BIOGRAPHY OF MOHAMMAD NASIM
Former Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Health and Family Welfare of Bangladesh Government
(2 April 1948 – 13 June 2020)
Mohammad Nasim was a veteran politician, freedom fighter, and former Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Health and Family Welfare of Bangladesh Government.
He was born on 2 April 1948 at Kuripara in Qazipur, Sirajganj, then under the Pabna District of Bengal Presidency. His parents were Captain (Rtd.) Muhammad Mansur Ali and Amena Mansur. His father was the 3rd Prime Minister of Bangladesh in 1975 and also was one of the four leaders killed in the Dhaka Central Jail in the same year. Nasim grew up in Pabna. He had 5 siblings. His eldest brother, Mohammad Selim, was also a politician and MP from Awami League party.
In 1965, Nasim had joined Edward College in Pabna. He started his political career from there. He joined the Chhatra Union of the college and eventually became leader of the union. Later, in 1969, Nasim got admitted at Jagannath College (which is now University) and graduated with a bachelor’s degree (BSc) in political science.
In marital life, he was married to Laila Arjumand Banu. Together they had 3 children. One of them is Tanvir Shakil Joy, who is also a politician and MP from Awami League party.
Nasim was a brave, loyal and dedicated person for the country and his party. Since his college days, he had contributed to the nation. He participated in a rally for 6-point movement in 1966, fought the independence war under the Mujibnagar government. After the war, he was chosen as a member of the cabinet 5 times in his entire life. He served as the General Secretary of the Awami League’s Pabna district unit and later as a Presidium member of the central body of Awami League. He was a faithful comrade for the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as he served her government for several years. He was given the responsibilities of different ministries at different times of his life.
In 2007, he, along with his wife, were accused, by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), of gathering the money illegally. They both got 13 years and 3 years of imprisonment, respectively. Because of these charges, he lost the nomination of the 2008 election. But his son, Tanvir Shakil Joy stood in the election and even won it.
On 13 June, 2020, Nasim breathed his last. He was suffering from Covid-19 and other health issues like brain hemorrhage and cardiac arrest. He was in a deep coma at the ICU for several days before his death. He was buried in the Banani graveyard, Dhaka. Prime Minister, former President Mohamamd Abdul Hamid and other senior leaders of Awami League expressed deep shock and mourned over the death.
Life of “Mohammad Nasim” at a glance
Real Name: Mohammed Nasim
Birth Date: 2 April 1948
Birth Place: Kazipur, Sirajganj, then under Pabna District, Bengal Presidency
Father’s Name: Captain (Rtd.) Muhammad Mansur Ali
Mother’s Name: Amena Monsur
➢ Minister of Health and Family Welfare, from 12 January 2014 to 6 January 2019
➢ Joint Secretary, Pabna District unit of Awami League
➢ Member, Chhatra Union, Communist Party, Edward College, in 1965
➢ Literary and Cultural Affairs Secretary, Edward College students’ union, in 1967
➢ Presidium Member, Bangladesh Jubo League, in 1973
➢ General Secretary, BAKSAL, in 1975
➢ Presidium Member, Awami League, in 1982
➢ Member of Parliament, from 9 January 2014 to 13 June 2020
➢ Member of Parliament, from 28 October 2001 to 27 October 2006
➢ Member of Parliament, from 5 March 1991 to 24 November 1995
➢ Member of Parliament, from 10 July 1986 to 6 December 1987
➢ Member of Parliament, from 23 June 1996 to 15 July 2001
➢ Minister, Public Works, Post and Telecommunications, from 23 June 1996 to 15 July 2001
➢ Minister, Housing and Public Works, in 1996
➢ Minister, Home Affairs, from 12 March 1999 to 15 July 2001
➢ Presidium member and Coordinator, Awami League-led coalition, the14-party alliance, from 2018 till his death
➢ Matriculation exams, in 1965
➢ Edward College, Pabna
➢ BSc., Political Science, from Jagannath College (now Jagannath University)
Married to: Laila Arjumand Banu
Children: Three children
Political party: Bangladesh Awami League
Died on: 13 June 2020
Causes of death: COVID-19, Brain Hemorrhage and Cardiac arrest
Death Place: Bangladesh Specialized Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Buried in: Banani graveyard
On April 2, 1948, Nasim was born in the Sarkars family from Kuripara in Qazipur Upazila of Sirajganj district of Bengal Presidency. At that time, Sirajganj was part of greater Pabna district. He was the son of Captain (Rtd.) Muhammad Mansur Ali and Amena Mansur.
