Shahjahan-A leader with a difference
Brig Gen Dr. M A Mohsin (Retd), Professor and Former Head of the Department of Pathology, Kumidini Medical College
Md. Shahjahan, the incumbent upazila chairman of Sandwip, is a well-known personality in Sandwip. He is variously known as Chairman Shahajahan, Shahjahan Mia, Shahjahan Master and by many other eponyms. All these attest to his roles in different fields.
He was a chairman of Bauria Union Parishad long time back. His tenure as a chairman was epoch-making and he was adjudged as the best chairman of Sandwip. So is the case with him in his role as a chairman of Sandwip upazila. He has been awarded the Ideal Upazila Chairman by National Human Rights Society, Dhaka and TRAB Honour 2012.
He is Master Shahjahan or Shahajahan Master as he served as a teacher in his early career in the Bauria G K Academy. In fact his stint as such was very short but its impact was long lasting. His role as a founder of many educational institutes including Purba Harishpur Ideal High School and their sustenance is a pointer to his love for education.
Besides education, he takes much interest in cultural and physical activities. He is an organizer par excellence. His involvement in the various socio-cultural activities has earned him the appellation Shahjahan Mia which in our parlance is attributed to noble leaders. This is what Md. Shahjahan at a glance is.
I know him since a long time. He is half a decade junior to me academically and we hail from the same village. I saw him as a handsome smart young man full of activities going out to help people and his image as such still lingers in my memory. Though he claims to have become old, aging which is inevitable has rather mellowed him.
In our society successful people are not evaluated duly, rather he/she is judged from partisan angle. Outlook and opinions may vary but as long as the objective remains moral it should not be disputed. This truth is missing from our perception. That is why, there is dearth of leaders with qualities.
Md. Shahajahan does Awami League politics and he has trans-upazila reputation as a mid-level leader. He is known beyond the shore of Sandwip. I am mentioning it because Sandwip once a pristine island of gold, the queen of the isles of East Bengal is bereft of its name and fame now.
The Mighty Meghna has engulfed eighty percent of 560 square miles of its fertile land and is threatening its existence. Erosion has prompted migration, rather exodus of the well-to-do people from their birth place leaving the hapless and helpless ones to suffer knowing not what future awaits them. Struggle for existence and triumph call for leadership to extricate them from this hopeless condition, the question of questions at this hour is finding leaders who can address the problems facing the Sandwipees squarely.
Leaders will not grow out of thin air. They may be born ones but by and large they are cultivated ones. For that we shall have to give recognition to whoever does something worth emulating. Shahjahan and his likes are many but they don’t come to the fore because we don’t give them the recognition they deserve. In this hour when there is dearth of leaders to emulate we should have a look at whoever evince semblance of success by their past performance. Highlighting them serves that purpose.
The Guardian, the only English language development magazine of the country has taken the job of focusing on this aspect of life. This is the second one in the chain – the first one being on Balal Muhammad another great son of Sandwip. The present one on Shahjahan – a grass root level leader will spur the generation to come forward to serve the cause of the place they take their first breadth of life.
Shahjahan glorifies us
Balal Muhammad, Architect of Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra and Recipient of Independence Award
Nothing more than that but just a bit intimacy with Mr. Shahjahan (B.A.) is the content of this short article.
First occasion was at Engineer Abdul Khaleque Auditorium of Chittagong Press Club in 2008. It was a publication ceremony of the Bangla booklet ‘Sandwiper Awami Rajniti: Otit Botoman (Awami League Politics in Sandwip: Past and Present) written by Muhammad Shahjahan and organized by a group of Sandwipee students of Chittagong University of whom one my previously known M A student Fasiul Alam, the editor-publisher of the booklet, who personally invited me for unveiling the cover of that book. Then, in fact, I had been in Chittagong as a surgery patient of ‘Chittagong Eye Infirmary & Training Complex,’ covering my right eye with a puffed up bandage. But I took interest to join the gathering of some enlightened Sandwipees as the audience. They were at least 70 to 80 from different professions.
Incidentally all were below sixty and totally unknown to me, excepting the writer Mohammad Shahjahan, who was sixty up nearly of my age. Trimmed grey-bearded Shahajahan and with a boat-shape white cap on head was looking like a real leader. Shahjahan and I were seated on the stage beside the presiding professor Rejaul Kadir Bachchu of Bijoy Saroni Degree College. I could hardly remember, whether I had ever been face to face with Shahjahan on any other occasion earlier. Might be, a few years back, while I along with my ‘Sobdo Sainik’ (Voice Warrior) colleague Late Shamusul Huda Chowdhury had visited Sandiwip to attend the public meetings in Sandiwip Town as well as in Shiber Hat, organized by the Freedom Fighters, I saw Shahjahan among our hosts.
