Mohammad Badrul Ahsan left us exactly one year back. The embodiment of wisdom, humility and love for humanity left us on February 6 last year at the age of only 60.
At the fag end of his life, he almost completed the process of authoring a book for publishing from an international publishing company but the sudden demise stopped that effort.
We believe the unpublished book, once published, will draw attention of readers across the boundary.
He left an indelible impression on many of us due to his quintessential probity and wisdom. He could earn a lot, had he not left the multinational company's lucrative job. But his epic honesty prevented him from continuing the company job.
Educated in Economics Department of Dhaka University, George Washington University and Kansas State University, USA, he spent many years in leading corporate houses, but later on, his life moved on to a different trajectory and he eventually came to be involved in a creative profession like journalism through writing beautiful columns.
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 attracted so many readers to become the most popular weekly column in English language in the country.
His column won the hearts of millions because of his incisive analysis of contemporary issues in a very lucid and melodic language. Those are firmly entrenched as the main driving force behind the public outcry against all types of misdeeds, corruption, etc.
All misdeeds of our society like crony capitalism, decadence, financial scams etc were exposed in his powerful columns to attract the hearts of millions both at home and abroad.
The felicitous use of words and quotes in those columns epitomized the ethereal beauty of his essays. The vast and in-depth wisdom depicted in his writings mesmerized the readers.
He founded First News, a quality English weekly. A total of 355 issues of the weekly were published by him. 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 about the 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, info-graphs and tables of every issue of the weekly were enriched by him. 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.
This scribe had the opportunity to meet him several times at the Dhanmondi office of the now-defunct weekly First News. One day I had asked him about the reason for his indifference to compete in the international competitions. In reply I did not see his interest that much to get better exposure.
A self-effacing person like him was endeared 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 the outcome of the investigations carried out on the financial happenings, perpetrated during the last 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 learned 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, 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 University Press Limited in 2016.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.