was an example of the qualities badly missing in our politics.
At a time when politicians seem to be increasingly dependent
on black money and muscle power, he relied on his honesty, hard
work and love for people. He didn't fail. The people of Gazipur
placed their trust in him by electing their representative time
and again. none Ahsanullah Master, whom the people of Gazipur
fondly called 'Sir' was indeed a rare jewel among the debris
On that fateful morning of May 7, when the assassin's
bullet ripped through his breast, ironically on the premises
of the school that he established and where he had taught for
years, Gazipur lost their favourite Sir. With his demise the
people of Gazipur lost their leader who's home was the permanent
address they always went to in good times and bad. And the nation
lost a good, honest man, an increasingly rare breed in our politics.
What distinguishes Master from most other MPs
is that though he rose from a general worker to an MP, he remained
the same simple, unassuming, warm Master Saheb to the people
of his area. "His door was always open and he played the
untiring host to visitors who came in hundreds to talk about
their complaints and demands," says Rubel, the slain MP's
youngest son. "He didn't have solutions to all their problems,
neither did he have the ability to fulfill all their expectations,
but everybody returned with the satisfaction that "MP Saheb
had at least listened patiently".
extremely hard-working man with great organising capability,
Master emerged literally from a grass-root level worker to the
mainstay of Awami League in Gazipur. His political career began
quite early. He was a child of 13 and a school-goer when he
formally joined Chhatra League, the student wing of Awami League.
After graduating in 1970 from Suhrawardi College, he joined
Awami League in 1970. In the meantime, he had already taken
up teaching in Noagaon High School, which he established almost
single-handedly in 1969. Then came the independence war, where
once again Master exhibited his organising acumen. Master's
rise in politics wasn't sudden; he began with Union Parishad
and became the chairman of Pubail Union Parishad three times.
In 1990, he decided to move forward, fought the Upazilla elections
and was elected the chairman of Gazipur Sadar Upazilla. Master
entered into national politics in 1996 when he became an MP
from Gazipur-2 constituency on AL ticket, and repeated his victory
once again in 2001.
He was a loving father, attests Rubel, the youngest
of his two sons and one daughter. Though his pre-occupation
with politics consumed almost all his time, he made the best
out of whatever little time he was left with, which more often
than not amounted to a few minutes a day. "Very often he
returned home well after we were all in bed, but when he returned
be it 1 am or 2 am he would come into our rooms, see our faces
and touch them with affection before heading for bed,"
reminisces Rubel. He was regularly absent in family functions,
which sometimes made the family members a little upset but that
never gave them a feeling of deprivation. "Somehow we always
had the feeling that he was with us," Rubel says.
was very considerate and was always willing to listen to what
others had to say. He wouldn't just shut us up even when we
were wrong but tried to show where we were wrong," Rubel
reminisces fondly. Master, like any other affectionate father,
tried to fulfill the demands of his children, but at the same
time made sure that they knew their limits. "We sometimes
complained to him about having to live in a rented house,"
recalls Rubel One day, perhaps forced by our insistence, he
took both the sons by the hand and walked to Tongi station,
not far from our house. It was nighttime and some hundred people
were lying in every possible corner of the platform. 'Don't
you think you are far better off than these poor people?' he
asked. We didn't have any answer." The three time Union
Parishad chairman, one time Upazilla chairman and two times
MP, Master lived all his life in a rented house.
Unfortunately, little progress has been made
regarding the arrest of his assassins. The family members have
received threats, with the anonymous callers ordering them to
withdraw the case, or else the buried body of Master would be
taken away. The government must speed up the process of arresting
the killers and the persons who masterminded the murder behind
Master, who came from a humble beginning and
lived a simple life, had a very strong sense of morality. His
profession as a teacher perhaps gave this integrity that never
swayed in spite of being a politician. His death is irreparable,
but the ideal he championed can be a great inspiration for the
young generation of politicians. That is possibly the most apt
way to pay tribute to him.