However, the publication ceremony was addressed by more than 10 experienced participants of different cadres. All were allotted 5 minutes’ time. All of them concluded their lectures with a request to me to give some directives as we had been derailed in national affairs by that time. I was afraid, what could I say on the topic? But somehow, I managed the situation, saying that we had no other alternative but revive Constitution of 1972, consisting 4 principles i.e. Nationalism, Socialism, Democracy and Secularism. I condemned all the so-called sensitive words. Of course, I was unaware how far I had been able to inspire audiences as nowadays our politicians are habituated in repeating sensitive words in public as a mannerism irrespective of party principles. “Time to time amendments are made to revive the original Constitution of 1972. To me all those are simply eye wash.”- listening to my lecture, reacted a lecturer from behind cannot be identified which party he belongs to.
On 15 December in 2009, Muktijoddha Sanshad Sandwip Command Council had arranged ‘Bijoy Mela’ at Shener Hat, where I had been invited as the chief guest. Obviously Shahjahan led the entire Bijoy Mela programmes and thus I had become much familiar to him on that occasion.
And on November 30, 2011 as I along with my nephew USA immigrant Mohammad Daulatuna had crossed the Sandwip Channel (Kumira- Guptachar) on a short trip to our village home at Musapur. Doulatana had taken a chance to meet the villagers and the relatives by arranging a feast. We were really glorified as the upazila chairman Shahjahan joined us in the feast on my short noticed invitation over phone.
Lastly, on March 30, 2012 on account of 80th anniversary of Katghor Ghulam Nabi High School (shifted from Katghor to Kalapnia after devastation) a day-long function including seminar, musical soiree and drama was arranged, where I and upazila chairman both were invited as the guest of honour. Accordingly I left Dhaka for Sandwip, but being in Sandwip Shahjahan could not attend due to some eleventh hour’s governmental occupation.
It was a matter of enjoyment for me to have attended the function of Katghor Ghulam Nabi High School. I could remember just before 44 years in 1968 also I had inaugurated a 2-Day Palligeeti Utshab in the then Katghor High School ground, while I was the script writer of Radio Pakistan, Chittagong. So after a long gap now in my retired life I did join a function of the same institution to play the same role. Notwithstanding this time, I had missed Shahjahan very much at its 80th anniversary gathering in Kalapaina village.
That’s all I could narrate about Shahjahan B.A.
I wish him long life in good health and hope our casual call on all the times to come.
Shahjahan-A successful leader in Sandwip
Prof. Rafiqul Islam, Former Vice-Principal, Government Haji A. B. College and Senior Journalist
Life is a sum total of perseverance and struggle. Such a life Shahjahan has taken up for the well-being of mankind.
After obtaining higher education, he started his career with the profession of teaching .So the very word “Master” has been added to his name and he is popularly known as “Master Shahjahan.”
He was very actively involved in the liberation struggle. We have seen in him a real patriot as an organizer of freedom fighters. After liberation, like others he did not hanker after his dues as a freedom fighter.
In the early hours of independence, a golden sun of potentiality peeped over the horizon of Bangladesh. But due to petty interest of a section of people that prospect has been lost away. And this isolated island Sandwip was no exception to that.
Shahjahan had a dream to build his birthplace as the highest seat of his ideals. So the people of Sandwip have elected this great son as their leader time and again. Since 70’s till today, he has been always with the people of Sandwip.
Island Sandwip is now on the way of losing existence in the face of river erosion. A large land mass of Sandwip has already gone into the mighty River Meghna. In such a grave situation, we all expect from him that he should play more roles to protect the island from dangerous river erosion, to solve numerous problems and to establish communication system with the mainland.
In the end, I wish him every success of his future activities and a good health and long life.
Shahjahan-A leader of struggle
M. Nurul Islam, Leading Industrialist, Founding Director and Former Chairman of National Bank Limited
Master Md. Shahajahan has been living with the common people of his motherland Sandwip for a long time. He has become the most well-known as a dear personality to the people by discharging his responsibilities as a chairman in his union Bauria for consecutive five terms. Later, he has been elected as a chairman of Sandwip Upazila Parishad.
We know a man cannot satisfy everybody, since there is a proverb ‘To err is human.’ None of us is above that. So is Shahjahan. Shahajahan, however, has some reasons to become a popular personality to all. He is an active participant in various social, cultural and academic activities and in the political arena of Sandwip for the last five decades.
Of course, Shahjahan is a leader of struggle, and is currently playing an effective role in constructing Sandwip-Urirchar Cross-Dam as well as for protecting Sandwip from dangerous river erosion.
