The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Bangladeshi Politicians of all time. This list of famous Bangladeshi Politicians is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Bangladeshi Politicians.
With an HPI of 73.50, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is the most famous Bangladeshi Politician. His biography has been translated into 63 different languages on wikipedia.
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Bengali: শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান; 17 March 1920 – 15 August 1975), shortened as Sheikh Mujib or Mujib, was a Bangladeshi politician and statesman. He is called the "Father of the Nation" in Bangladesh. He served as the first President of Bangladesh and later as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh from 17 April 1971 until his assassination on 15 August 1975. He is considered to be the driving force behind the independence of Bangladesh. He is popularly dubbed with the title of "Bangabandhu" (Bôngobondhu "Friend of Bengal") by the people of Bangladesh. He became a leading figure in and eventually the leader of the Awami League, founded in 1949 as an East Pakistan–based political party in Pakistan. Mujib is credited as an important figure in efforts to gain political autonomy for East Pakistan and later as the central figure behind the Bangladesh Liberation Movement and the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971. Thus, he is regarded as "Jatir Janak" or "Jatir Pita" (Jatir Jônok or Jatir Pita, both meaning "Father of the Nation") of Bangladesh. His daughter Sheikh Hasina is the current leader of the Awami League and also the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. An initial advocate of democracy and socialism, Mujib rose to the ranks of the Awami League and East Pakistani politics as a charismatic and forceful orator. He became popular for his opposition to the ethnic and institutional discrimination of Bengalis in Pakistan, who comprised the majority of the state's population. At the heightening of sectional tensions, he outlined a six-point autonomy plan and was jailed by the regime of Field Marshal Ayub Khan for treason. Mujib led the Awami League to win the first democratic election of Pakistan in 1970. Despite gaining a majority, the League was not invited by the ruling military junta to form a government. As civil disobedience erupted across East Pakistan, Mujib indirectly announced independence of Bangladesh during a landmark speech on 7 March 1971. On 26 March 1971, the Pakistan Army responded to the mass protests with Operation Searchlight, in which Prime Minister–elect Mujib was arrested and flown to solitary confinement in West Pakistan, while Bengali civilians, students, intellectuals, politicians and military defectors were murdered as part of the 1971 Bangladesh genocide. During Mujib's absence, many Bengalis joined the Mukti Bahini and with help from the Indian Armed Forces, defeated the Pakistan Armed Forces during the Bangladesh Liberation War. After Bangladesh's independence, Mujib was released from Pakistani custody due to international pressure and returned to Dhaka in January 1972 after a short visit to Britain and India. Mujib became the Prime Minister of Bangladesh under a parliamentary system adopted by the new country. He charged the provisional parliament to write a new constitution proclaiming the four fundamental principles of "nationalism, secularism, democracy, and socialism", which reflect his political views collectively known as Mujibism. The Awami League won a huge mandate in the country's first general election in 1973. However, Mujib faced challenges of rampant unemployment, poverty and corruption, as well as the Bangladesh famine of 1974. The government was criticized for denying constitutional recognition to indigenous minorities and human rights violations by its security forces, notably the National Defence Force or Jatiya Rakkhi Bahini paramilitary. Amid rising political agitation, Mujib initiated one party socialist rule in January 1975. Six months later, he and most of his family were assassinated by renegade army officers during a coup. A martial law government was subsequently established. In a 2004 BBC poll, Mujib was voted the Greatest Bengali of all time.
With an HPI of 70.87, Abdul Hamid is the 2nd most famous Bangladeshi Politician. His biography has been translated into 47 different languages.
Mohammad Abdul Hamid (born 1 January 1944) is a Bangladeshi politician who is currently serving as the president of Bangladesh. He was elected to his first term in April 2013, and re-elected to his current second term in 2018. Previously he served as the speaker of the National Parliament from January 2009 to April 2013. He was the acting president after the death of Zillur Rahman in March 2013, and he was elected as president on 22 April 2013.He is the longest serving president in the history of Bangladesh.
With an HPI of 69.57, Chandragupta I is the 3rd most famous Bangladeshi Politician. His biography has been translated into 39 different languages.
Chandragupta I (Gupta script: Cha-ndra-gu-pta, r. c. 319-335 or 319-350 CE) was a king of the Gupta dynasty, who ruled in northern India. His title Maharajadhiraja ("great king of kings") suggests that he was the first emperor of the dynasty. It is not certain how he turned his small ancestral kingdom into an empire, although a widely accepted theory among modern historians is that his marriage to the Lichchhavi princess Kumaradevi helped him extend his political power. Their son Samudragupta further expanded the Gupta empire.
