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The Most Famous

POLITICIANS from Bangladesh

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This page contains a list of the greatest Bangladeshi Politicians. The pantheon dataset contains 15,577 Politicians, 24 of which were born in Bangladesh. This makes Bangladesh the birth place of the 95th most number of Politicians behind Mali and Myanmar (Burma).

Top 10

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.

Photo of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman

1. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (1920 - 1975)

With an HPI of 65.29, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is the most famous Bangladeshi Politician.  His biography has been translated into 71 different languages on wikipedia.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Bengali: শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান; 17 March 1920 – 15 August 1975), often shortened as Sheikh Mujib or Mujib and widely known as Bangabandhu (meaning Friend of Bengal), was a Bengali politician, parliamentarian, diarist, and the founding leader of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. He first served as the titular President of the Provisional Government of Bangladesh between April 1971 and January 1972. He then served as Prime Minister of Bangladesh from the Awami League between January 1972 and January 1975. He finally served as President again during BAKSAL from January 1975 till his assassination in August 1975. In 2011, the 15th constitutional amendment in Bangladesh referred to Sheikh Mujib as the Father of the Nation who declared independence; these references were enshrined in the fifth, sixth, and seventh schedules of the constitution.Mujib emerged as a student activist in Bengal during the final years of the British Raj. He rose within the ranks of the Awami League as a fiery and charismatic orator. He became popular for his opposition to the ethnic and institutional discrimination of Bengalis in Pakistan, who comprised the largest ethnic group in the federation. He was elected to public office for the first time in 1954 and championed Bengali identity in Pakistan's constitution making process between 1955 and 1956. Mujib worked in the insurance industry on the sidelines of politics. At the heightening of tensions between East and West Pakistan, he outlined a six-point autonomy plan. He was often jailed for his protests against the Pakistani government. 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 edged towards declaring the independence of Bangladesh in a historic speech on 7 March 1971. On 26 March 1971, Mujib declared Bangladesh's independence after 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 the Bengali population suffered genocide. A nine-month war was fought in his name, which culminated in Pakistan's surrender on 16 December 1971. Mujib was released from Pakistani custody due to international pressure and returned home on 10 January 1972. The jubilation of Bangladeshis over the war's victory and Mujib's homecoming was tempered by the devastation and challenges faced by the new country. Sheikh Mujib was a major populist leader of the 20th century. In governance, Mujib's legacies include the Constitution of Bangladesh, which was enacted within a year of Bangladesh's liberation; as well as the transformation of East Pakistan's state apparatus, bureaucracy, armed forces, and judiciary into an independent Bangladeshi state. He delivered the first Bengali speech to the UN General Assembly in 1974. Mujib's five year regime was the only socialist period in Bangladesh's history. In 1975, Mujib installed a one party state which lasted for seven months until his assassination. His legacy remains divisive among Bangladeshis due to his economic management, the Bangladesh famine of 1974, human rights violations, and authoritarianism. Most Bangladeshis credit him for leading the country to independence in 1971. Many within and outside Bangladesh call him Bangabandhu out of respect. In a 2004 BBC opinion poll, Mujib was voted as the Greatest Bengali of all time and ranked first on the list followed by Asia's first Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore (2nd) and Bangladeshi national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam (3rd). Mujib's diaries and travelogues were published many years after his death and have been translated into several languages.

Photo of Abdul Hamid

2. Abdul Hamid (1944 - )

With an HPI of 62.16, Abdul Hamid is the 2nd most famous Bangladeshi Politician.  His biography has been translated into 54 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.

Photo of Sheikh Hasina

3. Sheikh Hasina (1947 - )

With an HPI of 59.34, Sheikh Hasina is the 3rd most famous Bangladeshi Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 83 different languages.

Sheikh Hasina Wazed (née Sheikh Hasina ; SHEKH ha-si-na; Bengali: শেখ হাসিনা ওয়াজেদ, romanized: Shēkh Hasinā, [ˈʃekʰ ɦɐsina], born 28 September 1947) is a Bangladeshi politician and stateswoman who has served as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh since January 2009. Hasina is the daughter of the founding father and first President of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. 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 18 years. As of 27 November 2022, she is the world's longest-serving female Head of Government in history.However, under her tenure as Prime Minister, Bangladesh has experienced democratic backsliding. Human Rights Watch documented widespread enforced disappearances and extrajudicial killings under her government. Many politicians and journalists have been systematically and judicially punished for challenging her views. Reporters Without Borders in 2021 characterized Sheikh Hasina as a predator for curbing press freedom in Bangladesh since 2014.In 2014, she was re-elected for a third term in an election that was boycotted by the BNP and criticised by international observers. She won her fourth term in 2018, following an election marred with violence and criticised by the opposition as being rigged. Sheikh Hasina has been ranked as one of the most powerful women in the world in several rankings, including Forbes Magazine.

Photo of Chandragupta I

4. Chandragupta I (250 - 335)

With an HPI of 57.85, Chandragupta I is the 4th most famous Bangladeshi Politician.  His biography has been translated into 40 different languages.

Chandragupta I (Gupta script: Cha-ndra-gu-pta, r. c. 319–335 or 319–350 CE) was a king of the Gupta Empire, who ruled in northern and central 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 Licchavi princess Kumaradevi helped him extend his political power. Their son Samudragupta further expanded the Gupta empire.

Photo of Zillur Rahman

5. Zillur Rahman (1929 - 2013)

With an HPI of 56.70, Zillur Rahman is the 5th most famous Bangladeshi Politician.  His biography has been translated into 48 different languages.