Sandwip has huge potentials. Due to proper political initiative, Sandwip is not only deprived of development but also fails to explore its potentials. It needs electricity, physical infrastructure developments, building internal and external communication network and other issues of challenges and developments that can help grow trade and commerce, industry, education, health and other necessary facilities in Sandwip.
People love Shahjahan and elected him as their leader. So, he has many things to do for the people of all walks of life and for the greater interest of Sandwip. Since his party is in power he should have done a lot but people’s expectations are yet to fulfil. I hope he will realize it and interact with the people more, more cordially and take more active steps to convince his party government to fulfil the expectations of the people and the land of Sandwip. Only then people’s love for him can be awarded.
I, however, suggest Mr. Shahjahan, as an elected people’s reprehensive of Sandwip upazila parishad, should identify all the primary needs of Sandwip first and take initiative to fulfil those accordingly. In this context, I feel with his efforts for Sandwip Cross Dam, he should try to improve the overall socio-economic condition of Sandwip, including the communication network of the island with the mainland of the country. I think setting the network of communication with the mainland, among different other issues of priority, is very important for Sandwip to develop it quickly. Let’s all hope for the best.
Shajahan-A legendary politician of Sandwip
Lt. Col. Mohammed Didarul Alam, Bir Pratik (Retd), Freedom Fighter and Writer
In Sandwip, Shahajahan is Awami League, and Awami League is Shahajahan. Several topnotch leaders have come and gone, but they made their way by using the images of Shahajahan. Shahajahan started his political career some forty years back. From his student life to date he did never pursue any other profession, only politics and politics. He is an ever born politician, a die-hard politician.
I can compare him, in this pursuit, with only Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Only difference- Bangabandhu could make his way up to national level and Shajahan in his birth place. He, probably, loves his Sandwip too much, thereby, made no efforts to go beyond. We, Sandwipees salute him for his devotion to Sandwip.
Awami leadership from the very beginning has been making inappropriate judgment regarding Shahajahan; choosing wrong persons put the Awami politics, in Sandwip, in back row/loosers’ stand.
We hope and pray, in the coming days, Shahajahan will get his JAHAN in true sense and be a Minister ever made from Sandwip.
Shahjahan-An idol of politics in Sandwip
ABM Siddique Chowdhury, Retired Government Officer and Writer and Researcher on Sandwip
Mr. Shahjahan is a good man, good organizer and an honest person. He is a successful and well-known Awami League leader of Sandwip. He is not only generous but also hospitable. He is intelligent and wise enough to take time-befitting decision in any situation. He is a dedicated social worker and well-connected with different social organizations. He is always working together with the government for the development and problems of Sandwip. Now he is vigorously working for the implementation of Cross-Dam Project. He is an idol of politics in Sandwip.
External bad communication and transport system, continuous erosion of the river are the main problems of Sandirp Island. As an upazila chairman his power is limited. So he can not solve all the problems of Sandwip Island. We like to see him as a member of the parliament to continue his efforts to develop Sandwip. Of course he can draw the proper attention of the government for necessary action of developments for Sandwip through Upazilla Parishad Resolution.
Shahjahan-A very popular person from his early life
Md. Shafiqul Islam, America-Expatriate Sandwipee and currently General Secretary, Ex-Students’ Association of Sandwip Model High School
The present Upazilla Chairman of Sandwip Shahjahan B. A. is actively involved in politics of Awami League for long 42 years. Probably, since 1969 he was associated with Awami League under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and at present under the leadership of Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina. He is a very popular person from his early life.
Shahjahan was the Chairman of Mukti Parishad of Bauria Union of Sandwip during the liberation period in 1971. He was also the president of Swadhin Bangla Sangram Parishad of Sandwip. I worked with him at different unions at that time in Sandwip. I saw him as a hard working, sincere and honest person. He possesses a strong personality. Still he is dedicated to the people of Sandwip.
We are also the students of Sandwip Model High School, the 3rd High school of Sandwip. This year, 2013, the school steps in 80 years. As I myself a student of this prominent school saw him from a very close distance. He was two years senior to me in academic life.
Shahajahan also extends his helping hands towards the students involved with the assistance of Volunteers’ Association for Bangladesh (VAB), a US based NGO under the leadership of Dr. ATR Rahman, the Founder President of VAB. In 10 years’ celebration of VAB, the students of Sandwip Model High School were also with Upazila Chairman Shahajahan.
Dr. ATR Rahman, a Bangladeshi American residing in the USA, was a senior level officer in UNO. I am related with VAB for the last 5 years. The VAB is working for the students of underdeveloped areas of Bangladesh to protect drop-out students who are orphans and poor but meritorious. Shahajahan is also very kind to them.
