|Economist and Freedom Fighter
Full Name: Professor Dr. Muzaffar Ahmad
Affiliation: University of Dhaka
Current Position: Deceased
Date of Birth: March 27, 1936
Date of Death: May 22, 2012
Place of Birth: Kolkata, India
Home District: Dhaka
Dr. Muzaffar Ahmad (27 March 1936 – 22 May 2012) was a Bangladeshi educationist, economist and an emeritus professor at the Institute of Business Administration of the University of Dhaka. He has long been the Chairman of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB). The economist was also the president of the citizen organization "Sushashoner Jonno Nagarik", popularly called "SHUJAN," (Citizens for Good Governance). Ahmed was former director of the Institute of Business Administration, Dhaka University. He was awarded the Ekushey Padak by the Government of Bangladesh in 2008.
Ahmed was born in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. He was an extraordinary, brilliant student. He passed Matriculation from Noakhali Zilla School in 1950 and Intermediate from Dhaka College in 1952 and was admitted in the Department of Economics at Dhaka University. He did Honors in 1955 and Masters in 1956. Ahmed started his career at Harganga College as a short-term economics teacher. He later joined the Department of Economics at Dhaka University. He received a scholarship for higher studies at the Sorbonne in Paris from where he moved to the University of Chicago to do his PhD. There he studied under Nobel laureate Milton Friedman but developed his own thought different from free market theory.
Ahmed returned to Dhaka University with his PhD in 1965 and joined the economics department as a teacher. For his anti establishment stance he was soon black listed by the then dictatorial government of Ayub Khan. Due to political persecution from the university authority he left DU in 1967. Later he joined United Bank in Karachi for some time and then joined the East Pakistan Industrical Corporation in 1968 as the director of planning. During his tenure he built up the industrial foundation of Bangladesh overcoming many obstacles from the influential non Bengali industrialists.
After the war of liberation in 1971, he joined the Planning Commission in 1972 in independent Bangladesh. He left the Planning Commission in September 1974. He then joined the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) of Dhaka University as a Professor. He retired after teaching for 30 years and retired in 2004. He has published several books and articles at home and abroad. He has also worked in several international organizations including UNESCO. In 1985 he was elected as the president of Bangladesh Economic Association.
The leading economist Ahmed’s contribution in Bangladesh's economic and educational development was enormous. After his retirement he engaged himself in various civilian movements. As the leader of different civil society organisations he led many civilian movements for national development. He was also one of the most prominent environmentalists in Bangladesh. He led Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (BAPA) an environmentalist organization that specially fought against encroachment of rivers by land grabbers. Ahmed was equally active as the chair of Transparency International, Bangladesh, where the organisation became the guardian voice against the endemic corruption. As the Chair of "SHUJAN," he became a bold and non-partisan voice in favour of better governance.
On 22 May, 2012 great scholar Muzaffar Ahmad died of old age ailments.
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