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Sunday, 14 July 2024
Interview with State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain : Father did politics with Bangabandhu, I am in shadow of his daughter Sheikh Hasina

Interview with State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain : Father did politics with Bangabandhu, I am in shadow of his daughter Sheikh Hasina

State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain is one of the few ministers who have served without controversy in the Awami League government. Born in Meherpur, Farhad Hossain is involved in Awami League politics. His father, former Awami League leader Mohammad Shahiduddin was the founder of Meherpur Awami League. Farhad Hossain was a teacher, so there is something exception in his speech and behaviour and overall he is known as well-spoken person.

Farhad Hossain started his political career with Bangladesh Chhatra League ( BCL) politics. After that, he joined Bangladesh Awami Swechchhasebak League. After becoming Member of Parliament, he was assigned as state minister of the government by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina .

On behalf of The Country Today, our Special Correspondent Mashrakha Jahan Mona recently interviewed him exculsively. Details of the interview are presented here in question - answer form for the readers.

Country Today: How did you start your political career?

Farhad Hossain: In 2002, when I was teaching at Dhaka City College, then opposition leader and today's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked me to be engaged in politics and prepare the field. Then I went my area, talked to people and started public relations. Then in 2003, an opportunity came to join the Awami Swechchhasebak League. Then I informed the matter to the Awami League president. With her permission I joined the Swechchhasebak League. I expected to get nomination in 2008 due to the popularity I had earned in the area, but I didn't get it but did not leave the field; continued to work in the area. Then the Prime Minister called me one day and said, I will nominate you in the next election . Later, I got nomination and became a Member of Parliament in the 2014 and 2018 elections. I was also elected President of Meherpur District Awami League in 2015 and 2015.

Country Today: You are a minister and your father was an MP and leader of Awami League. Which one you prefer to introduce yourself ?

Farhad Hossain: Let me answer this question in a slightly different way. My father was Mohammad Shahiduddin . He was a member of the National Assembly in 1970. He was elected Member of Parliament from Meherpur in 1973 and 1986. He was elected the Baksal District Governor in 1975. He was popular leader of Kushtia and Meherpur Awami League He was a very close and trusted political colleague of Bangabandhu.

This is my pride. To be honest, I am following the path shown by my father.My father ( Abba) is my political teacher and role model. Father saw Bangabandhu and did politics with him, and I got the opportunity to do politics under the shadow of Bangabandhu's daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. It is a matter of great pride for our family. I do not want to overshadow the identity of the father, Farhad Hossain added.

Country Today: There was a time when Chhatra League was not given importance. But now many of you have become MP-ministers from student leaders; How did this change happen?

Farhad Hossain: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina knows very well whom to place where. The Prime Minister has different plans for everyone. The Prime Minister keeps track of all the party's leaders and workers who have left the country. The Prime Minister is different to those families who are devoted to Awami League during the hard time of the party. She always love works. The Prime Minister valued me because he knows my father's contributions to Awami League. Again those who were with BCL politics, party leaders and activists; the Prime Minister has a special eye on those who have the ability to become leaders.

Country Today: What is the difference between politics in power and politics out of power?

Farhad Hossain: Awami League spent its time from its establishment till the independence of the country in the streets to fight for people's rights. After the independence of the country, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman returned to the country and had very little time. The black chapter was written in August 15, 1975.

Till the formation of the Awami League government in 1996, we were in the opposition. You can say that Awami League has spent a lot of time in realizing people's rights and fulfilling people's dreams after coming to power. Bangabandhu was killed because he made the country independent. Attempts have been made to assassinate the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina repeatedly for talking about people's right to vote and food.

Those who do the politics of Awami League in crisis period , survive in the field, they hold the true ideals of Bangabandhu. Let me tell you a story. As my father was the founder of Meherpur Awami League, so BNP -Jamaat's outrage on our family was high. One day my sister and I were walking on the road - a group of people saw us and made very bad comments about Awami League, Bangabandhu and 'Abba'. We went home and cried.