I wish him a long life with good health.
Shahjahan’s contribution in liberation war praiseworthy
Alhaj ABM Siddiqur Rahman, Commander, Sandwip Upazila Command, Bangladesh Freedom Fighter’ Council
Alhaj Md. Shahjahan B. A, son of late Master Alhaj Taher Ahmed hails from the village of Bauria. He comes of a respectable Muslim family. After completing secondary education; Shahjahan passed H. S. C. and B. A. from two colleges of Chittagong. Early from the beginning of student life, he was an active member of Chattra League and later, he took the leading position.
During mass movement of 69, Shahjahan played his role strongly and fearlessly to free Bangabandhu from jail. His contribution in the great liberation war of Bangladesh is praiseworthy. Shahjahan by his own initiative sent hundreds of freedom fighters to India for training. After completion of training, he managed food, shelter and treatment for them.
Shahjahan was not only an organizer of the liberation war, but also fought shoulder to shoulder with the freedom fighters to attack Sandwip police station in 1971. As a leader, he could have led the fighting from behind the scene rather he encouraged the freedom fighters directly from the forefront.
After liberation, Shahjahan had been chairman in his own union parishad for two decades, sometimes uncontested and performed his duty successfully, sincerely and efficiently.
Shahjahan works in grass-root level. In time of crisis, he never left his companions helpless. I believe living and interacting with the general people is the principal virtue of his character.
Sandwip Upazilla Awami League is now strongly organized and well-established under his able leadership. In professional life, Shahjahan is known as an honest, sincere, upright and farsighted person.
I wish him every success, prosperity and long life.
My Classmate Shahjahan
Engr. Tamzidur Rahman, Chairman, Corona Fashions Limited
We had been classmates in secondary classes of Sandwip Model High School during the end of fifties and beginning of sixties of the last century. As I was first boy in the class I enjoyed respect and love of my classmates. Shahjahan who was also a frontline student loved me as well. My beloved late Abduhu Mahmood Khan, who was my competitor in the class for position, had also been loved by all.
We had a very good friendly atmosphere in our secondary classes. Shahjahan was friendly, amiable and a good boy in the class. He had an advantage that Moulovi Mannan, Assistant Headmaster, who later became Headmaster, was his maternal grandfather; but he never took any undue advantage out of his relation. He was ever cheerful and had a good stock of jokes and used to tell us jokes in the class and make leisure time very enjoyable to all of us. In various occasions Shahjahan showed his latent, leadership qualities which he has proved in his later practical life. In the name of Shahjahan, I have another classmate. This Shahjahan was also a nice and talented boy in our class. He has also proved his talent in practical life. He is at present a leading businessman, chairman of Shamol Group of companies.
Most of my classmates are no more now. Abduhu Mahmood Khan (Pahlobi), DG of Audit Department, Professor Salauddin Bahar, Shujauddowla, Abul Kashem, Belal Mohammad, all have left the earth for eternal life. Some Hindu classmates, namely Arup Chandro Majumdar, Naliniranjon Shom, Ponkoj Kumar have left for India. A few of my classmates are still alive but whereabouts of them are not known to me. I do miss them all very much. Of the alive, people’s leader Shahjahan is very well-known to all.
After completion of his graduation, Shahjahan joined as a schoolteacher. That is why; his name is Master Shahjahan. He has rendered much more services to his Bauria Union as a chairman and whole of Sandwip as a politician and at present as an Upazila Chairman. He won upazila chairman election by the voters who do not belong to his party. This proves his popularity and his acceptability to the people of Sandwip, irrespective of party affiliation. It is his image. This is his personal capacity above his party politics.
Shahjahan has contributed much for Sandwip. His contributions to education, social and humanitarian services, orphanage, blind welfare society and many other institutions are highly praiseworthy. He was awarded the best union council chairman of Sandwip once and currently won the best upazila chairman in Chittagong division. As a man Shahjahan may have flaws. That may be because of our national political conflict or narrow practice of politics in our country. No politician can satisfy everybody. But, Shahjahan has dedicated his life for the well- being of the people of Sandwip and will continue to do the same for the rest of his life. People will remember him.
I am proud of him and wish every success in his life.
Teacher Mohammad Shahjahan
Ibrahim Khalilullah, Managing Director, SI Textile Limited
Bauria G.K Academy has been established in 1968, when I was a student of class VI. As a new school, it was facing a lot of problems. Such as lack of good teachers, lack of class rooms, financial crisis and many other problems. Many of the local leaders and guardians were doubtful whether this school would survive at all.
