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Mahbubul Alam: a giant among giants, a gentleman among gentlemen

Tribute by Sir Frank Peters :: It is with profound sadness I read while overseas about the death of Mahbubul Alam, former Editor of The Independent, former adviser to the caretaker government of Bangladesh in 2007, and doyen of the Bangladesh newspaper industry.

It grieves me that although we maintained a friendship and regular contact spanning a period of 15-years and shared many anecdotes and laughs together, I knew nothing about his ill health. It was a subject never mentioned in our conversations.

There are some editors of Bangladeshi publications whom I admire and respect enormously -– both professionally and personally – not just for their God-given talents in creating and producing a commercially viable profitable publication, but one that benefits society, individually and collectively. Mahbubul was one of those – a giant among giants, a gentleman among gentlemen.

Mahbubul to me was the mentor of many professionals, the gentleman and doyen of the Bangladesh newspaper industry and a friend to all. He was a consummate gentleman, consummate professional and perhaps the most approachable editor on the planet.

His demise is a gigantic loss to the Bangladesh newspaper industry and nation at large. I know I will miss him enormously and only wish that I had thanked him more often for all the support he gave my anti corporal punishment in schools campaign, which he was the first to publicise and encourage.

Unfortunately, we take much for granted in life. We assume the people whom we love and admire will always be around us to love and admire and no immediate action is necessary… until it’s too late. Fortunately, for me, I expressed my gratitude and admiration to him when he was alive; but now wished I had been more generous and more frequent.

May Allah offer him the peace and tranquility he richly deserves and embrace him eternally with love and affection.

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