The Financial Express

In Memoriam

The death of an eminent columnist

Lankabangla and Fianancial Express Lankabangla and Fianancial Express
Mohammad Badrul Ahsan (1959-2020) Mohammad Badrul Ahsan (1959-2020)

Mohammad Badrul Ahsan, an embodiment of wisdom, humility and lover of humanity, left us on February 06, 2020, at the age of 60 years.

Educated in Economics at Dhaka University, George Washington University and Kansas State University, the USA, he spent many years in leading corporate houses, but later on, his life moved on to a different trajectory -- getting fully engaged in a creative profession like journalism through writing beautiful and powerful columns and bringing out a magazine.

After his voluntary retirement from a global bank's Dubai office in 2000, he began to write a weekly column in The Daily Star and it continued for about 17 years.

On every Friday, his column 'Crosstalk' appeared and it became a very popular weekly column in English language in the country. His column made incisive analysis of contemporary issues in a lucid and melodic language.

All misdeeds of our society encompassing crony capitalism, decadence, and financial scams were exposed in his powerful columns that attracted readers both at home and abroad.

His felicitous use of words and quotes in the columns epitomised the ethereal beauty of his essays. A vast and in-depth wisdom depicted in his writings mesmerised many readers.

In July, 2010, he founded First News, a quality English weekly. A total of 355 issues of the weekly were published by him till August, 2017. First News was his child. All the issues were arduously and nicely edited by him. Many cover stories of the weekly were brilliant as the ideas on the respective stories were conceived by him. Later those stories, primarily filed by reporters concerned were thoroughly recast and developed by him and his capable team members. Illustration of cover pages, insertion of graphs, infographs and tables of every issue of the weekly were enriched by his single effort.

Moreover the editorial of each issue was a treasure-trove for readers. The editorials of 355 issues should be published and the publication will be another impressive compendium of his oeuvres. It was his epic challenge to establish a quality English news magazine and unfortunately he failed because of the owner's mysterious non-cooperation to continue the publication.

In fact, the Dhanmondi office of First News was the crucible for many brilliant minds. Many retired top officials of both public and private sectors were invited by him and all of them used to visit the office regularly to meet Badrul Bhai and inspire the young generations as well.

After the closure of First News, he paid more attention to publishing a novel by Penguin Publishers. We hope the book will soon be published.

This scribe had the opportunity to meet him several times at the Dhanmondi office of the now-defunct weekly. One day he was asked about the reason for his indifference to joining international competitions. He didn't have any interest in getting better exposure.

A self-effacing person like him was loved by all and he reciprocated in the same way. Persons like Mirza Behrouse Ispahani, Moazzem Hossain (founder Editor of The Financial Express) and Fahim Monaem Tipu were very close to him.

He had another unique quality to easily assess and predict outcomes of investigations carried out on the financial happenings, perpetrated during the past few decades. All the predictions, made by him on the investigations of the recent financial scams invariably came true, much to the surprise of his close friends.

Born in Narsingdi on August 30, 1959, he took his elementary education in Narinda School of Old Dhaka and Notre Dame College.

Mohammad Badrul Ahsan had co-authored a paper titled "A Strategic Model for Multinational Corporate Social Responsibility in the Third World" with Kansas State University Professor Jay Laughlin. He also wrote "In Search of a Nation", a book on the philosophy of history, published by Mowla Brothers in 1992.

In 2004, The University Press Limited (UPL) published "A Good Man in the Woods and Other Essays", the first collection of his columns written for The Daily Star. His last book, ''The Parallax View: A Collection of Critical Essays'' was published from The UPL in 2016.

He made an indelible impression on many of us due to his quintessential probity and wisdom.


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