In 1969, Md. Shahahan B.A. joined this school as an honorary teacher. He fully devoted himself as a teacher. Soon after his joining, scenario of this school started changing. Under his able leadership, educational environment, infrastructure, sports and cultural activities improved over night. The number of students also increased manifold. As a result, reputation of the school has spread all over Sandwip.
Shahjahan as a man lives a very simple life. He started his social and political activities in his early life. I am not only his direct student of Bauria G K Academy but also the man of same village Bauria. I have seen him from a very close quarter as my reverend teacher and as a man of same village. In 1970 election he played a very significant role in Sandwip. During our great liberation war in 1971 he played a very active role, organized freedom fighters and fought to free the country. While chairman of Bauria union, he was recognized the best chairman of whole Sandwip. At present as upazila chairman, he won the award of the best upazila chairman in whole Chittagong division.
I realize him a best teacher, a best social worker and, overall, a best guardian too. His inspiration helped me to be at this position. I am proud of him and looking forward to seeing him as the Member of Parliament in the next election. I believe he will play a very significant role in the parliament too.
In the end, I pray may Allah grant him a long life and good health.
Shahajahan works selflessly for the welfare of the people of Sandwip
Md. Shahjahan, Chairman and Managing Director, Shamol Group of Companies
Master Md. Shahjahan B.A. is a bright star in the political sky of Sandwip. By dint of his efficient leadership the condition of political and religious coexistence, law and order situation in Sandwip upazila is at present quite normal. He has undoubtedly brought dynamism in development works of Sandwip. Besides being a dedicated political leader, he is also a great patron of education. He sincerely works in spreading education, sports and cultural activities in Sandwip.
Shahjahan was a teacher of Bauria G. K. Academy in Bauria at his early age. Since then he has been working cordially to remove the darkness by education. Presently, he is working wholeheartedly to upgrade the quality of education. Besides syllabus oriented education, he has paid special attention to introduce co-curricular activities in every educational institution in Sandwip. He possesses a strong and dynamic attitude. Even at this age he does not sit idle. He moves every nook and corner of Sandwip to know the real condition of the inhabitants of Sandwip. His activities win the hearts of people of Sandwip.
Shahjahan had been elected as the chairman of Bauria union parishad for five terms. He has also been elected as the chairman of Sandwip upazila parisad with a landslide victory in the upazila parisad election held in 2009. Harassment, oppression and driving the political opponents away were the usual political culture of our country and also in Sandwip. But after being elected as the upazila chairman, Shahajahan promised to prevent this dirty culture. The first and foremost motto of Shahjahan is to develop Sandwip as well as to ensure political coexistence. So he established it.
Shahjahan possesses an ideal, honest and dauntless personality. In the past, during army rule and at many adverse situations he was firm on his principle. He is a benevolent political leader, social worker and people’s representative. He works selflessly for the welfare of the people but never hopes for any recognition.
Recently in 2012, he has been awarded the ideal chairman by National Human Rights Organization. This is the recognition of his honesty and sincerity as a political leader. He is the icon of a successful political leader in Sandwip. We, Sandwipees, are proud of getting a person like him. The strength of his personality and dedication to politics up to this long period is a matter of jealousy for every politician of any level. If he were born in any upazila of the main land instead of island of Sandwip, he would have been able to contribute to lead the nation, I believe.
It is to be noted here that, his late father Taher Ahmed who was an immigrant in USA, helped us with business purpose immediate after the liberation war. The cooperation helped us much to reach this position. Moreover, he looks me as his son. His fatherly affection still touches my heart. May Allah grant him Zanaat. Ameen.
I have studied at Sandwip Model High School in 1959 and Shahajahan was my classmate. Afterwards in favour of his father I had the great opportunity to see him from a close distance. Shahjahan is a wise, good speaking, fearless, hard working and a farsighted leader. He is also a dedicated social worker.
I wish him more success and glory in his future political career.
Shajahan- A dedicated leader and a good organizer
M G Faruk, Owner and Ditector of A Group of Companies
Mr. Shahjahan is a prominent politician and an elected successful Upazilla Chairman of Sandwip. He was a famous schoolteacher, a good organizer of sports and a founder of many educational institutes in Sandwip. He was involved in Awami Politics before liberation war and was an organizer of Shadhin Bangla Mukti Parisad in Sandwip. He was elected Chairman of Bauria Union Parisad several times and achieved unprecedented popularity among the people of Sandwip for his activities as chairman. His family always supported him to expand family resources for politics.
As upazila chairman, Shahjahan organized the movement for Sandwip-Urirchar Cross-Dam in 2010 in Sandwip and it is under active consideration of the Government of People’s Republic of Bangladesh. Besides, he has been able to keep the law and order situation stable, ensure peace and social security, establish political coexistence, spread education, sports and cultural activities, implement physical infrastructural developments and improve the overall communication system of Sandwip.
