Suranjit’s void will be irreplaceable

Wafiur Rahman
Wednesday, February 8th, 2017


The country’s political sphere lost another star as a former minister and Bangladesh Awami League Presidium member Suranjit Sengupta breathed his last Sunday. Unanimous sentiments were conveyed by his peers, as well as the general people that his loss will form an irreplaceable void for AL.


Suranjit died at Labaid Hospital in the city early Sunday, aged 71 – leading an illustrious political career, but critics lamented that he had much more to offer to the young upstarts in his party, who are being groomed to be the future torchbearers of Awami League.


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took part in the discussion on the obituary reference and paid rich tribute to the veteran parliamentarian for playing an important role in framing the country’s constitution as a member of the constituent assembly from the opposition bench. She said My father had a role in making him a good parliamentarian as Bangabandhu always encouraged him to speak in the House. He (Suranjit) used to pursue non-communal and progressive politics, she added.


“The country has lost a veteran and experienced politician, eminent parliamentarian, renowned lawyer and devoted social worker at the death of Suranjit Sengupta,” said Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury as she moved the obituary reference in the House.


Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu said Suranjit was a courageous leader with a firm conviction for building a non-communal Bangladesh. Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury said he had proved himself as a great parliamentarian through his logical deliberations on various issues.


Information Minister Hasanul Huq Inu said Suranjit Sengupta had been playing an important role under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the ongoing fight against militancy. He was a master parliamentarian who taught many lawmakers parliamentary norms and values, he added.


As almost every Bangladeshi is synonymous with the mud-slinging politics that mires the country, especially between Bangladesh Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP,) it did rather come as a surprise when BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, in a statement, recognised Suranjit’s work on the Bangladesh constitution, his role in democratic politics and vocal support of social progress. “During his long involvement in politics he always fought for the rights of our people and our country and played a notable role in the struggle for freedom and democratic rights,” her statement read.


BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir referred to the recently-departed Suranjit Sengupta, veteran parliamentarian of Awami League, as “a man of great soul.”


“An honest, sincere and experienced leader like him (Suranjit) is rare. I had a personal relation with him for a long time. I knew him as a man of great soul,” he said. The BNP leader came up with the remarks while talking to reporters after paying last respect to Suranjit at Dhakeshwari temple.


Fakhrul also recalled Suranjit’s role in the formulation of the country’s constitution and consolidating democracy by providing his thoughts and suggestions during the country’s political crisis. “A vacuum has been created in the country’s parliamentary politics through his demise. “I’m deeply shocked at his demise,” the BNP secretary general said. “We, on behalf of BNP and our chairperson, express deep shock at his death and pray for the eternal peace of his departed soul.


Born on May 5, 1946, at Anwarpur village in Dirai upazila of Sunamganj district, Suranjit passed SSC from Dirai High School and HSC from Sylhet MC College and later completed his graduation and post-graduation in History from Dhaka University.


He received LLB degree from Central Law College and started his career as a lawyer. Suranjit who had got engaged with leftist politics during his student life was elected as a competitive candidate of the National Awami Party (NAP) in the Provincial Assembly in 1970’s National Election of Pakistan.


He was a vocal member of the Opposition Bench in the first constituent assembly of Bangladesh and soon after he led a party named the Ekota Party. Not to be relegated to a mere politician during the War of Liberation in 1971, he was a commander of Tekerghat sub-sector under Sector-five in Sylhet district as he directly took part in the war.


Suranjit was a member of 34-member Constitution Drafting Committee, formed after the Liberation War.


Suranjit joined Awami League in the early 1990s, where he gradually became a member of the party’s advisory council. Being a high-ranking politician in the Awami League, he was considered as an influential face for the Hindu community in Bangladesh. He was elected Member of Parliament for eight times in the post-Liberation period.

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