Sheikh Hasina Wazed
(Current Prime Minister, Famous Bengali politician, and Leader of the Awami League political party)
(28 September 1947 — Continuing)
A BIOGRAPHY OF SHEIKH HASINA WAZED
Sheikh Hasina Wazed, a Bangladeshi politician, was born on September 28, 1947, and has been the country’s Prime Minister since January 2009. Sheikh Hasina is the daughter of Bangladesh’s Founding Father and first president, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and the eldest of his five children. She previously served as prime minister from June 1996 to July 2001. She is the longest-serving prime minister in the history of Bangladesh, having served for a combined total of over 18 years. She is the longest-serving female head of government in the world.In 2018, she was re-elected to a fourth term.
Sheikh Hasina is regarded as one of the world’s most influential women, having been ranked 39th on Forbes magazine’s list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women in 2020, 26th in 2018, and 30th in 2017. She’s also compiled a list of the current decade’s “top 100 Global Thinkers.” Hasina is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, a worldwide organization that brings together current and previous female presidents and prime ministers. In 2018, she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.
You may also Read A BIOGRAPHY OF SHEIKH MUJIBUR RAHMAN
◉ Real Name: Sheikh Hasina Wazed
◉ Famous For: Prime Minister of Bangladesh
⨭ Prime Minister of Bangladesh(1996-2001 and 2009-present)
⨭ Bengali politician
⨭ Leader of the Awami League political party
◉ Born: 28 September 1947
◉ Place of Birth:Tungipara, East Bengal, Pakistan (present-day Tungipara, Gopalganj, Bangladesh)
◉ Nationality: Bangladeshi
◉ Religion: Islam
⨭ Eden Mohila College
⨭ University of Dhaka
◉ Father: Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
◉ Mother: Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib
◉ Spouse: M. A. Wazed Miah (m. 1968; died 2009)
◉ Children: 2
⨭ Sheikh Rehana
⨭ Sheikh Russel
⨭ Sheikh Kamal
⨭ Sheikh Jamal
◉ Grandchildren: Sophia RehanaWazed
◉ Present Age: 74 Years old
◉ Political Party:Bangladesh Awami League
⨭ Mother of humanity by Channel 4
⨭ Planet 50–50 champion by UN-Women.
⨭ Agent of Change Award by Global Partnership Forum.
⨭ One of the Time 100 in 2018, where she was praised for accepting Rohingya refugees
⨭ 59th place on Forbes’ list of 100 most powerful women in the world
⨭ Degree of Doctor of Law by Boston University on 6 February 1997.
⨭ Honorary Doctor of Law by the Waseda University of Japan on 4 July 1997.
⨭ Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy in Liberal Arts by the University of Abertay Dundee on 25 October 1997.
⨭ The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize by the UNESCO for 1998
⨭ Mother Teresa Award by the All India Peace Council in 1998
⨭ M.K. Gandhi Award for 1998 by the Mahatma M K Gandhi Foundation of Oslo, Norway.
⨭ Awarded Medal of Distinction in 1996–97 and 1998–99 and Head of State Medal in 1996–97 by the Lions Clubs International.
⨭ Honorary Degree of ‘Desikottama’ (Doctor of Literature, honoris causa) by the Visva-Bharati University of West Bengal, India on 28 January 1999
⨭ The Ceres Medal by the Food and Agriculture Organization for 1999.
⨭ Doctor of Law (honoris causa), by the Australian National University on 20 October 1999.
⨭ Honorary Doctor of Law by the University of Dhaka on 18 December 1999.
⨭ Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters by University of Bridgeport on 5 September 2000.
⨭ The Pearl S. Buck Award by the Randolph College on 9 April 2000.
⨭ Named Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation.
⨭ Indira Gandhi Prize for 2009.
⨭ Doctor of Literature (honoris causa) by the Tripura University in January 2012.
⨭ UNESCO Peace Tree award for her commitment to women’s empowerment and girl’s education in 2014.
⨭ UN environment prize for leadership on climate change.
⨭ Doctor of the University (Honorary) by the Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University on 16 November 2015.
⨭ Doctor of Letters (Honorary) by the KaziNazrul University, West Bengal, India on 26 May 2018.
