Educationist Dr Zillur Rahman passes away
Dr Zillur Rahman Khan, a renowned Bangladeshi-American educationist and professor of political science, passed away while undergoing treatment at a nursing home in Orlando of Florida, USA on Saturday.
The 83-year old political scientist, educator, and writer breathed his last around 2pm, USA time.
Hailing from Faridpur, Dr Zillur was president of Bangladesh Foundation USA for 39 years, since 1982. He was also an adviser of Awami League's central Florida unit.
He was the Rosebush Professor Emeritus of University of Wisconsin in USA.
Even after his retirement from the university and moving to Florida, he continued teaching for a number of years as an adjunct professor at Rollins College near Orlando.
Zillur Rahman received numerous awards including Willard Smith Distinguished Teaching Award at the departmental level, Rosebush Professorship Award at the university level, and was recognised twice by American Political Science Association for Excellence in Teaching and Research.
Recognising his contributions to political science focusing mainly on South Asia, the Foreign Affairs Committee of US Congress invited him to testify in a Congressional Hearing (100th Congress) on Democratisation of Bangladesh and Afghanistan in 1988.
Zillur Rahman was also involved with several professional and academic groups, organised and chaired many national and international conferences and was active in South Asian studies out of the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
He was the chairman of RC 37 of International Political Science Association.
He had many publications to his credit and was a strong contributor to the International Political Science Association as well as a contributor to the Asian Studies Journal, and provided regular commentary and interviews on Voice of America.
He had authored 10 books, 20 book chapters and over 50 scholarly articles in regional and international journals, including: "Leadership in the Least Developed Nation: Bangladesh (Syracuse University, 1983)", "Martial Law to Martial Law: Leadership Crisis in Bangladesh (UPL, 1984)", "The Third World Charismat: Sheikh Mujib and the Struggle for Freedom (UPL, 1996)" and "SAARC and the Superpowers (UPL, 1991)".
In 2010, Zillur Rahman edited a volume of selected papers presented at a conference on Bangladesh at Harvard University, USA, published by UPL.
Born on November 21, 1938 to educationist Khan Bahadur Abdur Rahman Khan and Begum Khadija Khatun, Zillur Rahman obtained his PhD degree from the University of Claremont in California in 1967.
He was predeceased by his two elder brothers -- Mahbubur Rahman Khan, controller of examination, Dhaka University, and Dr Fazlur Rahman Khan, a world-renowned structural engineer.
Zillur Rahman had a vibrant personality and always radiated positivity. His passions included music, photography, travel, and he loved to sing Tagore songs.
He is survived by his wife Tanjina Khan, four children -- Rezaur Khan, Tamiz Khan, Kabir Khan and Mary Khan, and his only sister Masuda Khan Lina.
His namaz-e-janaza was held yesterday around 12:30pm USA time, at around 10:30pm Bangladesh time, following burial at the Muslim Cemetery of Central Florida.