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Book Review: Memoirs Of A Life Insurance Icon: Khuda Buksh

Author : Todd Rutherford

Memoirs of a Life Insurance Icon: Khuda Buksh, compiled by Muhammad Rahim, is an English translation of the inspirational South Asian text that changed the meaning of accessible life insurance worldwide. To make the book globally accessible, the original Bengali text has been converted into English. Often times, grandiose revolutionary and world-altering acts, especially in foreign countries, are lost in history; however, the purpose of this book is to demonstrate just how big an impact Khuda Buksh and his life insurance ventures had on Pakistan and Bangladesh.

What is most fascinating about this book is that it highlights the overcoming of entrenched, age-old, taboo perceptions of religion and life in Pakistan. The book narrates Khuda Bukhs's life experiences and the impact his contributions in life insurance had on molding the mindset and broadening the horizons of the nations of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

Memoirs of a Life Insurance Icon: Khuda Buksh is a must read for students of South Asian studies, researchers, and anyone interested in an inspirational story about one man's endeavors to make more secure the lives of the people of his nation. Using first-hand sources such as interviews and secondary articles about Buksh, Muhammad Rahim conveys Buksh's resolve to spread life insurance awareness in a severely underdeveloped, third world nation.

Interestingly, the book discusses, in depth, the negativity with which religious sects have shunned life insurance policies, and Buksh's ceaseless efforts to overcome this barrier. Known for his honesty and straightforward nature, the book shows how Khuda Buksh wins over the hearts of the people of both Pakistan and Bangladesh--formerly East Pakistan--through his seventeen years as a chief (life/general manager) of an insurance company.

In Buksh's own words, "Be proud of your job. Let it be written in gold letters on the pages of your mind that it is your honorable duty as a life insurance salesman to mobilize...Keep your watchful eyes ever vigilant so that no breadwinner of your area of activities dies leaving his family uncared for." Though the book is primarily about life insurance, the underlying theme is to strive to excel at whatever you do.

With regard to life insurance, Khuda Buksh is ultimately of noteworthy status. More than anything else, this book is full of intrigue because it is compiled by Buksh's third son, Muhammad Rahim. The book flows throughout and the various illustrations depicting the heart of life insurance in South Asia make the book that much easier to comprehend and relate to. Being able to access a first-hand account of Buksh's own words is also an element that is generally not available in most other mediums.

Ultimately, the quote that is most emblematic of Buksh's passion--bordering on obsession--for his lifelong work, and spreading awareness for life insurance: "There is no necessity to build a memorial for him. The history of insurance in Bangladesh itself is a memorial for him. He had no equal, no parallel, and no rival. Insurance and Khuda Buksh are synonymous."

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Tags:   Life Insurance, South Asian, Bengali, Pakistan, Bangladesh

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Submitted : 2010-12-17    Word Count : 870    Times Viewed: 937