⨭ সাদাকালো (Black and White)
⨭ Democracy in Distress Demeaned Humanity
⨭ শেখরাসেল (Sheikh Rasel)
⨭ আমরাজনগণেরকথাবলতেএসেছি (We Came Here To Speak For The People)
⨭ আন্তর্জাতিকসম্পর্কউন্নয়নেশেখহাসিনা(Sheikh Hasina On Developing International relations)
⨭ Living in Tears
⨭ রচনাসমগ্র ১
⨭ রচনাসমগ্র ২
⨭ সামরিকতন্ত্রবনামগণতন্ত্র (Militarism versus Democracy)
⨭ Development For the Masses
⨭ Democracy Poverty Elimination and Peace
⨭ বিপন্নগণতন্ত্রলাঞ্চিতমানবতা (Endangered Democracy, Oppressed Humanity)
⨭ জনগণএবংগণতন্ত্র (People and democracy)
⨭ সহেনামানবতারঅবমাননা (Can’t Tolerate the Insults of Humanity)
⨭ ওরাটোকাইকেন (Why they are dumpster diving)
⨭ বাংলাদেশেস্বৈরতন্ত্রেরজন্ম (The Birth of Autocracy in Bangladesh)
⨭ বাংলাদেশজাতীয়সংসদেবঙ্গবন্ধুশেখমুজিবুররহমান (Sheikh Mujib in Bangadesh Parliament)
⨭ শেখমুজিবআমারপিতা(Sheikh Mujib: My father)
⨭ সবুজমাঠপেরিয়ে (Beyond the green field)
⨭ দারিদ্রদূরীকরণেকিছুচিন্তাভাবনা (Few Thoughts on Eradicating Poverty)
⨭ নির্বাচিত ১০০ ভাষণ (Selected 100 speeches)
⨭ নির্বাচিতপ্রবন্ধ (Selected Essay)
⨭ The Quest For Vision 2021 – 1st part
⨭ The Quest For Vision 2021 – 2nd part
⨭ Muktidata Sheikh Mujib (Bengali: মুক্তিদাতাশেখমুজিব) (Preface)
◉ In popular culture
⨭ In 2018 Hasina appears in the title role in a docudrama Hasina: A Daughter’s Tale, directed by Rezaur Rahman Khan Piplu.
⨭ On 1 February 2021, Hasina was referred in Al Jazeera’s 64-minute documentary All the Prime Minister’s Men.
Background and Early Life of “Sheikh Hasina” :
Sheikh Hasina was born on September 28, 1947, in Tungipara, East Pakistan. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh’s founding father and first president, was her father. Sheikh FazilatunnesaMujib was her mother. She has stated in several interviews that she grew up fearful as a result of her father’s political activities. In 1968, she married scientist M. A. Wazed Miah, whom her father had chosen for her. She had sought sanctuary with her grandmother at the height of violence during the 1970 Pakistani general election, as well as her father’s detention. She was involved in the University of Dhaka’s student politics.
Sheikh Hasina was not in Bangladesh when her father and most of her family were killed by renegade Bangladesh Army troops on August 15, 1975, following a military coup d’état.She was in West Germany with her husband, M. A. Wazed Miah, who was working as a nuclear physicist.After being given shelter in India, she relocated to New Delhi in late 1975. SajeebWazed Joy, her son, attended Indian boarding schools. Hasina did not participate in politics during her tenure in India, but she made good friends with Suvra Mukherjee, the wife of future Indian President Pranab Mukherjee.
Sheikh Hasina was not allowed to return to Bangladesh until she was elected leader of the Awami League on February 16, 1981, and she arrived on May 17, 1981.
Early Political Career:
◉ 1981–1991: Movement against military rule
Sheikh Hasina was elected President of the Awami League (AL) in 1981 while living in exile in India. The AL has been labeled a “left-of-center” political party.
Throughout the 1980s, Hasina was in and out of jail due to martial law. In February and November of 1984, she was placed under house arrest. She was placed under house arrest for another three months in March 1985. Her party, together with the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) led by Khaleda Zia, worked to restore a democratically elected government, which they were able to do in 1991 after the BNP won a democratic election.
Hasina and the AL ran in the general election of Bangladesh in 1986, which was won by President Hussain Muhammad Ershad. In 1986–1987, she was the head of the parliamentary opposition. In opposition to Ershad, she headed an eight-party coalition. Since the election was held under martial law and the other main opposition organization boycotted the ballot, Hasina’s choice to participate in the election was criticized by her opponents. Her fans, on the other hand, said that she effectively exploited the platform to oppose Ershad’s reign.In December 1987, Ershad dissolved parliament after Sheikh Hasina and her Awami League resigned in an attempt to force a new general election under a neutral administration. Several individuals were slain in a major rebellion in Dhaka in November and December 1987, including Hasina supporter Noor Hossain.