With an HPI of 67.90, Zillur Rahman is the 4th most famous Bangladeshi Politician. His biography has been translated into 46 different languages.
Mohammed Zillur Rahman (9 March 1928 – 20 March 2013) was the President of Bangladesh from 2009 to 2013. He was also a senior presidium member of the Awami League. He is the third president of Bangladesh, after Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Ziaur Rahman, to die in office, while being the first to die of natural causes.
With an HPI of 67.76, Sheikh Hasina is the 5th most famous Bangladeshi Politician. Her biography has been translated into 78 different languages.
Sheikh Hasina (Bengali: শেখ হাসিনা, /'ʃekʰ ɦɐsɪna/, SHEKH ha-si-na; English: , SHAYK hə-SEE-nə; born 28 September 1947), also known by her married name Sheikh Hasina Wazed (Bengali: শেখ হাসিনা ওয়াজেদ), is a Bangladeshi politician who has been prime minister of Bangladesh since January 2009. She previously served as prime minister from June 1996 to July 2001. She is the longest serving prime minister in the history of Bangladesh, having served for a combined total of over 17 years. Hasina is the daughter of Bangladesh's first president and founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the eldest of his five children. Her political career has spanned more than four decades. She previously served as opposition leader from 1986 to 1990, and 1991 to 1995, then as Prime Minister from 1996 to 2001. She has led the Bangladesh Awami League (AL) since 1981. In 2008, she returned as Prime Minister with a landslide victory. In January 2014, she became Prime Minister for a third term in an unopposed election, as it was boycotted by the Opposition, and criticised by international observers. She won a fourth term in December 2018, following an election marred with violence and criticised by the Opposition as being rigged. Hasina is considered one of the most powerful women in the world, ranking 39th on Forbes Magazine' list of The World's 100 Most Powerful Women in 2020, 26th in 2018, and 30th in 2017. She has also made a list of "top 100 Global Thinkers" of the present decade. Hasina is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an international network of current and former female presidents and prime ministers. Sheikh Hasina was included in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World of 2018. Reporters Without Borders in 2021 characterised Sheikh Hasina as a predator for curbing press freedom in Bangladesh since 2014.
With an HPI of 64.32, Iajuddin Ahmed is the 6th most famous Bangladeshi Politician. His biography has been translated into 36 different languages.
Iajuddin Ahmed (1 February 1931 – 10 December 2012) was the President of Bangladesh, serving from 6 September 2002 until 12 February 2009. From late October 2006 to January 2007, he also served as Chief Advisor of the caretaker government. From October 2006 to early 2008, his responsibilities as president included the Defense Ministry of the caretaker government. With a doctorate in soil science, Ahmed became a full professor at the University of Dhaka and chairman of the department. Beginning in 1991, he started accepting appointments to public positions, as chairman of the Public Service Commission (1991 to 1993) and of the University Grants Commission (1995 to 1999). In 2002 he won election as president. In 2004 he helped establish the private university, Atish Dipankar University of Science and Technology (ADUST).
With an HPI of 64.20, Ziaur Rahman is the 7th most famous Bangladeshi Politician. His biography has been translated into 35 different languages.
Ziaur Rahman ([zi-yaur rôhman]; 19 January 1936 – 30 May 1981) was a Bangladesh Army officer and later turned statesman who served as the President of Bangladesh during 1977–1981. He was assassinated on 30 May 1981 in Chittagong in an army coup d'état.Rahman was a Bangladesh Forces Commander of BDF Sector BDF Sector 1 initially, and from June as BDF commander of BDF Sector 11 of the Bangladesh Forces and the Brigade Commander of Z Force from mid-July during the country's Independence war from Pakistan in 1971. He originally broadcast the Bangladesh declaration of independence on 27 March from Kalurghat radio station in Chittagong. After the war of Independence, Rahman became a brigade commander in Bangladesh Army, and later the deputy chief of staff and chief of staff of Bangladesh Army. His ascent to leadership of the country resulted from a conspiracy that had begun with the killing of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding president of Bangladesh, in a military coup d'état followed by a coup and counter-revolt within the military to gain control at the helm. Ziaur Rahman gained de facto power as head of the government already under martial law imposed by the Mushtaq government. He took over the presidency in 1977. As president in 1978, Rahman founded the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (popularly known by its abbreviation BNP). He reinstated multi-party politics, freedom of the press, free speech and free markets and accountability. He initiated mass irrigation and food production programmes, including social programmes to uplift the lives of the people. His government initiated efforts to a create a regional group in South Asia, which later became SAARC in 1985. He improved Bangladesh's relations with the West and China, and departed from Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's close alignment with India and the Soviet Union. Domestically, Rahman faced as many as twenty-one coup attempts for which trials were set up, and many soldiers and officers of the Bangladesh Armed Forces were executed, which were mostly claimed to be biased and false trials. He was criticized for passing the Indemnity Act and removing the ban on religion-based political parties. Rahman was awarded two gallantry awards for two wars fought in South Asia. Hilal-i-Jurat for the Indo-Pak War in 1965, and Bir Uttom in 1972 for the Bangladesh Independence war 1971 for his wartime contributions. According to the 1986 book Bangladesh: A Legacy of Blood written by Anthony Mascarenhas, Rahman retired from the Bangladesh Army as a Lt. General (promoted by himself) in 1978 with effect from 28 April.The political party he formed in 1978, the BNP, became one of the two dominant political parties of Bangladesh. His wife Khaleda Zia, a former prime minister, is the current chairperson of the BNP.
With an HPI of 62.66, Khawaja Nazimuddin is the 8th most famous Bangladeshi Politician. His biography has been translated into 33 different languages.
Sir Khwaja Nazimuddin (Urdu: خواجہ ناظِمُ الدّین; Bengali: খাজা নাজিমুদ্দীন; 19 July 1894 – 22 October 1964) was a Bengali conservative politician and one of the leading founding fathers of Pakistan. He is noted as being the first Bengali leader of Pakistan who ruled the country first as the Governor-General (1948–51), and later as the Prime Minister (1951–53).Born into an aristocratic Nawab family in Bengal in 1894, he was educated at the Aligarh Muslim University before pursuing his post-graduation studies at the Cambridge University. Upon returning, he emabarked on his journey as a politician on the platform of All-India Muslim League. Initially, his political career revolved around advocating for reforms and development regarding education in Bengal. However, later on he started supporting the cause for a separate Muslim homeland under the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He held the office of Prime Minister of Bengal from 1943 to 1945. After Partition he became the first Chief Minister of East Bengal, an office he held until his ascension to Governor-General in 1948, following the death of Jinnah. In 1951, he relinquished the post of Governor-General to Sir Malik Ghulam and took control of the Federal Government as Prime Minister after the assassination of Liaquat Ali Khan.As prime minister, he struggled to run the government effectively on the internal and foreign fronts, and thus his tenure was short-lived. On the home front, he struggled to maintain law and order in the country and instructed the military to impose martial law in Lahore due to religious riots and stagnation. He also faced a populist language movement in his native Bengal that eventually led to the shutdown of its provincial government. On the foreign front, diplomatic relations with the United States, Soviet Union, Afghanistan, and India soured as republicanism and socialism gained popularity at home. Eventually, he was forced to step down in favor of diplomat Mohammad Ali Bogra by his own appointed Governor-General Sir Malik Ghulam in 1953 and conceded defeat in elections held in 1954. Shortly after retirement from national politics, he suffered a brief illness and died in 1964. He was buried at a Mausoleum in Dhaka.
With an HPI of 61.75, Shahabuddin Ahmed is the 9th most famous Bangladeshi Politician. His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.
Shahabuddin Ahmed (born 1 February 1930) served as the President of Bangladesh from 1996 to 2001, and the Chief Justice of Bangladesh from 1990 to 1995. He previously served as the acting president during 1990-91 when Hussain Muhammad Ershad resigned from the post. He headed a caretaker government and held a general election in February 1991.
With an HPI of 59.89, Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad is the 10th most famous Bangladeshi Politician. His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.
Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad (also spelled Khandakar Mushtaq Ahmed; c. 1918 – 5 March 1996) was a Bangladeshi politician. He was the President of Bangladesh from 15 August to 6 November 1975, after the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He was part of the conspiracy that brought the fatal assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 15 August who took role of the president immediately after the assassination, praised the assassins as "sons of sun" and put cabinet ministers loyal to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in jail.
Pantheon has 15 people classified as politicians born between 250 and 1947. Of these 15, 3 (20.00%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living politicians include Abdul Hamid, Sheikh Hasina, and Shahabuddin Ahmed. The most famous deceased politicians include Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Chandragupta I, and Zillur Rahman. As of October 2020, 1 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including Tajuddin Ahmad.
1920 - 1975
250 - Present
1929 - 2013
1931 - 2012
1936 - 1981
1894 - 1964
1918 - 1996
1925 - 1975
1926 - 2017
1943 - 2016
1893 - 1974
1909 - 1963
Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 11 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.