BIOGRAPHY OF SHEIKH RAZZAK ALI
Speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad, Freedom Fighter, Lawyer, Veteran Politician, Journalist
(August 28, 1928 – June 7, 2015)
Sheikh Razzak Ali was a Bangladeshi freedom fighter, lawyer, veteran politician, and mainly famous for being the Speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad, twice. Born on 28 August 1928, in Hitampur, Paikgacha Upazila of Khulna, Razzak had a colorful and divergent life.
He completed his education at the University of Dhaka and has 2 M.A. degrees, one in Economics and one in Bangla Literature, and has an LLB degree beside his name.
He contributed a lot to the country by participating in the Language Movement, Mass Upsurge, Liberation, and Movement against autocracy. He also contributed to the welfare of mass people by doing charitable activities like establishing different types of schools, colleges, madrasas, hospitals, etc.
Razzak had multiple career paths. From being a teacher to an ambassador, he was also involved with journalism, law, and politics. Because of his great service, he was well-reputed and respected. He never had any controversy against his name.
In personal life, he was married to Begum Majeda Ali and he had 5 daughters. On June 7, 2015, he died at Khulna. He was 86 years old at that time.
Life of “Sheikh Razzak Ali” at a glance
Real Name: Sheikh Razzak Ali
Date of Birth: August 28, 1928
Date of Death: June 7, 2015
➢ Teacher, RKBK Harishchandra Collegiate School, in between 1949 and 1950
➢ Journalist, in early 1950s
➢ President, Khulna Bar, in 1964
➢ General Secretary, Khulna Bar, in 1972
➢ Member, Bangladesh Bar Council, in 1973
➢ President, Jessore District Bar
➢ Vice-Principle and Principal, Khulna City Law College
➢ Founding member, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)
➢ Founding President, Khulna District BNP
➢ Member, BNP Standing Committee
➢ Vice-chairman, BNP, in 1992
➢ Member of Parliament, Khulna-5 constituency, in 1979
➢ Member of Parliament, Khulna-2 constituency, in 1991 and 1996
➢ State Minister, Law and Justice, on 20 March 1991
➢ Deputy Speaker, on 5 April 1991
➢ Speaker of the 5th Parliament, on 12 October 1991 and of the 6th Parliament, on 1996
➢ President of Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians
➢ Senior Presidium Member, Liberal Democratic Party (Bangladesh), in 2001
➢ Executive President, Liberal Democratic Party (Bangladesh), in 2006
➢ Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK, in between 2002 and 2003
Place of Birth: Hitampur village, Paikgacha Upazila, Khulna, Bengal Presidency, British India
Place of Death: Khulna, Bangladesh
➢ MA, Economics, Dhaka University, in 1952
➢ LLB, Dhaka University, in 1954
➢ MA, Bengali literature, Dhaka University, in 1967
Married to: Begum Majeda Ali
Children: 5 daughters
Native Language: Bangla
Political Parties: Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), and Liberal Democratic Party
On 28 August 1928, Sheikh Razzak was born in the village named Hitampur, in Paikgacha Upazila of Khulna district, of the then Bengal Presidency, British India. He had 3 nationalities: British Indian (1928-1947), Pakistani (1947-1971), and Bangladeshi (1971). .
Razzak was a scholarly person as he did 2 Masters degrees and also an LLB degree. He had studied in 3 completely different sectors.
He completed M.A. in Economics in 1952, obtained an LLB in 1954, and later achieved M.A. degree in Bangla Literature in 1967. He had done his education from University of Dhaka.
He was involved with a multiple and diverse range of career life. In every job sector, he provided good service to the people.
Teacher – At first, in between 1949 and 1950, he served as a teacher in the RKBK Harishchandra Collegiate School of Prafulla Chandra Ray, situated in Paikgachha Upazila of Khulna. So basically he started his career in his own village area.
Journalist – Then, in the early 1950s, he shifted his career to journalism. As a journalist, he worked under the then-newspaper Pakistan Observer as a (news) reporter and as a commercial editor for the Weekly Pakistan Post.
Lawyer – As he had an LLB degree, in 1958, he started his legal practice in the District Judge’s Court of Khulna. In 1963, he enrolled in the Dhaka High Court Bar. In 1964, he was appointed as the President and later, in 1971, as the General Secretary of Khulna Bar. Then in 1973, he became a member of the Bangladesh Bar Council. Furthermore, he was the President of Jessore District Bar for several terms. He acted as the Vice-Principal and later, as the Principal of Khulna City Law College. As the Principal, he served for 25 years. This college was founded by him.