◉ 1991–1996: Transition to democracy and leader of the opposition
The economy had been paralyzed by major demonstrations and strikes after several years of dictatorial governance. Officers in the government who refused to obey orders resigned. Instead of shooting on demonstrators, members of the Bangladesh Rifles lay down their weapons, and the curfew was openly broken. Hasina collaborated with Khaleda Zia to organize Ershad’s opposition. Ershad was deposed from office in December 1990 when he resigned in favor of his vice president, Chief Justice of the Bangladesh Supreme Court, Justice Shahabuddin Ahmed.
A general election for the parliament was held under the caretaker administration, which was led by Ahmed. The Bangladesh Nationalist Party, led by Khaleda Zia, won a landslide victory, with Hasina’s Awami League emerging as the most powerful opposition force. Hasina lost two and won one of the three constituencies she ran for. She tendered her resignation as party president after accepting loss, but she continued on at the request of party officials.
After the death of the MP for that seat, a member of Hasina’s party, a by-election in Magura was conducted in 1994, politics in Bangladesh took a significant turn. Sheikh Hasina has led the Bangladesh Awami League in a boycott of parliament. Hasina and Zia’s relationship deteriorated as a result of this.
◉ 1996–2001: First premiership
The Awami League (AL), together with other opposition parties, urged that the next general elections be held under the supervision of a neutral caretaker administration, and that the constitution include a provision for caretaker governments to administer elections. The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), which is in power in Bangladesh, has refused to comply with these requests.
Opposition groups embarked on an unprecedented campaign, advocating for weeks of strike action. The government accused them of damaging the economy, but the opposition argued that the BNP could address the problem if they agreed to their demands. MPs from the AL and other parties withdrew en masse from parliament in late 1995. The five-year term of Parliament came to an end in February 1996, and a general election was called. All major parties boycotted the election, save the incumbent BNP, which gained all of the seats in parliament as a consequence. The election, Hasina said, was a sham.
The new Parliament, which was nearly exclusively made up of BNP members, changed the constitution to allow for a caretaker administration (CTG). A neutral caretaker administration led by former Chief Justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman presided over the general election in June 1996. The AL gained a plurality of seats (146), but not a simple majority. The BNP’s Khaleda Zia, who won 104 seats, slammed the results and accused vote manipulation. The neutral observers, on the other hand, stated that the election was free and fair.
Hasina was Bangladesh’s Prime Minister for the first time from 1996 to 2001. She was the first Bangladeshi prime minister to serve for the whole five-year tenure since the country’s independence. She signed the Ganges Water Treaty, a 30-year water-sharing agreement with India. Her administration overturned the Indemnity Act, which gave the assassins of Sheikh Mujib, her father and Bangladesh’s first President, protection from prosecution. Her government deregulated the telecom business, which had previously been restricted to government-owned firms. The government launched the New Industrial Policy (NIP) in 1999, with the goal of strengthening the private sector and encouraging growth.
Bangladesh has joined the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) and the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation, two global organizations (D-8). The NIP permitted foreign corporations to establish wholly-owned subsidiaries.
Despite receiving 40% of the public vote (slightly less than the BNP’s 41%), the AL received just 62 seats in Parliament in 2001, while the ‘Four Party Alliance’ led by the BNP received 234 seats, giving them a two-thirds majority in Parliament. Hasina herself contested in three constituencies, losing in one in Rangpur, which contained her husband’s hometown but winning in the other two. The results were disputed by Hasina and the AL, who claimed that the election was manipulated with the help of the President and the caretaker administration. The elections were mostly well received by the international world, and the ‘Four Party Alliance’ went on to create a government.
During the following time, Awami League MPs were sporadic in their attendance at Parliament. The Awami League launched its first major anti-government agitation in late 2003, culminating in party general secretary Abdul Jolil’s statement that the administration will collapse before April 30, 2004. This did not materialize, and it was considered as a setback for the party and Hasina, who had implied support for Jalil.
◉ 2004: Assassination attempt:
Political instability and violence worsened during her second stint as opposition leader. MP Ahsanullah Master died in May 2004 after being shot. Following that, on August 21, a grenade assault on an Awami League rally in Dhaka killed 24 party supporters, including Ivy Rahman, the party’s women’s secretary. In October 2018, a special court handed down verdicts in two cases relating to the incident, ruling that it was a well-planned plot carried out through the abuse of state power, and that all of the defendants, including BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman (in absentia) and former top intelligence officials, were found guilty.The court imposed a variety of penalties. Hasina’s previous finance minister, Shah A M S Kibria, was also murdered in a grenade assault in Sylhet the same year (2004).