For his contribution to different fields, he is known as Master Shahjahan, Chairman Shahjahan and Awami League Leader Shahjahan. He always works for the betterment of the inhabitants of Sandwip. He was awarded the best Upazilla Chairman in 2012. He is a sincere and dedicated leader and a reputed social worker. We, Sandwipees, want him to have the Member of Parliament in future for the greater interest of Sandwip. He is a time-tested leader. So, a leader like Shahjahan is required to lead the society.
I wish him a long life and more success in future.
Shahjahan sets an unprecedented example in Sandwip
Saleha Begum, Managing Director, Grameen Byabosa Bikash
Historic Pargana Sandwip, once rich in wealth, is today’s devastated Sandwip upazila. Many famous poets, writers, politicians were born in this island. A few days ago we have lost our two old politicians, Rafiqullah Chowdhury and Obaidul Hoque. They became popular leaders since they could have gone above party interest. Along with their demise, hundred years’ political history of Sandwip has come to an end. And the personality who has come to fill up this is Master Shahjahan B.A.
In my childhood, I came to know that in Bauria one school teacher involved in politics of Awami Legue and he is a good man, kind hearted and helpful to the people. He has taken up the profession of teaching without honorarium.
Amidst carrying on the responsibility of teaching he came in close contact with the ideals of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He has been elected as the chairman of union council for consecutive five terms. He started getting recognition from the people for his noble activities. His name and fame spread all over Sandwip.
Since the cancellation of Upazila system, election of upazila chairman was held after 18 years in 2009. Master Shahjahan has been elected chairman in that collection.
Sandwip was not separated from the dirty politics of our courtry. Once, the socialist ideals of Comrade Mujaffar Ahmed were active among the people of Sandwip, gradually people turned to the rightist politics. Under these circumstances, Sandwip had become a safe place of terrorists for the last 20 years.
Shahjahan has been chairman of Sandwip upazila for last four years, with his party in power while a leader of his opponent party is also a Member of Parliament; but now there remains no political violence in Sandwip. This has been a unique example of political coexistence among political parties in Sandwip and Shahjahan has established this. For this, Shahjahan has got his due recognition. Shahjahan has been awarded the Best Upazila Chairman by Human Rights Society and Television Reporters’ Association of Bangladesh for setting an unprecedented example pf political coexistence, peace and social security.
We all want to see him to be a symbol of beauty and good taste. And we all want he makes a glorious Sandwip and leaving the petty party interest, he sets a firm base as an ideal politician for future generation of Sandwip.
Shahajahan- Not only a name but an institution
Shahajahan- Not only a name but an institution
Shahajahan started his social works with the establishment of Bauria Central Library. Because of his hypnotizing power soon he drew the attention of everybody in Sandwip. He with the request of Hafej Member and some other scholarly persons attended Bauria G.K. Academy as an honorary teacher. Since then he became familiar with the name Master Shahajahan. Shahajahan worked very hard to upgrade this school from class six to SSC, which was closed during Pakistani rule.
Shahajahan started student politics in early school life but political career with the post of General Secretary of Bauria Union Awami League in 1969. During the election of 70, Shahajahan ran door to door to deliver letters of election. Students of G K Academy Gazi Shamsul Alam and I always accompanied him.
Mr. M R Sidaiqui won the election of 70 in National Assembly. It is said that Shahajahan conducted his election activities in his union with a lower cost than other unions of Sandwip. With this, he drew the attention of Mr. Siddiqui. Later, Mr. Siddiqui upon his recommendation provided jobs for some people of Sandwip.
In 1971 Shahajahan was the convener of Sandwip Mukti Parishad. He then encouraged the youths and students to participate in the liberation war. He inspired many as well as me to go to India for taking training to join the war.
In 1973 he made Bauria Union Chhatra League Committee and appointed me as a secretary of the committee. He taught me how to write party constitution and resolution.
In 1973 Shahajahan submitted his nomination paper for Bauria Union Chairman election. But veteran political leader, President of Bauria Union Awami League Jainal Abedin Chowdhury requested Shahjahan, addressing him bhatija, to give him the chance as that was the last wish of his life. So Shahajahan showed him respect and withdrew his nomination in favour of Jainal Abedin Chowdhury.
In 1976 Shahajahan participated in the election of Union Parishad Chairman and won with a landslide victory. He became the Chairman of Bauria. He gained an unprecedented popularity among the people and thana administration for his honesty, capacity and dedication. As a result, he was called to settle the many cases of the entire Sandwip. At that time, many cases were withdrawn from the court and were settled by the mediation of Shahajahan. He also became the president of Sandwip Chairmen Samity.
