Muchkund Dubey, a true friend of Bangladesh, passes away

Muchkund Dubey

Muchkund Dubey, India's former foreign secretary and a true friend of Bangladesh, has passed away. He breathed his last yesterday, Wednesday, at Fortis Escorts Hospital in Delhi.

According to the Indian news media, the 90-year-old Muchkund Dubey had been ailing for the past month or so. He was suffering to various old-age health complications.

Muchkund Dubey was born on 3 November 1933 in Deoghar of the Indian state Jharkand (a part of previously undivided Bihar). After earning a Master's degree in economics from Patna University in 1956, he taught there for a year. He went on to pursue higher studies in economics at Oxford and New University. He was accorded a DLit degree from Kolkata University.

In 1957 Muchkund Dubey joined the Indian foreign service. He served as a diplomat in Tehran, Geneva, Berne, New York and Dhaka. He was the Indian high commissioner in Dhaka from 1979 till 1982. From 1982 till 1985 he served as India's permanent representative to the United Nations. After retiring as India's foreign secretary in 1991, he was a professor of economics at Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University from 1992 to 1999. He was later the president of Delhi's Council for Social Development.

He married Basanti Mishra on 28 May 1958. When Muchkund Dubey was Indian high commissioner in Dhaka, Basanti Dubey trained in Nazrul Sangeet under Bangladesh's eminent artiste and Nazrul Sangeet exponent Sohrab Hossain. The couple has two daughters. Madhu Dubey is a professor of English at Chicago University in the US and Medha Dubey is a journalist in Delhi.

Muchkund Dubey carried out research on various issues including global economics, international trade and finance systems, international security and disarmament, development cooperation, South Asian cooperation and India's socioeconomic development. He has written and edited many books and articles on these subjects.

Muchkund Dubey would regularly comment on Bangladesh-India relations. Several of his interviews were published in Prothom Alo. He often spoke in favour of Bangladesh's interests.

Muchkund Dubey was a Lalon enthusiast and translated many of Lalon's songs into Hindi. These were even published as a book.

His last rites will be performed in New Delhi today, Thursday.