In June 2005, incumbent AL Mayor A. B. M. Mohiuddin Chowdhury won a critical election in Chittagong, Bangladesh’s second-largest city. This election was viewed as a confrontation between the ruling party and the opposition.
◉ 2006–2008: Detention during the caretaker government and military intervention :
Political upheaval and controversy dominated the months leading up to the planned elections on January 22, 2007. Following the fall of Khaleda Zia’s administration in October 2006, there were protests and strikes, with 40 people dead the following month as a result of the uncertainty surrounding who would lead the Caretaker Government. The caretaker administration struggled to bring all parties to the negotiating table. The AL and its supporters objected, claiming that the caretaker administration was biased in favor of the BNP.
During the gap, there was a lot of violence and strikes. Mukhlesur Rahman Chowdhury, the presidential advisor, worked with Hasina and Khaleda Zia and brought all of the parties to the planned parliamentary elections on January 22, 2007. Ershad’s nomination was later withdrawn. As a result, on the final day possible, the Grand Alliance withdrew all of its candidates. They requested that a voter’s list be made public.
President Iajuddin Ahmed was forced to proclaim a state of emergency later that month. As a result, the government was taken over by Lt General Moeen Uddin Ahmed. It was forbidden to engage in political action. With the help of the Bangladesh Army, Fakhruddin Ahmed was appointed top advisor.
The government prohibited Sheikh Hasina from returning on April 18, 2007, claiming that she had made inflammatory comments and that her homecoming would cause chaos. This was described as a short-term solution. Khaleda Zia was also being courted by the Caretaker Government to leave the country.  Hasina promised to come home, and a warrant for her arrest for murder was issued on April 22, 2007. Hasina described the case against her as “completely fraudulent and fabricated,” and stated that she intended to defend herself in court. The arrest warrant was lifted on April 23, 2007, and Hasina’s entrance restriction was lifted on April 25, 2007.Hasina returned to Dhaka on 7 May 2007 after spending 51 days in the United States and the United Kingdom, where she was greeted by a mob of several thousand people. She told journalists that the government should not have put her return on hold.
Police detained Hasina at her house on July 16, 2007, and she was transported to a municipal court in Dhaka. She was jailed in a facility transformed into a jail on the grounds of the National Parliament, accused of extortion and denied bail. The arrest, according to the AL, was politically motivated. The Anti-Corruption Commission sent letters to Hasina and Khaleda Zia on July 17, 2007, requesting that they give details of their holdings within one week.SajeebWazed, Hasina’s son, was out of the country and claimed he would try to organize a global protest. The military-backed interim government’s arrests of political figures were generally interpreted as an effort to push Hasina and Zia out of the nation and into political exile. MPs in the United Kingdom slammed the detention.
The caretaker government held mayoral elections, with the AL winning 12 of the 13 seats.
◉ 2009–2014: Second premiership:
Sheikh Hasina returned to Bangladesh on November 6, 2008, to run in the 2008 general election, which is set for December 29. She chose to run in the parliamentary election under the banner of the “Grand Alliance,” with Hussain Muhammad Ershad’sJatiya Party as its primary partner. During a press conference on December 11, 2008, Hasina publicly revealed her party’s election program, promising to develop a “Digital Bangladesh” by 2021.
Her Awami League and the Grand Alliance (a total of 14 parties) won 230 out of 299 seats in the 2008 general election, giving them a two-thirds majority. The results of the election were challenged by Khaleda Zia, the head of the BNP-led coalition (4-Party Alliance), who accused the Chief Election Commissioner of “stage-managing the parliamentary election.” On January 6, 2009, Hasina was sworn in as Prime Minister for a second term. The elections were held in a joyous and calm setting, according to independent observers.
Sheikh Hasina reneged on her deal with the Jatiya Party to designate Ershad, the party’s leader, President after she was elected Prime Minister.
Many of Hasina’s party’s politicians who backed the previous caretaker government’s imposed changes were ousted. In 2009, she had to deal with a huge national crisis in the shape of the Bangladesh Rifles mutiny, which resulted in 75 fatalities, including Bangladesh Army commanders, over a pay dispute. Some Bangladesh Army commanders accused Hasina for the fatalities, claiming she caused them by failing to bring in the army sooner. The provision requiring non-party caretaker governments to organize elections was repealed by the parliament in 2011. During the 2012 Rakhine State riots, she took a hardline position and refused to let Rohingya refugees fleeing Myanmar admission.