Mansur Ali was one of the main organizers of the 1971 Liberation War and a close companion of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He had served as the home minister and later as the 3rd Prime Minister of Bangladesh, in 1975. He is renowned for being one of the four national leaders that were killed inside the Dhaka jail in 1975 after the assassination of Bangabandhu as a part of the coup d’état (a coup launched by left-wing army personnel in collaboration with left-wing politicians from Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal) on 7 November 1975.
Nasim grew up in Pabna town as his father was practicing law there at that time.
In 1965, Nasim completed his matriculation exams. After that, he joined Edward College in Pabna. He got involved with politics from that college.
In 1969, Nasim shifted to Dhaka and got admitted at the then Jagannath College which is now known as Jagannath University. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree (BSc) in political science.
Nasim started his political life when he was in college. There, he became one of the members of the then Communist Party’s student wing, Chhatra Union.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman held a rally in Pabna in 1966 to raise support for the famous Six-Point demand. That time, because some of the Chhatra League leaders told him about Nasim being a member of the Chhatra Union, Bangabandhu went to M. Monsur Ali’s residence to talk with Nasim. As per Bangabandhu’s request, Nasim attended an event organized by the Chhatra League. Later, Nasim joined the Awami League-supported student group.
In 1967 Nasim was chosen as the Edward College students’ union’s Secretary for literary and cultural affairs. He was the Chhatra League’s only candidate to win a seat in the union.
After the independence of Bangladesh, Nasim served as the General Secretary of the Awami League’s Pabna district unit.
In 1973, during the country’s first national election, Nasim was a man of 23 years old. He showed courage to seek the Awami League’s nomination for the election. However, instead of giving him, Bangabandhu gave the party ticket to a senior leader of the party’s unit in Pabna.
In the same year, Nasim was elected as a Presidium member of the Jubo League. This league was founded by Sheikh Fazlul Haque Moni, one of the nephews of Bangabandhu and a politician.
In 1975, Bangabandhu formed Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League (BAKSAL), a political group consisting of Bangladesh Awami League, the Communist Party of Bangladesh, the National Awami Party and Jatiyo League. That time, Nasim was selected as the General Secretary of the league’s Pabna unit.
But, in the same year, Nasim fled to India after Bangabandhu was assassinated on 15 August. When Nasim came back to Bangladesh, he was imprisoned.
Since 1982, Nasim remained as one of the members of Awami League’s central body. From that position, he served the party being the youth affairs secretary, publicity affairs secretary and organizing secretary. Later he made his way to the policymaking Presidium.
For 5 times, in 1986, 1996, 2001, 2014 and 2018, Nasim was selected as the Member of Parliament representing the Sirajganj-1 and Sirajganj-2 constituencies.. For the 2008 election, Nasim could not take part due to his legal issues as well as his health-related complications.
Nasim was appointed as a cabinet member during the 1996 Sheikh Hasina-led administration. That time, he was initially assigned with the responsibility for post and telecommunications. Later, the post of housing and public works was added under his responsibilities.
Until March 1999, he was in charge of these 2 ministries. Nasim then became the Minister of Home Affairs when the then Home Minister Rafiqul Islam was sacked from his post. Nasim served from 1999 to 2001 in this position.
As Nasim did not participate in the 2008 election, he was not in the cabinet. But, after the 2014 election, when again Sheikh Hasina-led administration was formed, Nasim again became a cabinet member from Sirajganj-1 and became the Health Minister of the Ministry of Health and Family Affairs. He served this ministry till 2019.
After the 2018 elections, when for the 3rd consecutive time, Sheikh Hasina-led administration was formed, Nasim was not included in the council of ministers. Despite that, as a Presidium member as well as the Coordinator of the Awami League-led coalition, and the14-party alliance, Nasim continued to work for the party, till his death.
In the 11th National Parliament, the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Food was led by Nasim.
In February 2007, Nasim’s name was included in the list of top 50 corrupt suspects for illegally amassing wealth. This list was published by the Bangladeshi Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), under the military-backed interim government’s powerful anti-graft drive. Within 72 hours of receiving the warning, the mentioned 50 people were required to submit their wealth statements to the ACC office. Then on 5 February 2007, Nasim was arrested by the joint forces. After 8 months of the trial, on 8 October, a special anti-graft court had sentenced him to 13 years of imprisonment.
Moreover, Laila Arzumand Banu, Nasim’s wife, was also given a 3-year prison term by the special court Judge, Mohammad Firoz Alam, for helping her husband Nasim in gathering the money unlawfully.
