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Stories about Bangabandhu inspired Tulip to join politics

42Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s grand-daughter Tulip Siddiq, who is on her first visit to Bangladesh after being elected a British MP, takes part in a function at the Uttara unit of Dhaka’s Scholastica School on Wednesday.
British MP Tulip Siddiq says stories about her maternal grandfather Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, narrated by her mother and aunt, inspired her to enter politics.

She made the statement at an event titled ‘Inspirational Women’ at Dhaka’s Uttara on Wednesday.
Siddiq, elected to the House of Commons on a Labour Party ticket at the elections in Britain in May this year, said even though she had never seen her grandfather, who was Bangladesh’s founding father, she had heard stories about him from her mother Sheikh Rehana and her aunt, prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
Scholastica School organised the event to facilitate an exchange of views between girl students and successful women in different fields, including business, journalism and politics.
Students from nine schools joined the event.
A former student of Scholastica, Tulip, at the outset said, “Since my childhood I wanted to be a politician, an MP.”
“Not everyone will like to be a politician. But whatever you do, do it with sincerity,” she advised the students.
The 33-year old British lawmaker has already found a place in the opposition Labour Party’s shadow cabinet.
In an interview with bdnews24.com after her victory in the UK election, she had said her aunt Sheikh Hasina was her political mentor.
She was born in London in 1982. Seven years before her birth, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, along with most members of his family, was assassinated in a violent coup.
Tulip’s mother Sheikh Rehana and aunt Sheikh Hasina survived as they were abroad at the time.
“After hearing the stories about my maternal grandfather and the Liberation War, I decided to join politics.  I grew up hearing stories from my mother and my aunt about what my grandfather used to do for the people, how he used to worry about the nation,” she told journalists after the event.
Though Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has served as an inspiration for her, the British MP considers her aunt Sheikh Hasina her political “role model.”
“I have always seen my mother and aunt discussing the well-being of the people of Bangladesh. Aunt has always been my role model.”
On being asked whether she had any plans to join Bangladesh politics in future, she said, “It’s difficult to say what will happen in future. I have just become an MP… ask me five years later.”
“I could have started my political career from here. The purpose of politics is to serve the people. One can serve the people anywhere.”
Bangabandhu’s granddaughter also expressed her desire to work for Bangladesh from the UK, if given an opportunity.
Though she was born in London, she spent some early days of her life in Bangladesh. During that time she went to school at Scholastica.
Recalling those days, she said, “I had never thought even in my dream that I would come here again. It’s a wonderful feeling being here.”
“I had told my husband that I would interact with students during my maiden visit to Bangladesh after being elected as an MP,” she said.
Highlighting the formidable presence of women in Bangladesh politics, she encouraged girl students to “stride forward.”
“The Prime Minister, the Opposition leader and even the Speaker in Bangladesh are women. Don’t forget, even the UK can’t boast of this,” Tulip pointed out.