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Zainul Haque Sikder

A towering luminary

Published : 31 Jan 2024 10:32 PM | Updated : 01 Feb 2024 12:21 PM

Zainul Haque Sikder, a legendary figure known for building social, political, educational and healthcare institutions in Bangladesh, will be ever remembered by people. Apart from being a Valiant Freedom Fighter he was a pioneer in promoting the country’s trade, commerce and financial institutions.

Zainul Haque Sikder was a close confidant of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He was a business and industrial magnate, who made a significant contribution in the economic progress of the country. He was a rare personality who earned an exalted reputation as a great businessman, industrialist, social worker and a philanthropist in the whole of Bangladesh. 

He launched various businesses in Bangladesh in sectors like banking, real estate, medical education, aviation, residential hotel, power generation and garments. At present, Sikder Group operates different businesses in Bangladesh, Thailand, Singapore, the UAE, Poland, France and the USA successfully. Sikder Group, with its financial organisations, contributed a lot to Bangladesh economy at its nascent stage.

Zainul Haque Sikder was born in Assam, India on August 12, 1930 to Mokfor Uddin Sikder and Zarina Sikder. His father was first a forester and later a well-known contractor. After the partition in 1947, he moved to then East Pakistan with his family. Though he was born in Assam, his ancestors were living in South Bengal. Because of the roots, he later developed Kartikpur, a sleeping hamlet in Bhedarganj in Shariatpur district, into an urban-like area by dint of his own efforts. Now the area is full of almost all civic amenities and educational facilities as he established schools, colleges, madrasas, mosques, a medical college and a university in that village. 

He actively participated in the Liberation War. He went to his village Kartikpur in April 1971. Earlier, when Sector-2 Commander Khaled Mosharraf asked him to go to Dhaka and fight, Zainul Haque Sikder did not agree. He formed the daring Akkas Bahini comprising retired members of the law enforcement agencies and people from various strata of society. The Akkas Bahini played a vital role in freeing several police stations in Shariatpur from the control of Pakistan troops at the time.

A brave political person and a freedom fighter known for his indomitable courage, Zainul Haque Sikder was among the first ones to protest against the brutal killing of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in August 1975. Despite untold odds and hurdles and shock of the August Tragedy, Zainul Haque Sikder expanded his business ventures at the international level. His worthy children have achieved a great success at home and abroad in organising multi-dimensional business and commerce.

A brave, outspoken and self-made man, Zainul Haque Sikder was also an educational entrepreneur. With his own funds, he has set up a modern full-fledged private university in a remote area of Shariatpur, two medical colleges -- the country's first women's medical college in the capital and the other at Madhupur in Shariatpur – for the welfare of people. He has also established 10 schools and colleges and over 50 mosques and madrasas in his area and in Dhaka.

The life of Zainul Haque Sikder, an enterprising man, a social entrepreneur, industrialist and banker, was flecked with sun and shower. He will remain a symbol of courage and firm determination forever as a source of inspiration to the future generation to come. This towering personality is still and will remain alive in our memory as a symbol of success

10th February is the third death anniversary of Zainul Haque Sikder and we pay great homage to him from deeper than the surface of our heart.

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