Mohammed Zillur Rahman (9 March 1929 – 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.

Photo of Ziaur Rahman

6. Ziaur Rahman (1936 - 1981)

With an HPI of 54.45, Ziaur Rahman is the 6th most famous Bangladeshi Politician.  His biography has been translated into 36 different languages.

Lt. General Ziaur Rahman BU HJ (19 January 1936 – 30 May 1981), was a Bangladeshi military officer and politician who served as the President of Bangladesh from 1977 to 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 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 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. 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 29 April.The political party Rahman formed in 1978, the BNP, has remained one of the two dominant political parties of Bangladesh alongside its chief rival, the Awami League. Since Rahman's death, his wife, Khaleda Zia, has presided as chairperson of the party and served 2 full terms as prime minister during her tenure.

Photo of Mir Jafar

7. Mir Jafar (1691 - 1765)

With an HPI of 53.16, Mir Jafar is the 7th most famous Bangladeshi Politician.  Her biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Sayyid Mīr Jaʿfar ʿAlī Khān Bahādur (c. 1691 – 5 February 1765) was a military general who became the first dependent Nawab of Bengal of the British East India Company. His reign has been considered by many historians as the start of the expansion of British control of the Indian subcontinent in Indian history and a key step in the eventual British domination of vast areas of pre-partition India. Mir Jafar served as the commander of the Bengali army under Siraj ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal, but betrayed him during the Battle of Plassey and succeeded Daulah after the British victory in 1757. Mir Jafar received military support from the East India Company until 1760, when he failed to satisfy various British demands. In 1758, Robert Clive discovered that Jafar had made a treaty with the Dutch East India Company at Chinsurah through his agent Khoja Wajid. Dutch ships of the line were also seen in the River Hooghly. Jafar's dispute with the British eventually led to the Battle of Chinsurah. British company official Henry Vansittart proposed that since Jafar was unable to cope with the difficulties, Mir Qasim, Jafar's son-in-law, should act as Deputy Subahdar. In October 1760, the company forced him to abdicate in favor of Qasim. However, the East India Company eventually overthrew Qasim as well due to disputes over trade policies. Jafar was restored as the Nawab in 1763 with the support of the company. Mir Qasim, however, refused to accept this and went to war against the company. Jafar ruled until his death on 5 February 1765 and lies buried at the Jafarganj Cemetery in Murshidabad, West Bengal. Due to his role in helping the British colonize India, and the eventual downfall of the Mughal Empire, Mir Jafar is reviled in the Indian subcontinent as a traitor, especially among the Bengalis in both India and Bangladesh. Though some historians have tried to rehabilitate his name, it has become synonymous with the word treason among the people of the region.

Photo of Iajuddin Ahmed

8. Iajuddin Ahmed (1931 - 2012)

With an HPI of 52.73, Iajuddin Ahmed is the 8th most famous Bangladeshi Politician.  His biography has been translated into 41 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).

Photo of Khawaja Nazimuddin

9. Khawaja Nazimuddin (1894 - 1964)

With an HPI of 52.01, Khawaja Nazimuddin is the 9th most famous Bangladeshi Politician.  His biography has been translated into 33 different languages.

Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin (Urdu pronunciation: [xəʋəd͡ʒə nəzɪmud̪ːn]; Bengali pronunciation: [kʰawadʒa nazimuɖːi̯n]; 19 July 1894 – 22 October 1964), KCIE was a Pakistani barrister, politician and statesman and among the founding fathers of Pakistan. He served as the 2nd Governor-General of Pakistan from 1948 to 1951 and as 2nd Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1951 to 1953.Born to an aristocratic nawab family in Dacca in 1894, he was educated at Aligarh Muslim University and the University of Cambridge. He joined the All-India Muslim League and supported the cause for a separate Muslim homeland, rising to become the party's principal Bengali leader and a close associate of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He served as Prime Minister of Bengal in British India from 1943 to 1945, and later as the 1st Chief Minister of East Bengal in independent Pakistan. Nazimuddin ascended to Governor-General in 1948 after the death of Jinnah, before becoming Prime Minister in 1951 following the assassination of his predecessor, Liaquat Ali Khan. His term was marked by constant power struggles with his own successor as Governor-General, Ghulam Muhammad, as law and order deteriorated amid the rise of the Bengali language movement and protests in his native Dhaka in 1952, and religious riots in Lahore a year later. The latter crisis saw the first instance of martial law, limited to the city, and led to Ghulam Muhammad dismissing Nazimuddin on 17 April 1953. Nazimuddin's ministry was the first federal government to be dismissed in Pakistan's history, though his former ministers Sardar Abdur Rab Nishtar, Abdul Sattar Pirzada, and Mahmud Husain refused to take oath in the new cabinet. He retired from national politics, passing away after a brief illness in 1964. He is buried at the Mausoleum of Three Leaders in Dhaka.

Photo of Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad

10. Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad (1918 - 1996)

With an HPI of 50.37, Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad is the 10th most famous Bangladeshi Politician.  His biography has been translated into 19 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 about the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 15 August 1975. He took on the role of president immediately after the assassination, praised the assassins as "sons of the sun" and put cabinet ministers loyal to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in jail.

Pantheon has 24 people classified as politicians born between 250 and 1983. Of these 24, 5 (20.83%) 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 April 2022, 8 new politicians have been added to Pantheon including A. K. Fazlul Huq, Kalpana Datta, and Abu Sayeed Chowdhury.

Living Politicians

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Deceased Politicians

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Newly Added Politicians (2022)

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Which Politicians were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 17 most globally memorable Politicians since 1700.