At the makeshift court parliament complex, Nasim, who had been previously detained, appeared in court as the judge delivered the sentence under the Emergency Powers Rules (EPR).
Because of these charges and convictions, Nasim did not get the nomination at the 2008 Bangladeshi general election, representing Awami League. However, Nasim’s one of the sons, Tanvir Shakil Joy, got the nomination and even won the election subsequently.
As quoted by the then President Abdul Hamid, Nasim was a ‘fearless’ man who had been under many struggles in life but still remained firm and handled everything strongly and successfully.
He was indeed a brave man as he was with politics from his college days. He always had the characteristics of a ‘leader’ and that is why throughout his entire life, he was given the responsibilities of managing varieties of tasks and people from different sectors. He had politics in his blood because of his father. Moreover, though he had some controversies against his name, he was still respected by mass people as he won the elections 5 times.
Nasim had 5 siblings; 4 brothers and 1 youngest sister. His eldest brother, Mohammad Selim, was also a prominent politician and Member of the Parliament representing Awami League party.
In marital life, he got married to Laila Arjumand Banu in 1973. It is said that he had met her during his college days because Laila was also a member and activist of Chhatra Union. Eventually the couple later got married. They together have 3 children. Some sources say they had three sons. One of them is Tanvir Shakil Joy, who is also a politician and Member of Jatiya Sangsad representing Awami League.
Nasim had contributed to the country in many ways, especially during the Liberation War.
In 1971, When the war for independence started, Nasim was only 20 years old. That time, Nasim bravely worked with the wartime Mujibnagar administration. His father M Monsur Ali was a cabinet member in that administration.
Nasim, being a member of the section of wartime government’s wing, was in charge of recruiting freedom fighters as well as assisting refugees throughout the war.
Even before the Liberation war, he had participated in the 1966’s 6-Point Movement rally as requested by Bangabandhu. Being a college student, he showed fearlessness, dedication and loyalty to the country and Bangabandhu.
During the 2001-06 BNP-Jamaat Alliance government, Nasim played a crucial role in the movement against that government.
On June 1, 2020, Nasim was feeling unwell and was showing the Covid-19 symptoms like fever and cold. He was tested Covid negative before but his family tested positive. Then he was rushed to the Bangladesh Specialized Hospital, at Shyamoli, Dhala. There he was tested for the second time and he got Covid positive this time.
His condition started to deteriorate as he previously had other health complications like diabetics. Furthermore, it was found by a 13-member medical board that because of the Covid, Nasim’s lung had been infected too. On June 5, he suddenly had a brain hemorrhage, a kind of brain stroke. He was taken for brain surgery and it was a successful operation. His blood pressure had “slightly” stabilized and his blood was clotting. However, he was still in a critical condition and was in a deep coma at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). He was on life support. He was kept under 72-hour observation by the medical board. On June 11, he was tested Covid negative but his overall condition showed no signs of improvement and therefore was still not out of the danger zone. His family members tried to take him to the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore for further treatment.
Finally, at around 11 am, on 13 June, Nasim had a sudden cardiac arrest and passed away. This news was confirmed by Professor Dr. Raziul Haque, who led the medical team during Nasim’s brain surgery.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the then President Abdul Hamid, and many other political leaders expressed their deep shock about this death news.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in the condolence message said that “Bangladesh lost a patriot” like Nasim and that she has “lost a faithful comrade.” She further said that Nasim had “made a unique contribution in establishing the ideology and non-communal consciousness of the liberation war, overcoming all the obstacles.”
The then President Hamid considered this death as an “irreparable loss for the nation”. In his condolence message, Hamid said that Nasim was a “fearless fighter in the country’s struggle of independence and Liberation War. Being elected as the MP for five times showed he was loved by the people.”
Nasim’s first namaz-e-janaza was held on 14 June in Sobhanbagh Masjid, Dhanmondi at 10 am. Then his second namaz-e-janaza took place at 10:30 am at the Banani Jame Masjid, on the same day. He was then buried there. One of Nasim’s sons, Tanvir Shakil Joy, said that the dead body of Nasim was not taken in Sirajganj, the birthplace of Nasim, to avoid the mass gathering considering the current situation of Covid in the country.
Like his father, Nasim was one of the people who was always with the Awami League party during its tough times. He had shown dedication and loyalty towards his party and the country by following the path shown by Bangabandhu. As the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, Nasim defied all odds and hurdles and played a unique role in establishing the ideals of the Liberation War and the spirit of secularism.