Country Today: When you were studying in the Dhaka University, was the Chhatra Dal-Jamaat-Shibir very strong?

Farhad Hossain: My alloted seat was in Zia Hall of Dhaka University but I did not stay there .I had to stay in room No 118 of Shaheed Seargent Zahurul Haque Hall. Assault and seat capture were regular matter. As a result survive in the hall was very difficult. At that time the leaders of the Chhatra League had to flee and there was armed politics in the university and now normal politics is going on. Chhatra League shows love and kindness without revenge.

Country Today: So now Chhatra Dal and other anti-government student organizations can't exist?

Farhad Hossain: Let's say one thing here, but we don't do politics of revenge. We have a big scar of '75. With whom Ziaur Rahman was directly connected. After that, since 2001, BNP's attacks and cases have been going on.

The wounds of the assassination attempt on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina always work in our minds. Begum Khaleda Zia was in power at that time. Since then a suspicion works on them. But the Awami League killed how many people in three terms? They are agitating, launching movement but we don't stop them. Just we are alert , so that no evil force can raise its head.

Chhatra League does not attack in any campus. But the problem is that the Chhatra Dal-Chhatra Shibir started the politics of revenge when they came to the campus. As a result, BCL leaders and activists have to be careful. Because the Chhatra League has to think about the safety and learning environment of the common students. BNP does not do petty politics. There are still boys from Chhatra Dal-Shibir in different halls, you will see the news. But when they do the politics of revenge, the Chhatra League keeps the campus environment normal with the general students.

Country Today: Awami League is in government for three terms. Many people say that the development of Chhatra League-Jubo League is not taking place. Politics cannot develop without a hostile environment.

Farhad Hossain: The fathers of those who join Chhatra League are in Awami League politics. Awami League is an institution. As a result, our children are familiar with both good times and bad times. Look at the existing President-Secretary of Chhatra League-Jubo League . They have a beautiful past of family tradition and politics. Apart from that, our boys are active in the streets against the BNP-Jamaat incitement.

Country Today : Many people say that you have a difference in speaking, that you are talented and well-spoken. Are you success in politics ?

Farhad Hussain: The ability to speak well and mingle with people is very important for politicians. Leadership and becoming a politician is a matter of luck. This involves party loyalty, ethics, connection with people, good thinking, working for people and desire to change their quality of life. You must know that I studied in Dhaka University. DU helped make me. I grew up watching my father again from childhood.

Abba's life was spent in politics and people with my father used to say that the people of the area are my family. They used to come to our house regularly and eat together with 'Abba:. As a result, I was used to being able to mix with people since childhood. I used to watch my father give speeches in meetings since childhood. Seeing that I learned to speak at a very young age.

Also, because of teaching for a long time, I had to talk a lot. Another thing is that people loved me so much that is why I became successful.

Country Today: Do you think Awami League can win the upcoming elections?

Farhad Hossain: I think that the development that Awami League has done all over the country, the changes in the quality of life of people, people have handed over the power to Sheikh Hasina to maintain the continuity of development.

Awami League will be put back in power so that it can complete the incomplete works. We have big plans ahead of the elections. The Awami League government should be brought back to power to complete the rest of development works that has been done in the country, as well as the ongoing development work. Otherwise, everything will be foiled that happened when BNP-Jamaat was in power. They even embezzled money from orphans. The BNP government only knows how to loot. Therefore, I am saying that there will be no development in the country without Awami League.

Moreover, Awami League has taken up mega projects one after another including Padma Bridge, Metro Rail, Karnaphuli Tunnel. For successful implementation of these, I believe they will give the opportunity to serve the people by voting again in the need of the people.

Country Today : Thank you very much for giving your valuable time.

Farhad Hossain : Welcome. You are appreciated.

Interview with State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain : Father did politics with Bangabandhu, I am in shadow of his daughter Sheikh Hasina

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