Bangladesh president’s son puts the country into highest embarrassment


In a move that has stirred controversy and public criticism, Arshad Adnan, son of Bangladesh’s President Mohammed Shahabuddin, has chosen the Banga Bhaban (Presidential Palace) as the venue for the launch of his commercial movie ‘Rajkumar’. This marks the first time in the nation’s history, or even the world’s history, that the Presidential Palace, a symbol of national governance and pride, has been used for such a filthy commercial purpose.

The film ‘Rajkumar’, at the center of the controversy involving the Banga Bhaban in Bangladesh, brings together a notable team in the film industry. Directed by Himel Ashraf, the movie is produced by Arshad Adnan, son of Bangladesh’s President Mohammed Shahabuddin, whose decision to use the Presidential Palace for the film’s mahurat (launch) has sparked huge debate. Adding to the film’s prominence is the involvement of Shakib Khan, a renowned figure in the Bangladesh movie industry, and an American actress, whose names lend further star power to the project.

The decision to use the Presidential Palace for the launch of a commercial film, especially one that does not relate to the national interest of Bangladesh has raised sharp ethical and legal questions. The Presidential Palace should not be a platform for personal or commercial activities, particularly those that do not align with the country’s cultural or historical values.

This shows the lack of transparency in the decision-making process at the highest level in Bangladesh, a country currently under international spotlight due to ongoing political chaos and the upcoming general election. There is no clear indication of who authorized the use of the Presidential Palace for this event, leading to concerns about the misuse of state resources and potential conflicts of interest. This incident summons a high-level investigation. This event sparked a need for stricter regulations and guidelines to prevent the misuse of national symbols and properties for individual benefits.

Some critics said that Bangladesh’s president’s son might have chosen the Presidential Palace as the venue for launching his film to exhibit his influence as the president’s son. It is unknown if Arshad Adnan has completed all legal proceedings for casting a foreign actress in the movie and for the financial transactions in foreign currency.

It’s noteworthy to mention that even the film ‘Mujib: The Making of a Nation’, a biopic of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and a prestigious joint venture between Bangladesh and India and directed by the esteemed Shyam Benegal, was not launched from Banga Bhaban or Gono Bhaban (Prime Minister’s Palace). This film, which holds immense historical, cultural and emotional values, depicting the life of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh, was given a more conventional launch, respecting the norms that separate state functions from entertainment ventures. The decision to not use Banga Bhaban or Gono Bhaban for the launch of such a prestigious project starkly contrasts with the recent choice to use the Presidential Palace for the commercial movie ‘Rajkumar’, highlighting the unusual nature of Arshad Adnan’s decision and underscoring the need for consistent protocols in the use of state properties.

The use of the Presidential Palace for the commercial movie’s mahurat has not only raised legal and ethical questions but also sparked a broader discussion about accountability and the separation of state and personal interests in Bangladesh.

Rajkumar Movie’s launch from Presidential Palace of Bangladesh (File Photo)

In a striking parallel to this event surrounding Arshad Adnan in Bangladesh, Hunter Biden, son of US President Joe Biden, has also faced scrutiny and legal challenges for allegedly leveraging his father’s political influence for personal gain. Just as Hunter Biden’s actions have led to calls for accountability and transparency in the United States, the situation with Arshad Adnan, son of Bangladesh’s President Mohammed Shahabuddin, similarly demands scrutiny. Adnan’s decision to use the Presidential Palace for the launch of his commercial movie ‘Rajkumar’ should be condemned as an unprofessional and deliberate misuse of presidential influence for personal benefit. This incident not only mirrors the ethical dilemmas seen in the Hunter Biden case but also underscores the universal need for clear boundaries between public office and personal interests, ensuring that those in positions of power are held to the highest standards of integrity and accountability.

Rajkumar-movie-cast-with-Arshad Adnan
Arshad Adnan posing with Rajkumar movie cast (File Photo)

The controversy surrounding Hunter Biden, who faced criticism for merely attending a White House event, pales in comparison to the situation with Arshad Adnan in Bangladesh. Adnan has gone beyond mere attendance; he is actively occupying and utilizing the prestigious Presidential Palace for the launch of his commercial movie ‘Rajkumar’. This act of using a significant state symbol for personal gain is seen as a more severe overstep, raising serious questions about the misuse of state resources and the blurring of lines between public office and personal interests. The incident not only reflects poorly on ethical standards but also sets a concerning precedent, demanding urgent attention and rectification to uphold the integrity of state institutions.

As Bangladesh approaches its general elections, the electorate is increasingly vigilant about the use of government entities and influence for personal gains, a concern highlighted by the recent incident involving Arshad Adnan, son of President Mohammed Shahabuddin.

Notably, just a few months ago, Arshad Adnan, through a press conference sought  nomination from the ruling Awami League to contest in the election from his father’s ancestral home. His decision to use the Presidential Palace for launching his commercial movie ‘Rajkumar’ casts a shadow on his professional judgment and raises questions about his suitability for public office. Such actions, perceived as leveraging familial connections for personal advantage, can significantly impact the public’s trust in political institutions. As the nation prepares for elections, it is imperative for political figures and their affiliates to demonstrate a commitment to ethical conduct and respect for the separation of public duties and personal interests.

The nation awaits clarification from the President’s office regarding the violation of protocols and permissions involved in the use of the Presidential Palace for the purely commercial and private purpose of the president’s son. Furthermore, authorities concerned need to investigate Arshad Adnan to ensure, he is not committing similar offenses or mis-using his identity of being the son of the president of the country for any other known or unknown actions.

This reckless activity of Arshad Adnan certainly has put the entire country into extreme embarrassment, particularly at a time when the country is heading towards a general election. Furthermore, he also has crossed the red-line by holding such even at the cost of taxpayer’s money during the month of December, which is extremely sacred to every Bangladeshi as in this month, they won victory by fighting a 9-month-long bloody war against Pakistani occupation forces.

Bangladesh’s President Mohammed Shahabuddin and officials at Banga Bhaban owe an explanation and apology to the entire nation. At the same time, authorities concerned should take stern actions against Arshad Adnan – declare him Persona Non Grata at Banga Bhaban and all state functions, and warn him to refrain from using the good name of the President of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh for personal gains and ventures. At the same time, businesses and movie ventures should now come under stricter scrutiny of the authorities concerned.


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