Why did Bangladesh president attend an illegal event?


The role of a nation’s president is not merely the highest office but also symbolizes the pinnacle of national regard. Presidents take an oath to uphold constitutional principles, maintaining a detachment from personal biases. However, a recent incident involving President Mohammed Shahabuddin of Bangladesh attending an illegal event arranged by his son, Arshad Adnan, within the presidential palace, Banga Bhaban, has sparked shock and disappointment nationwide.

We too are shocked, stunned, speechless and extremely surprised seeing him attending an illegal event organized by his son – Arshad Adnan, right inside the presidential palace – Banga Bhaban to launch his upcoming commercial movie named ‘Rajkumar’ (Prince), where Adnan did violate protocols and rules as presidential palaces are not the venue for any commercial events. For the entire nation, president’s attending his son’s event was shocking and unexpected.

Arshad Adnan first gained public attention in Bangladesh with the success of his film ‘Priyotoma’ during the previous Eid. The president’s visit to a local cineplex to watch the movie, though unprecedented for a Head of State, raised eyebrows. ‘Priyotoma’ being a commercial film unrelated to Bangladesh’s history or politics made the president’s cineplex visit seem unusual. It appeared more as a bid by Arshad Adnan to leverage his father’s position for media attention rather than a simple movie screening.

Moreover, the recent release of ‘Mujib,’ a significant biopic on the Father of the Nation, did not see any event held at either Banga Bhaban or Gono Bhaban (Prime Minister’s residence), respecting the sentiment of millions of Bangladeshis. In stark contrast, the illegal use of Banga Bhaban for Adnan’s movie event under the guise of celebrating his father’s birthday at the taxpayers’ expense raises crucial questions. Does the president’s familial status warrant such privileges? Are there assurances that Adnan won’t exploit his position further for personal gain?

Since Mohammed Shahabuddin assumed the presidency, his son has been surrounded by a group of sycophants, possibly influencing Adnan’s actions. His earlier announcement of contesting in the parliamentary election with the ruling party’s nomination without consulting party seniors drew criticism. This move seemed inappropriate and raised concerns about potential misuse of his familial connection for political ends.

The nation demands an explanation from the President’s office regarding the breach of protocols allowing the Presidential Palace for Adnan’s personal, commercial use. Authorities must investigate Adnan’s actions thoroughly to prevent further misuse of his identity as the president’s son.

Adnan’s reckless actions have caused nationwide embarrassment, especially amid preparations for a general election. His disregard for the sanctity of December, a month revered for Bangladesh’s hard-won victory against occupation forces, exacerbates the situation.

President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Banga Bhaban officials owe the nation an apology and explanation. Concurrently, strict actions against Adnan, including barring him from state functions, are warranted. Businesses associated with him should undergo heightened scrutiny to prevent further exploitation of his familial connection.

President Mohammed Shahabuddin must ensure his son doesn’t become embroiled in controversies reminiscent of other public figures’ kin. It’s crucial to uphold the sanctity of the presidency and prevent any misuse for personal gains, similar to the hope that Mohammed Shahabuddin won’t allow his son to follow in the footsteps of figures like Hunter Biden.


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