First two terms, he served the people with a high reputation. Later, he became busy with the duty of president of Sandwip Thana Awami League as well as his own enterprise, Babul Store in Sandwip town. So he had to face a little interruption in performing this duty well.
Due to adverse situation, he failed in MP election in 79 and Upazila election in 89. Many political leaders changed their party for their own interest. But Shahajahan since his political birth till today actively involved with Awami League. He mixed up with the soil and the people of Sandwip for long 42 years. He has been serving as the president of Sandwip Awami League for a long time.
Sandwipees demand him to be elected as the Member of Parliament. The long wait of 42 years will be over if he is elected in the parliamentary lection scheduled to be held in 2014.
Different times we see the attempt of creating trouble by engaging non-political persons in polities, but though late, people understood the blunder. And finally people got Shahajahan beside them as their friend in need.
Shahajahan has a hypnotizing power. Some may speak ill of him from behind but when come in front of him, his enemy turns to be his friend. All the people of Sandwip are tied with the bond of love and affection of Shahajahan. He has gathered the experience of long 42 years that turned him into a dedicated political leader. Shahajahan is now not only a name but an institution.
Shahajahan was not only a successful teache, he was also a skilled referee of football and Ha-Du-Du. Date and time of big or final matches were fixed subjected to his time.
I would not only like to thank Mr. Abul Hashem, Editor of The Guardian for publishing such a rare issue, rather I would request the Sandwipees to collect one copy each to show love and respect to Mr. Hashem for his this special contribution to the cause of Sandwip.
Like this issue of The Guardia, many more issues can be published on the personalities of Sandwip, having socially or politically eventful life. It is mentionable that an issue on Balal Muhammad, another great son of Sandwip, was also published earlier.
Mr. Hashem is a non-political media personality. He has no political ambition. He has only noble intention to publish true information for the welfare of Sandwipees. National English Monthly “The Guardian” has gained huge name and fame both at home and abroad. As a worthy son of Sandwip, the people of Sandwip will remember Mr. Hashem with great respect in the days to come for his noble works for Sandwipees.
In the end, I also convey my thanks and best wishes to all the journalists, technicians and other staff of The Guardian for their hard and cordial works in making this special issue a complete success.
Mohammad Shahjahan-A leader of multifaceted quality
Taher Ahmed Chowdhury Badal, Senior Vice-President & Head of ICT, Standard Bank Limited
The life and past of the leader, Master Shahjahan, are very much interesting and difficult to scaling his all-around qualities. Mr. Shahjahan BA was born in Bauria union. He is an elite personality. I know him as a teacher, a glorious component and backbone of the society. Without any selfish motive he gave his precious ornament i.e. “Knowledge” to his disciples. He played most authoritative role in the life of the students of Bauria G. K. Academy. He is a genuine architect for producing knowledgeable and sophisticated personalities for the society. His leadership and contribution have made Bauria as one of the best unions in the county. He is an Ideal Teacher. The word “Ideal”, according to dictionary, means “Something which is perfect” or “Model of Excellence”.
Mr. Shahjhan is the pathfinder who guided and routed the people of Sandwipi to cross the boarder to India for arms training to be a freedom fighter. BA Shahjahan is a freedom-loving who sacrificed and helped a lot for a noble cause which is the freedom of our motherland. His guideline, help and cooperation during the liberation period will remain immortal in the history of Sandwip as well as in Bangladesh. It is the demand of time and slogan of Sandwip to elect him next “Member of Parliament” to honour his great leadership and contribution to Sandwip. My heartfelt honour to Mr. Shahjahan is expressed as under:
Separation is a wound that nobody can repair
But remembrance is a gift that nobody can steal
So nobody will ever be able to steal you from
My memory till I die.
Shajahan from master to an ideal leader
Md. Borhan Uddin
General Manager, Akij Group
Sandwip is a famous historic offshore Island. Most of the area of the Island has already gone to the river due to the erosion of Meghna. It has no effective communication network with mainland. The inhabitants have been suffering very badly. A number of senior officers were born in this Island but in fact most of them neglected about the development of this Island though some of them had opportunity to come forward to help in various fields.
Irrespective of any political party, the inhabitants will agree that Mr. Shajahan is honest, generous and a dedicated social worker. In question of evaluation amongst leaders of Sandwip the name of Mr.Shajahan of course will come in front line. He was elected as Chairman for Bauria for five times. He has also been awarded as Ideal Upazila Chairman by National Human Rights Society, Dhaka for keeping his outstanding role in various social activities in Sadwip.
The career of Mr. Shajahan has started from grass root level. He was involved in liberation struggle. Since 1970 till today he has been always with the people of Sandwip
He is an exceptional kind hearted leader who is always ready to spare any moment for helping to anybody in course of any struggle.
