchpur. Rahman said that between 2002 and 2003, the greatest foreign investment increase in South Asia was from $52 million to US$121 million. In 2004, the United Nations reported that foreign investment in Bangladesh had reached a record US$460 million.
In 2004, people became upset with their government. On August 21, some people threw grenades at a rally held by Awami League. This killed 20 people and hurt 300 more. People also went on strike to show their disapproval of Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s government. Rahman said that the violence was bad because it would stop people from wanting to invest money in the country. He offered to resign in December 2004, but Begum Zia did not accept it. Rahman stayed in his position for the rest of the time he had agreed to.
As an energy advisor of the government, Rahman wished to bring in US$1 billion in investment to Bangladesh during his work time. He said that the country’s infrastructure needed some work. The government pushed for foreign investment specifically towards improving infrastructure through a “build-own-transfer” model. In May 2005, Rahman announced an agreement with the US company Vulcan Inc. They were going to invest $1.6 billion into new power and fertilizer plants; this was projected to increase Bangladesh’s energy capacity by nearly 50%.
In August 2005, Rahman sued five members of the Center for Policy Dialogue for defamation. This is when someone makes false statements about another person that could make people not want to be around them. He said they had made “disgraceful, false and fabricated statements”.
In August 2005, Mahmudur Rahman said that he had finished making a deal with the British oil company Cairn Energy. This means that they will explore oil and gas deposits offshore Bangladesh. The following month, Rahman participated in talks for a transborder natural gas pipeline from Burma’s Arakan State to India. This pipeline would go through Bangladesh. The deal was put on hold in October 2005 after Bangladesh asked for more trade benefits. Burma and India decided to work together instead. In 2006, Rahman accused Burma and India of taking over Bangladeshi territory for natural gas exploration.
Rahman was talking to the government and Tata Group in early 2006 about a plan to build steel and fertilizer factories, as well as a power plant. This would cost $300 million. The talks were not successful, so Rahman started talking to Dawood Group in August 2006 about a $30 million deal instead.
In September 2005, Rahman predicted that the price of petrol would rise by 16% during the next year. The cost of oil on world markets had increased, causing this increase. On June 26, 2006, Rahman stated that petrol costs would rise another 33%. Diesel and kerosene prices would also go up by 10%. This was one of the largest rises in fuel costs in Bangladesh’s history.
In 2008, Mahmudur Rahman became the owner of ‘Amar Desh’. This is a newspaper that is written in Bengali. He was also appointed to be the editor of this paper. Because of his leadership, ‘Amar Desh’ has become one of the most popular opposition papers.
He married Firoza Khan, the daughter of Harunur Rashid Khan. Monno has been politically affiliated with the BNP since independence.
His written books are:
- Nabarupe Bakshal
- Joy Ashole Bharoter
- Jel Theke Jele
- 1/11 Theke Digital
- Jatir Pita O Ononno
- Kar Maan Kokhon Jai
- Durnitimukto Desh: Shomaj Chintokder Bhabna
- Musolmaner Manobadhikar Thakte Nei
- Gumrajje Prottaborton
- Fulbarir Rajniti
Mahmudur Rahman has written several books in Bangla and English. His latest book titled “The Political History of Muslim Bengal: An Unfinished Battle of Faith,” argues for a new Muslim Bengali identity rooted in a political history beginning with the independent Muslim Sultanate and closing with the 1971 liberation war of Bangladesh. The book was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing in January 2019. You will find his book at rokomari.com.
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