From the Editor-in-Chief: In passing . . . Suranjit Sengupta

Enayetullah Khan
Wednesday, February 8th, 2017
Leave a comment


The passing of Suranjit Sengupta was in more ways than one an end to a political career of significance in Bangladesh’s history. Sengupta, associated as he was with the various phases of national politics since well before the liberation of the country and in the years following the emergence of Bangladesh, certainly played his due role in the evolution of society. He was a member of the Constituent Assembly which drafted and adopted the Constitution in 1972 but for reasons of his own was unwilling to affix his signature to the document even though all his parliamentary colleagues did.


Suranjit Sengupta’s reputation as an astute lawmaker has never been in any doubt. He was always considered a point of reference by people who needed to understand the nuances of parliamentary activity. In an era of declining politics, in the sense that politics increasingly came to be concentrated in the hands of non-politicians — businessmen, retired civil and military officials — Sengupta was a happy reminder of the past when politicians, at once professional and committed, ran the show. He was clear about where Bangladesh needed to go in its endless search for stability and for a reassertion of democratic order. In the House, he did not hold himself back from offering his advice and comments on the procedures to be followed in the conduct of parliamentary business. One could say that he was one of the last of the generation of politicians for whom politics was a matter of democratic experiment, dynamic and aimed at a promotion of public welfare.


Suranjit Sengupta brought to the proceedings of parliament a liveliness that was endlessly enhanced by his use of necessary and appropriate humour. In this respect, he was only doing what politicians in the subcontinent used to do in the distant past, that is, make politics comprehensible and purposeful. Nothing of the abrasive was there in his statements. Sengupta was a politician in the truest sense of the term. His was a valued presence everywhere. He was, in a broad sense, the life of the party. He did not disappoint. His statements were always refreshing and a departure from the hackneyed.


The sadness is in knowing that towards the end of his life, Suranjit Sengupta’s reputation was marred by a scandal the mystery of which has never been solved. His reputation went into a slide. He was unable to recover the old spark.


We condole the death of the veteran political leader. We hope the brighter aspects of his career will always be there to convince people that at the end of the day, it is only politics that matters.

Leave a Reply

  • National
  • International