The inhabitants of Sandwip Island have great love and affection for this active leader and we pray to Almighty Allah for success in his future career and outstanding dedication.
The following aspects, I realize, are in his hands for follow up and early execution:
A Cross-Dam Project between Sandwip and Companygonj is a dream project.of Sandwip. The Prime Minister of Bangldesh during her recent visit to Sandwip has given assurance to make it a success. Accordingly, Mr. Shahjahan the only person who is making liaison with concerned ministries for early approval.
To protect life of people and their belongings from devastating cyclone and tidal bore a beribandh project scheme is necessary to build beribandh to the south and western side of Sandwip, which was broken due to erosion of the Bay of Bengal and the Megna. Mr. Shajahan who loves the soil of Sandwip actively has taken up the project with government to get approval and sanctioning fund for early construction of the so important beribandh.
For better administrative control and for keeping internal peace and prosperity, arrangement has been taken to establish a new thana in Urichar which is under approval of the government. It was also possible due to the effect of sincere efforts and frequent visit of Mr. Shajahan to take up the matter with the concerned authorities.
The day is not far away one day all houses and hat-bazar of Sandwip will be lighted through the supply of electricity and to make it a success, step is being taken to connect Sandwip with nearest Companygonj through sub-marine line.
Daily Steamer Service
Daily steamer service between Sandwip and Chittagong is necessary to be established soon by adding more new ships in the existing line and due to such effectiveness the life of inhabitants of Sandwip will be much faster and easier. The only well-wisher personality, Mr. Shahjahan, whose heart has mixed with the soil of Sandwip, actively has taken up the matter with the concerned authorities.
It is a fact that most of the families of Sandwip directly or indirectly are inter- related with abroad, specially USA,UK, Arabian countries, Malaysia and other countries of the world, where some full family members and some partly are working in these countries. They are earning foreign currencies and regularly remitting thereof to their homes. To get remittance from abroad within a shortest possible time the on-line banking system needs to be updated.
At present Sandwip possesses 2 degree colleges and 3 non-degree colleges including one mohila college. Step is being taken to upgrade 3 non-degree colleges into degree colleges.
Present condition of Gaschua Health Complex, Harishpur old hospital and Haramia hospital in respect of modern treatment and healthy environment is not well. Due to insufficient doctors and modern equipment, patients are being compelled to go to Chittagong for better diagnosis and treatment. The appellation of government and deputing doctors and nurses for Haramia hospital is still waiting.
Shahjahan makes a remarkable contribution to development of Sandwip
Alhaj Master Abul Kashem, President, Managing Committee, Magdhara High School
Alhaj Master Shahajahan comes of a respectable Muslim family of Bauria, Sandwip. Early from his student life he was associated with the student politics of Chhatra League. After completing education, he took up teaching as a profession. Afterwards, for the greater interest of people in the society he involved in the national politics and has been carrying on the responsibility of Sandwip Upazila Awami League since 1981. He played a remarkable role in 1970 election.
Later, by dint of his able leadership, a candidate from Awami League has been elected in national parliamentary election from Sandwip two terms. During the period of caretaker government in 2009 Shahajahan was elected the chairman of Sandwip Upazila with a landslide victory. Before that, he was elected as the chairman of Bauria union parishad for consecutive five terms.
Under his leadership, North Sandwip College has been enlisted under MPO. Presently, communication system, academic environment and other physical infrastructures have been improved much. He is well known to the people of Sandwip as a successful chairman. He has established political coexistence in Sandwip. For which, he has been awarded the Best Upazila Chairman by National Human Rights Society. Under his able leadership, 12 out of 15 chairmen of different union parishads have been elected from Awami League.
Once, the administrative works of Sandwip were not running well. After his being elected upazila chairman the administrative works of Sandwip are running to the right direction. At present, the academic functions of schools, colleges and madrashas as well as the works of hospitals of Sandwip are running well. Under his strong leadership law and order situation is improved significantly in Sandwip. Now theft, robbery, extortion have been abolished from Sandwip. Shahjahan has made a remarkable contribution to the development of Sandwip.
In 2012, the Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visited Sandwip, then Shahajahan placed various important demands before the Prime Minister including the cross-dam, the long felt demand of the people of Sandwip. The Hon’ble Prime Minister gave consent to meet up all those demands. Shahjahan went to the concerned ministries and talked to the higher authority several times about the demands consented by the Prime Minister. He hoped the demands would be fulfilled very soon, especially the cross-dam.
In the meantime, he has been able to establish himself as a reliable person to the Prime Minister.
I wish him a long life, good heath and bright future.