Sheikh Hasina and 24 other Bangladeshi ministers and security officials were charged with human rights violations before the International Criminal Court (ICC) on June 27, 2013. She has been “internationally credited” for achieving several of the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations. A coup attempt against her by mid-ranking army officers was foiled in 2012 after an Indian intelligence agency alerted the Bangladesh Army. The army officers involved were identified by the Bangladesh Army as Islamist fanatics.
During her term, her government led and succeeded in establishing the International Crimes Tribunal to investigate and prosecute suspects in the Bangladesh Genocide, which was carried out by the Pakistan Army and their local collaborators, the Razakars, Al-Badrs, and Al-Shams, during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971.
◉ 2014–2019: Third premiership:
Sheikh Hasina and her governing Awami League and its Grand Alliance partners won a resounding victory in the 2014 general election, giving her a second consecutive term in power. The Grand Alliance, led by the AL, gained 267 seats, exceeding their previous best of 263 seats in 2008. Bangladesh has been ruled by Sheikh Hasina’s Awami League since 2009, and she won 288 seats in this election. It was accused of utilizing filled vote boxes by one of the main opposition parties. The BNP and other major opposition parties boycotted the election.
With a total of 234 seats, Hasina’s Awami League gained a comfortable legislative majority. Voter turnout was just 51%, which was lower than in previous elections due to the boycott and violence. Hasina stated the day after the outcome that the boycott should continue “This does not rule out the possibility of a legitimacy issue. People and various political parties took part in the poll.” Despite the issue, Hasina went on to create a government with Ershad’sJatiya Party as the official opposition (with 34 seats).
The election has been described as a “political farce.” The BNP had planned to force the government to hold the elections under a neutral caretaker administration by staging rallies.
Bangladesh’s first two submarines were commissioned in March 2017. Hasina’s administration provided approximately a million Rohingya refugees asylum and help in September 2017, and asked Burma to halt atrocities against the Rohingya people. The majority of Bangladeshis backed the government’s decision to give Rohingya refugees asylum. Hasina was praised and credited for her deeds.
Sheikh Hasina backed demands to take down the Justice Statue in front of the Supreme Court. This was interpreted as the government caving into the pressures of religious extremists.
Sheikh Hasina is a patron of the Asian University for Women, which is chaired by Chancellor Cherie Blair and includes Akie Abe, Japan’s First Lady, and Irina Bokova, UNESCO’s Director-General.
◉ 2019–present: Fourth premiership:
Hasina’s Awami League won 288 of the 300 parliamentary seats, giving her a third consecutive term and her fourth overall. Kamal Hossain, the head of the major opposition alliance, called the election “farcical” and rejected the results.
The BNP, the primary opposition party that has been out of office for 12 years and boycotted the 2014 general election, did horribly in the polls. Since Bangladesh’s post-Ershad democracy restoration in 1991, the party and its JatiyaOikya Front alliance have been marginalized to the weakest opposition, winning just eight seats.
Sheikh Hasina gave the inaugural address at the opening of the DakBhaban, a new headquarters for the Bangladesh Post Office, in May 2021. Hasina called for more expansion of the postal service in response to the COVID-19 epidemic in Bangladesh in her speech.
Continued digital transformation of the service, as well as the development of chilling units in postal warehouses to allow for the delivery of perishable goods by mail, are among the steps highlighted in the speech.
Sheikh Hasina married Bangladeshi physicist, writer, and Chairman of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission M. A. Wazed Miah (1942–2009) in 1968. SajeebWazed is her son, and SaimaWazed is her daughter. KhandakerMosharraf Hossain, Saima’s father-in-law, is a former minister of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment and LGRD. Sheikh Rehana, Hasina’s sole remaining sibling, served as the adviser of the Awami League’s Tungiparaupazila unit in Gopalganj in 2017.
Prime Minister Hasina has been the leader of Bangladesh for over many years, following in the legacy of her late father, Sheikh MujiborRahman, Bangladesh’s first president. She has steered the country through an incredible period of growth. She has long been a proponent of women’s and children’s rights. And as Bangladesh’s longest-serving prime minister, she serves as an inspiration to millions in her country and around the world.