Politician– As a politician, Razzak did not get any controversy against his name. He was one of the founding members of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). From 1979 to 1991, he served as the founding President of Khulna District BNP. He was also a member of the BNP Standing Committee. In 1992, he was selected as the very first vice-chairman of the BNP. However, he stepped down from this position when he became the Speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad.
In 1979, he became a Member of Parliament from Khulna-5 constituency. Later, once in 1991 and again in 1996, he was chosen twice as the Member of Parliament from the Khulna-2 constituency. On 20 March 1991, he was given the role of State Minister for Law and Justice. 15 days later, he was appointed as the Deputy Speaker of the Jatiya Sangsad. After 6 months, on 12 October, without any opposition, Razzak became the Speaker of the 5th Parliament. He was in this position till 1996. At that time, it was the period of BNP’s government. As the Speaker, in June 1992, in Colombo, Sri Lanka, he attended the 1st “Conference of the Speakers of the SAARC Countries”. There, he was chosen as the President of the Association of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians. In September of the same year, as the Vice-President, he directed the IPU conference, which was held in Stockholm, Sweden. In 1996, for the 2nd time, Razzak Ali was re-elected as the Speaker of the 6th Parliament. On 15 February 1996, he chaired the proceedings that passed the Caretaker Government Bill.
Diplomat – In between 2002 and 2003, he was appointed as the Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK. However, he resigned from this position.
Lastly, he exited the BNP in 2006 and joined the Liberal Democratic Party (Bangladesh). He was an Executive President there. However, in 2009, he quit political life.
Razzak Ali had fame for being an honest and a man of integrity throughout his life. There is no known controversy regarding him, especially in his political career. He was also a very amiable person and that is why he used to love to work for the commoners. He was respected by everyone, especially by his own village people in Khulna.
In his marital life, he had married Begum Majeda Ali in 1953. She was an educationist. The couple together had 5 daughters. One of the daughters’ names is Dr. Shahnaz Razzak.
Razzak Ali had contributed a lot for the nation both before and during its independence also while he was in power.
He had actively participated and fought in all the movements before the independence of Bangladesh, for eg., Language Movement of 1952, mass upsurge of 1969, and the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. He had also participated in the movement against the autocracy of Hussain Muhammad Ersha during the period of 1982-1990. However, though not much detailed information about his role in these movements was found, it is said that Razzak worked with the Red Cross to treat wounded soldiers during the Liberation War.
Razzak had done many charitable works in lifetime. Being a lawyer himself, he founded the Khulna City Law College. He also established many different schools and colleges, especially for the Khulna people, as he belonged from there. These include: Sundarban College of Khulna, Saburonnssa Women College, Boyra Secondary School, Tutparha Secondary School, Shaheed Zia Secondary College and Paikgacha Degree College of Khulna. Because of these, many students can go and attend educational institutions. Additionally, he contributed to the founding of Hazi Foyez Uddin Secondary School, Khulna University, Majid Memorial City College, Khulna Medical College, and Khulna Mahila Alia Madrasha. He established and served as the President of Khulna’s Shiromoni Eye Hospital. He was a founding trustee of the Lions Club Eye Hospital in Khulna and a founding member of the Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST). He also built the mosques at the City Law College, Hitampur, and Kopilmoni Shah Jafar Awlia.
On June 7, 2015, at the age of 86 years old, Razzak Ali died at his own residence in Faraziparha, Khulna. At around 2:45 pm, he breathed his last breath and this was confirmed by his family members. Since 2012, he had been suffering from the terminal disease, cancer. This death was mourned by the then President Abdul Hamid, and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia. Abdul Hamid expressed profound shock and recalled Razzak’s role as the Speaker of the Parliament. Additionally, Hamid complimented Razzak for the way he had handled the Parliament during his 5 years of tenure.
His first namaz-e-janaza was held at Khulna Circuit House ground, at around 11 in the morning. Later, he was taken to his village where his second namaz-e-janaza was held and there, finally in his family graveyard, he was laid to rest. He had left behind his wife, 5 daughters, grandchildren and many well wishers.
From the life of Razzak Ali, we can take a lesson on how to be both humble and honest while carrying out so many different tasks. Razzak Ali was a down to earth person as he always worked for the (betterment of) country and the countrymen. His lifestyle is truly inspiring for the youths as they are the future leaders of Bangladesh.