A vacuum has been created in the civil society due to the demise of Akbar Ali Khan. He is such a good man of rare instance that he has engaged himself in multidimensional activities and achieved extraordinary success in all spheres.
As a government official, he served in the important posts with utmost sincerity. But he was not limited to only that identity. His talent, conscience and writing have taken him to the upper level of professional dignity and wisdom.
I came to know about Akbar Ali Khan when I was admitted to Dhaka University in 1965. As a talented student, he just graduated from the history department with record marks. Later, he achieved higher degree by carrying out research in economics from Queens University in Canada. This education and the research have helped him to become an economist with insight of the history and social awareness.
He seemed to me a man of the arena of study and knowledge than his identity as a bureaucrat. When I was in charge of the finance and planning ministries of the caretaker government in 1996, fortunately I got him as the finance secretary. A difficult time of economic management was to pass at that time. He could nicely write in short any serious problem in government file. His capacity of that writing later reflected in his writing.
Akbar Ali Khan has nicely used his experience of economic management and research in his writing. As a result, he has been able to easily analyse many problems of real lives with his deep insight. That's why his writing is attractive, on the one hand, and infused with profound thinking on the other.
His popular books in Bangla are theoretically rich in knowledge and those books also can be called literary works. He is such a thinker that he deeply observed the socio-economic condition and politics.
He also set up an example as to how he can discharge his duties skillfully as a government official holding important posts avoiding the party politics of the government, which is very important for democratic good governance.
Since joining the Bangladesh government formed in exile during the liberation war, he had kept evidence of his deep love for the country and awareness of the society during his long and diversified works.
The number of such a man of patriotism, knowledge and benevolence is decreasing gradually in the society. His demise is an irreparable loss to the society and the country. I wish blessings for his soul.
* Wahiduddin Mahmud is an economist and former advisor to a caretaker government.
*This article, originally published in Prothom Alo print and Online edition, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam.