A. K. Fazlul Huq

Abul Kasem Fazlul Huq (26 October 1873 — 27 April 1962)[1] was a Bengali lawyer, legislator and statesman in the 20th century. Huq was a major political figure in British India and later in Pakistan (including East Pakistan, which is now Bangladesh). He was one of the most reputed lawyers in the High Court of Calcutta and High Court of Dacca. Born in Bakerganj, he was an alumnus of the University of Calcutta. He worked in the regional civil service and began his political career in Eastern Bengal and Assam in 1906.

Huq was first elected to the Bengal Legislative Council from Dacca in 1913; and served on the council for 21 years until 1934.[2] He was a member of the Central Legislative Assembly for 2 years, between 1934 and 1936.[2] For 10 ten years between 1937 and 1947, he was an elected member of the Bengal Legislative Assembly, where he was Prime Minister and Leader of the House for 6 years.[2] He was later elected to the East Bengal Legislative Assembly, where he was Chief Minister for 2 months; and to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, where he was Home Minister for 1 year, in the 1950s.

Huq boycotted titles and knighthood granted by the British government. He is popularly known with the title of Sher-e-Bangla (Lion of Bengal). He was notable for his English oratory during speeches to the Bengali legislature.[3] Huq courted the votes of the Bengali middle classes and rural communities. He pushed for land reform and curbing the influence of zamindars.[4] Huq was considered a leftist and social democrat on the political spectrum. His ministries were marked by intense factional infighting. In 1940, Huq had one of his most notable political achievements, when he presented the Lahore Resolution. During the Second World War, Huq joined the Viceroy of India's defence council and supported Allied war efforts. Under pressure from the Governor of Bengal during the Quit India movement and after the withdrawal of the Hindu Mahasabha from his cabinet, Huq resigned from the post of premier in March 1943. In the Dominion of Pakistan, Huq worked for five years as East Bengal's attorney general and participated in the Bengali Language Movement. He was elected as chief minister, served as a federal minister and was a provincial governor in the 1950s.

Huq became secretary of the Bengal Provincial Muslim League in 1913. In 1929, he founded the All Bengal Tenants Association, which evolved into a political platform, including as a part of the post-partition United Front. Huq held important political offices in the subcontinent, including President of the All India Muslim League (1916-1921), General Secretary of the Indian National Congress (1916-1918), Education Minister of Bengal (1924), Mayor of Calcutta (1935), Prime Minister of Bengal (1937-1943), Advocate General of East Bengal (1947-1952), Chief Minister of East Bengal (1954), Home Minister of Pakistan (1955-1956) and Governor of East Pakistan (1956-1958). Huq was fluent in Bengali, English and Urdu, and had a working knowledge of Arabic and Persian.[2] Huq died in Dacca, East Pakistan on 27 April 1962. He is buried in the Mausoleum of Three Leaders. The Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area of Dhaka, which houses the National Parliament, is named after Huq. The Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium is also named after him. In 2004, Huq was voted fourth in a BBC poll of the Greatest Bengali of all time.[5]

Sher-e-Bangla
শেরেবাংলা

Abul Kasem Fazlul Huq
আবুল কাশেম ফজলুল হক
A k fazlul hoque
1st Prime Minister of Bengal
In office
1 April 1937 – 29 March 1943
Governor-GeneralThe Marquess of Linlithgow
GovernorMichael Knatchbull, 5th Baron Brabourne
John Arthur Herbert
Preceded byPost created
Succeeded bySir Khawaja Nazimuddin
3rd Chief Minister of East Bengal
In office
3 April 1954 – 29 May 1954
GovernorChaudhry Khaliquzzaman Iskander Mirza
Preceded byNurul Amin
Succeeded byAbu Hussain Sarkar
5th Home Minister of Pakistan
In office
11 August 1955 – 9 March 1956
PresidentIskander Mirza
Prime MinisterChaudhry Muhammad Ali
Preceded byIskander Mirza
Succeeded byAbdus Sattar
2nd Governor of East Pakistan
In office
March 1956 – 13 April 1958
PresidentIskander Mirza
Preceded byAmiruddin Ahmad
Succeeded bySultanuddin Ahmad
Personal details
Born
Abul Kasem Fazlul Huq

26 October 1873
Bakerganj, Bengal Presidency, British India
(now Barisal District, Bangladesh)
Died27 April 1962 (aged 88)
Dacca, East Pakistan,
(now Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Resting placeMausoleum of three leaders
CitizenshipBritish Indian (1873–1947)
Dominion of Pakistan (1947–1956)
East Pakistan (1956–1962)
Political partyBengal Provincial Muslim League, All India Muslim League, Indian National Congress, Krishak Praja Party
Spouse(s)Khurshid Begum
Jannatunissa Begum
Mussammat Khadija Begum
ChildrenA. K. Faezul Huq
Alma materCalcutta University

Early life and education

Huq was born into a middle class Bengali Muslim family in Bakerganj in 1873. He was the son of Muhammad Wazid, a reputed lawyer[1] of the Barisal Bar, and Sayedunnessa Khatun. His paternal grandfather Kazi Akram Ali was a Mukhtar and a scholar of Arabic and Persian. Initially home schooled,[1] he later attended the Barisal District School, where he passed the FA Examination in 1890. Huq moved to Calcutta for his higher education.[1] He sat for his bachelor's degree exam in 1894, in which he achieved a triple honours in chemistry, mathematics and physics from the Presidency College now (Presidency University). He then obtained a master's degree in mathematics from the University of Calcutta in 1896. He obtained his Bachelor in Law from the University Law College in Calcutta in 1897.[6]

Civil servant and lawyer

Calcutta High Court - Kolkata 2011-12-18 0322
The Calcutta High Court, where Huq practiced law for over 40 years

From 1908 to 1912, Huq was the Assistant Registrar of Co-operatives. He resigned from public service and opted for public life and law. Being advised by Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee, he joined the bar council of the Calcutta High Court and started legal practice.[2] He practiced in the Calcutta High Court for 40 years.

Legislator

All India Muslim league conference 1906 attendees in Dhaka
Huq joined the All India Muslim Education Conference in Dhaka in 1906, which founded the All India Muslim League.

After the First Partition of Bengal, Huq attended the All India Muhammadan Educational Conference hosted by Sir Khwaja Salimullah in Dacca, the erstwhile capital of Eastern Bengal and Assam. The conference led to the formation of the All India Muslim League. The annulment of the partition led to the formation of the Bengal Provincial Muslim League, in which Huq became secretary. With the patronage of Sir Salimullah and Syed Nawab Ali Chowdhury, he was elected to the Bengal Legislative Council from Dacca Division in 1913.

In 1916, Huq was elected president of the All India Muslim League. Huq was one of those who were instrumental behind formulating the Lucknow Pact of 1916 between the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League. In 1917 Huq was a Joint Secretary of the Indian National Congress and from 1918-1919 he served as the organization’s General Secretary. He is the only person in history to concurrently hold the presidency of the League and the general secretary's position in the Congress. In 1918, Huq presided over the Delhi Session of the All India Muslim League.[2]

In 1919, Huq was chosen as a member of the Punjab Enquiry Committee along with Motilal Nehru, Chittaranjan Das and other prominent leaders set up by the Indian National Congress to investigate the Amritsar massacre. Huq was the president of the Midnapore Session of the Bengal Provincial Conference in 1920.[2]

During the Khilafat movement, Huq led the pro-British faction within the Bengal Provincial Muslim League, while his rival Maniruzzaman Islamabadi led the pro-Ottoman faction. Huq also differed with the Congress leadership during its non-cooperation movement. Huq favored working within the constitutional framework rather than boycotting legislatures and colleges. He later resigned from the Congress.

In 1924, Huq served as education minister of Bengal for six months under the dyarchy system.

Huq ministries

First Premiership (1937-1941)

Working Committee
The Working Committee of the Lahore Resolution in 1940. Prime Minister Huq is standing beside M. A. Jinnah (third from left on the bottom row)

The dyarchy was replaced by provincial autonomy in 1935, with the first general elections held in 1937. Huq transformed the All Bengal Tenants Association into the Krishak Praja Party. During the election campaign period, Huq emerged as a major populist figure of Bengal. His party won 35 seats in the Bengal Legislative Assembly during the Indian provincial elections, 1937. It was the third largest party after the Bengal Congress and Bengal Provincial Muslim League. The Congress refused to form government due to its pan-Indian policy of boycotting legislatures. Huq formed a coalition with the Bengal Provincial Muslim League and independent legislators. He was elected as the Leader of the House and the 1st Prime Minister of Bengal.

Huq’s cabinet include Nalini Ranjan Sarkar (finance), Bijoy Prasad Singha Roy (revenue), Maharaja Srish Chandra Nandy (communications and public works), Prasanna Deb Raikut (forest and excise), Mukunda Behari Mallick (cooperative credit and rural indebtedness), Sir Khwaja Nazimuddin (home), Nawab Khwaja Habibullah (agriculture and industry), Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy (commerce and labour), Nawab Musharraf Hussain (judicial and legislative), and Syed Nausher Ali (public health and local self-government).[2]

In 1940, Huq was selected by Muhammad Ali Jinnah to formally present the Lahore Resolution, which envisaged ‘independent states’ in the eastern and northwestern parts of India.

One of the notable measures taken by Huq included using both administrative and legal measures to relieve the debts of peasants and farmers. He protected the poor agriculturists from the clutches of the usurious creditors by enforcing the Bengal Agricultural Debtors' Act (1938). He established Debt Settlement Boards in all parts of Bengal. The Money Lenders' Act (1938) and the Bengal Tenancy (Amendment) Act (1938) improved the lot of the peasants. The Land Revenue Commission appointed by the Government of Bengal on 5 November 1938 with Sir Francis Floud as Chairman, submitted the final report on 21 March 1940. This was the most valuable document related to the land system of the country. The Tenancy Act of 1885 was amended by the Act of 1938 and thereby all provisions relating to enhancement of rent were suspended for a period of 10 years. It also abolished all kinds of ABWAB and selamis (imposts) imposed traditionally by the zamindars on raiyats. The raiyats got the right to transfer their land without paying any transfer-fee to zamindars. The law reduced the interest rate for arrears of rent from 12.50% to 6.25%. The raiyats also got the right to get possession of the nadi sekasti (land lost through river erosion and appeared again) land by payment of four years of rent within twenty years of the erosion. Thus several acts enforced during Huq's Premiership helped the peasants to lighten some of their burdens though Huq could not fully execute his programme of Dal-Bhat placed before the people during his election campaigns. Huq also promoted affirmative action for Bengali Muslims.[2]

Huq held the education portfolio in his cabinet. He introduced the Primary Education Bill in the Bengal Legislative Assembly, which was passed into law and made primary education free and compulsory. But there was a storm of protests from the opposition members and the press when Fazlul Huq introduced the Secondary Education Bill in the assembly as it incorporated 'principles of communal division in the field of education' at the secondary stage. Huq was associated with the foundation of many educational institutions in Bengal, including Calcutta's Islamia College and Lady Brabourne College, Wajid Memorial Girls' High School and Chakhar College.

Due to intense factional infighting within the Krishak Praja Party, that Huq ended up being the lone party member on the cabinet. After 1939, the British Empire grappled with World War II. In 1941, Huq and Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan, the Prime Minister of the Punjab, joined the Viceroy's National Defence Council. Their move angered Muhammad Ali Jinnah because they had not consulted him, and because it deviated from the Muslim League party line that the structure of the council was unacceptable inasmuch as it did not give the League parity with Congress.[7]

On 2 December 1941, Huq resigned and governor’s rule was imposed.

Second Premiership (1941-1943)

The second Huq coalition government was formed on 12 December 1941. The coalition was supported by most members in the Bengal Legislative Assembly, except for the Muslim League. Supporters included the secular faction of the Krishak Praja Party led by Shamsuddin Ahmed, the Forward Bloc founded by Subhash Chandra Bose, pro-Bose members of the Bengal Congress and the Hindu Mahasabha led by Syama Prasad Mukherjee. The cabinet included Nawab Bahabur Khwaja Habibullah, Khan Bahadur Abdul Karim, Khan Bahadur Hashem Ali Khan, Shamsuddin Ahmed, Syama Prasad Mukherjee, Santosh Kumar Bose and Upendranath Barman.[2]

Hawker Hurricane Mk IIC of No. 166 Wing in flight from Chittagong in India, May 1943. CI191
A Royal Air Force Hawker Hurricane in Chittagong during the Burma Campaign of World War II

Despite Huq enjoying the confidence of most of the assembly, he had tense relations with the Governor of Bengal John Herbert. The governor favored the provincial Muslim League leaders and patrons, including Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin, the Leader of the Opposition; and the "Calcutta Trio" in the assembly, including Mirza Ahmad Ispahani, Khwaja Nooruddin and A. R. Siddiqui. The focal point of the League's campaign against Huq was that he was growing closer with Mukherjee, who was alleged to be working against the political and religious interests of the Muslims. The League appealed to the governor to dismiss the Huq ministry.

The fear of Japanese invasion during the Burma Campaign and the implementation by the military of a 'denial policy' implemented in 1942 caused considerable hardship to the delta region. A devastating cyclone and tidal waves whipped the coastal region on 26 October but relief efforts were hindered due to bureaucratic interference. On 3 August, a number of prisoners were shot down in Dhaka jail but no inquiry could be held again due to bureaucratic intervention. Another severe strain on the administration was caused when the Congress launched the Quit India movement on 9 August, which was followed by British political repression. The entire province reverberated with protest. The situation was further complicated when Mukherjee resigned bitterly complaining against the interference of the governor in the work of the ministry.

On 15 March 1943, the Prime Minister disclosed in the floor of the Assembly that on several occasions, under the guise of discretionary authority, the governor disregarded the advice tendered by the ministry and listed those occasions. The governor did not take those allegations kindly, and, largely due to his initiative, no-confidence motions were voted in the assembly on 24 March and 27 March. On both occasions the motions were defeated, although by narrow margins. To enforce his writ, the governor asked Huq to sign a prepared letter of resignation on 28 March 1943 and assigned himself the responsibility of administering the province under the provision of Section 93 of the constitution. A month later a League dominated ministry was commissioned with Nazimuddin as the Prime Minister. Huq’s party won much fewer seats during the Indian provincial elections, 1946.

Political career in Pakistan

Bangla Academy Inside 2 by Ashfaq
Huq called for the creation of the Bangla Academy in 1948
Old Highcourt Bhaban (2)
The old high court of East Bengal. Huq was Advocate General of East Bengal from 1947 to 1952.
King Saud
King Saud of Saudi Arabia sent his plane to bring Huq to a meeting.
1954 east bengal cabinet
Huq's short lived cabinet in East Bengal, which included Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (standing beside Huq; 2nd from left on bottom row)

Advocate General and Language Movement

After the partition of British India, Huq settled in Dhaka and became the Advocate General of the Government of East Bengal.[2] He served in the position between 1947 and 1952. On 31 December 1948, while delivering a presidential address at a literary conference, Huq proposed a language academy for the Bengali language.[8] He supported the Bengali Language Movement in 1952. Huq was also injured during police action against demonstrators demanding that Bengali be made a state language of Pakistan.

Chief ministership

Huq was a leading figure in the United Front (East Pakistan) coalition along with Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and Maulana Bhashani. The United Front won a landslide victory during the East Bengali legislative election, 1954. Huq himself defeated his arch rival Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin in the Patuakhali constituency.

Huq became chief minister for two months. During his short lived ministry, he took measures to establish the Bangla Academy. King Saud of Saudi Arabia sent a plane to Dhaka to bring Huq for a meeting with the monarch in Karachi.[9]

A report in The New York Times stated that Huq wanted independence for East Bengal, which trigged his dismissal and the imposition of Governor General’s rule. Huq was subsequently placed under house arrest.

Central ministership

In August 1955, a coalition between the Krishak Sramik Party in East Pakistan and the Muslim League in West Pakistan allowed Chaudhry Mohammad Ali to become Prime Minister and A. K. Fazlul Huq to become the federal Home Minister.[10] Prime Minister Ali was later dismissed by President Iskander Mirza, who allowed a coalition of the Awami League and Republican Party to form government. As a result, the Krishak Sramik Party and the Muslim League formed the main opposition.[11]

Governorship

Huq was appointed Governor of East Pakistan in 1956. He served in the position for two years until the 1958 Pakistani coup d'état. Huq was again placed under house arrest after the coup.

Notable quotations

Quotes by Huq

Nehru1920
Jawaharlal Nehru was Huq's political secretary between 1918 and 1919
Mohammed Ali Jinnah smoking
"When the tiger arrives, the lamb must give away" - Muhammad Ali Jinnah on Huq

I am the living history of Bengal and East Pakistan of the last sixty years. I am the last survivor of that band of unselfish and courageous Muslims who fought fearlessly against terrific odds…[12]

On his role in the politics of Bengal (particularly Bangladesh)

I want you to consent to the formation of a Bengali Army of a hundred thousand young Bengalis consisting of Hindu and Muslim youths on a fifty-fifty basis. There is an insistent demand for such a step being taken at once, and the people of Bengal will not be satisfied with any excuses. It is a national demand which must be immediately conceded.[13]
Writing to Governor John Herbert regarding demands for forming a Bengal Army during World War II

Administrative measures must be suited to the genius and traditions of the people and not fashioned according to the whims and caprices of hardened bureaucrats, to many of whom autocratic ideas are bound up with the very breath of their lives.[13]
In a letter to the Governor of Bengal

They were lions in their own days and we have the descendants of the lions of Indian journalism in our midst today. But the difference between the two classes of lions is very significant. Those were lions whose roars used to reverberate from Bengal across the seven seas to the homes of the British nation, but in the case of the present lions they are as docile as lions in a circus show. The roar of the lions of old used to make thrones tremble, but most of the present lions only know how to crouch beneath the throne and wag their tails in approbation of government policy.[13]
Commenting on critical journalists on the floor of the Bengal Legislative Assembly

Mr Speaker, I can jolly well face the music, but I cannot face a monkey. Mr. Speaker, I never mentioned any honourable member of this House. But if any honourable member thinks that the cap fits him, I withdraw my remark.[13]
A controversial remark against an opponent in the Bengal Legislative Assembly

Quotes about Huq

When the tiger arrives, the lamb must give away.[14]
Muhammad Ali Jinnah's comment while making way for Huq, who entered the hall, to address the All India Muslim League Lahore Resolution Session

He who in 1943 had wanted to see Nazimuddin and Suhrawardy bite the dust now shares the same stretch of earth with them. All three are buried, side by side, in the grounds of the Dhaka High Court. For a while, the two of them were called Prime Minister of Pakistan. Fazlul Huq was not. But only he was spoken of as the Royal Bengal Tiger.[15]
Rajmohan Gandhi on A. K. Fazlul Huq

Personal life

He was married three times. His first wife was Khurshid Begum with whom he had two daughters. The marriage ended in divorce. His second wife was Musammat Jannatunissa Begum who was from Howrah, West Bengal. They had no children. His third wife Khadija was from Meerut district, Uttar Pradesh. They had a son together, A. K. Faezul Huq, who played an active role in Bangladeshi politics.[16]

Legacy

House of the Nation, In the Day of Election 2
Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, which houses the Parliament of Bangladesh, is named in honour of Huq

Sher-e-Bangla founded several educational and technical institutions for Bengali Muslims, including Islamia College in Calcutta, Baker hostel and Carmichael hostel residence halls for Muslim students of the University of Calcutta, Lady Brabourne College, Adina Fazlul Huq College in Rajshahi, Eliot hostel, Tyler Hostel, Medical College hostel, Engineering College hostel, Muslim Institute Building, Dhaka Eden Girls' College Building, Fazlul Huq College at Chakhar, Fazlul Huq Muslim Hall (Dhaka University), Fazlul Huq Hall(Bangladesh Agricultural University, then East Pakistan Agricultural University), Sher-e-Bangla Hall (Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology) Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University (SAU) Dhaka-1207, Bulbul Music Academy and Central Women's College. Sher-e-Bangla had significant contribution in founding the leading university of Bangladesh: Dhaka University. During his premiership Bangla Academy was founded and Bengali New Year's Day (Pohela Boishakh) was declared a public holiday.[17]

Throughout Bangladesh, educational institutions (e.g., Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College), roads, neighbourhoods (Sher-e-Bangla Nagor), and stadiums (Sher-e-Bangla Mirpur Stadium) have been named after him. This depicts the respect of the people for Sher-e-Bangla. One of the main roads in Islamabad A.K.M. Fazlul Haq Road is named after him.[18]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d Gandhi, Rajmohan (1986). Eight Lives. SUNY Press. pp. 189–190. ISBN 0-88706-196-6.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Huq, AK Fazlul - Banglapedia". En.banglapedia.org. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
  3. ^ Dharitri Bhattacharjee (2012-04-13). "It's Time Bengal Remembered a Certain Huq - The Wire". Thewire.in. Retrieved 2017-08-05.
  4. ^ Rachel Fell McDermott; Leonard A. Gordon; Ainslie T. Embree (15 April 2014). Sources of Indian Traditions: Modern India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Columbia University Press. p. 836. ISBN 978-0-231-51092-9.
  5. ^ "Listeners name 'greatest Bengali'". BBC News. 2004-04-14. Retrieved 2017-12-14.
  6. ^ "Huq, AK Fazlul - Banglapedia". En.banglapedia.org. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  7. ^ Banyopadhyaya, Sekhara (2004). From Plassey to Partition: A History of Modern India. Orient Longman. pp. 445–446. ISBN 978-81-250-2596-2. Both Huq and Khan were censored in July 1941 when they agreed to join—without Jinnah's approval—the Viceroy's National Defence Council, which in terms of its membership structure did not recognise the Muslim claim of parity.
  8. ^ http://en.banglapedia.org/index.php?title=Bangla_Academy
  9. ^ "Sher-e-Bangla: only leader concurrently President of All India Muslim League and the General Secretary of All India National Congress". Soc.culture.bangladesh.narkive.com. 2006-05-02. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  10. ^ Hafez Ahmed at http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com. "Mohan Mia, the forgotten child of history". Print.thefinancialexpress-bd.com. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  11. ^ Salahuddin Ahmed (2004). Bangladesh: Past and Present. APH Publishing. p. 147. ISBN 978-81-7648-469-5.
  12. ^ AK Fazlul Huq Jr (2014-04-26). "Sher-e-Bangla: The Tiger of Bengal". Dhaka Tribune. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  13. ^ a b c d Syed Ashraf Ali. "Sher-e-Bangla: A natural leader". The Daily Star. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
  14. ^ "The Financialexpress-bd". Print.thefinancialexpress-bd.com. Archived from the original on 8 August 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  15. ^ "Sher-e-Bangla: The Tiger of Bengal | Dhaka Tribune". Archive.dhakatribune.com. Archived from the original on 8 August 2017. Retrieved 10 August 2017.
  16. ^ Gandhi, Rajmohan (1986). Eight lives : a study of the Hindu-Muslim encounter. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press. ISBN 9780887061967.
  17. ^ "Great Politicians". Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Huq (Krisak Proja Party). Muktadhara. 9 May 2001. p. 67. Archived from the original on 8 September 2007. Retrieved 14 September 2007.
  18. ^ On the 49th death anniversary of the man who moved the resolution that eventually resulted in the creation of Pakistan, there is barely a mention of him in the media. Some years ago the name of the road was misspelt as Fazle Haq Road, and it has been changed to A K M Fazlul Haq. What the letter "M" stands for remains a mystery. In memory of Fazlul Haq
1954 East Bengali legislative election

Legislative elections were held in East Bengal between 8 and 12 March 1954, the first since Pakistan became an independent country in 1947. The opposition United Front led by the Awami League and Krishak Sramik Party won a landslide victory with 223 of the 309 seats. The Muslim League Chief Minister of East Pakistan Nurul Amin was defeated in his own constituency by Khaleque Nawaz Khan by over 7,000 votes, with all the Muslim League ministers losing their seats.

Bengal Legislative Council

The Bengal Legislative Council was the legislative council of British Bengal (now Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal).

It was the primarily legislature of the Bengal Presidency during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. After reforms were adopted in 1937, it served as the upper chamber of the Bengali legislature until the partition of British India.

Some of the notable popular orators of the assembly included A. K. Fazlul Huq (Lion of Bengal), and Sir Surendranath Banerjee. Their speeches in English have acquired significant fame and are recorded in numerous books and libraries.

The Bengal Provincial Muslim League, the Praja Party, the Bengal Provincial Congress and the Swaraj Party were among the notable political groups on the council. The council has been the only upper house in Bengali parliamentary history.

Bengal Provincial Muslim League

The Bengal Provincial Muslim League (BPML) was the branch of the All India Muslim League in the British Indian province of Bengal. It was established in Dacca on 2 March 1912. Its official language was Bengali. The party played an important role in the Bengal Legislative Council and in the Bengal Legislative Assembly, where two of the Prime Ministers of Bengal were from the party. It was vital to the creation of the Dominion of Pakistan, particularly after its election victory in 1946.

In 1929, a faction of the party broke away as the Praja Party. Members of the BPML later became prominent statesmen of Pakistan and Bangladesh, including holding offices such as the Prime Minister of Pakistan (Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin, Mohammad Ali of Bogra, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and Nurul Amin), Governor General of Pakistan (Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin), Chief Minister of East Bengal (Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin, Nurul Amin, A. K. Fazlul Huq and Ataur Rahman Khan), President of Bangladesh (Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Mohammad Mohammadullah and Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad), Vice President of Bangladesh (Syed Nazrul Islam) and Prime Minister of Bangladesh (Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Tajuddin Ahmad, Muhammad Mansur Ali and Ataur Rahman Khan).

East Bengal

East Bengal (Bengali: পূর্ব বাংলা Purbô Bangla) was a geographically noncontiguous province of the Dominion of Pakistan covering Bangladesh. With its coastline on the Bay of Bengal, it bordered India and Burma. It was located very near to, but did not share a border with, Nepal, China, the Kingdom of Sikkim and the Kingdom of Bhutan. Its capital was Dacca.

The Partition of British India, which divided Bengal along religious lines, established the borders of Muslim majority East Bengal. The province existed during the reign of two monarchs, including George VI and Elizabeth II; and three Governors-General, including Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Khawaja Nazimuddin and Ghulam Muhammad. Its provincial governors included a British administrator and several Pakistani statesmen. Its chief ministership was held by leading Bengali politicians.

East Bengal was the most populous and cosmopolitan province in the dominion. East Bengal was a hub of political movements, including the Bengali Language Movement and pro-democracy groups. It was dissolved and replaced by East Pakistan during the One Unit scheme implemented by Prime Minister Mohammad Ali of Bogra.

The provincial legislature was the East Bengal Legislative Assembly.

East Pakistan Provincial Assembly

The East Pakistan Provincial Assembly, known as the East Bengal Legislative Assembly between 1947 and 1955, was the legislature of Bangladesh when the country was a province of Pakistan as East Bengal (1947-1955) and East Pakistan (1955-1971). The legislature was a successor to the British Raj-era parliament of Bengal, which was divided between East Bengal and West Bengal during the partition of Bengal in 1947. It was the largest provincial legislature in Pakistan.

During the Bangladesh War of Independence in 1971, most Bengali members elected to the Pakistani National Assembly and the East Pakistani provincial assembly became members of the Constituent Assembly of Bangladesh.

Greatest Bengali of all time

Soon after the completion of 100 Greatest Britons poll in 2002, the BBC organized a similar opinion poll to find out who is the greatest Bengali personality in Bengali nation's history of thousand years. In 2004, BBC's Bengali Service conducted the opinion poll with the title Greatest Bengali of all time started from February 11 continued onto March 22. The poll was participated by Bengalis around the world including from Bangladesh, India (states of West Bengal, Tripura, Assam) and overseas Bengali communities.Total 140 nominations had been produced from the poll. BBC started to announce the top 20 names from 26 March declaring one name each day starting from 20th position. On the final day of 14 April, which was also the Pahela Baishakh (Bengali New Year day), BBC announced Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh as the Greatest Bengali of all time voted by Bengalis worldwide.Describing the process of voting, BBC's Bengali Service stated that to avoid any flaw or controversy, they followed the most modern method of opinion polling. Participants were asked to nominate their five choices of greatest Bengali on the order of preference instead of one. The top nominee of each voter was given five points, second nominee four points, thus eventually the fifth nominee got one point. On the basis of total points, the final list of the greatest Bengali poll was generated.BBC informed that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman bagged almost double points than the second place holder Rabindranath Tagore, while Tagore himself secured double points than Kazi Nazrul Islam and Nazrul got double than A. K. Fazlul Huq. The other 17 personalities however had narrow differences of points with each other. Along with highest six politicians, the list also contains several authors and social reformers. Also two religious preachers, one scientist and one economist got place in the final list. Begum Rokeya was the only woman and Amartya Sen only living personality to be voted in top 20.

Khan Bahadur Hasem Ali Khan

Khan Bahadur Hasem Ali Khan (2 February 1888 – 16 April 1962) was a politician, lawyer, peasant movement leader and social worker in United Bengal of British India and then in independent Pakistan. He was co-worker and co-politician with Sher-e-Bangla (Tiger of Bangladesh) A. K. Fazlul Huq. He became a Minister in the Bengal Legislature in 1941 in the second cabinet led by A. K. Fazlul Huq. During his political life, he tried to establish rights of farmers and common people. He was rewarded as Khan Bahadur by British Government as recognition of his contribution for maintaining peaceful relation among various religious people, especially between Hindu and Muslim.

Krishak Sramik Party

The Krishak Sramik Party was a major anti-feudal political party in the British Indian province of Bengal and later in the Dominion of Pakistan's East Bengal and East Pakistan provinces. It was founded in 1929 as the Praja Party (People's Party) to represent the interests of tenant farmers in Bengal's landed gentry estates. In 1936, it took the name of Krishak Praja Party (Farmer-People's Party) and contested the 1937 election. The party formed the first government in the Bengal Legislative Assembly. After the partition of British India, it was reorganized as the Krishak Sramik Party (Farmer-Labour Party) to contest the 1954 election, as part of the United Front. The coalition won the election and formed the provincial government in the East Bengal Legislative Assembly.

The party's politics played an important role in the growth of Bengali Muslim political consciousness; it also received support from large sections of the Bengali Hindu population who resented the influence of the landed gentry.

The party was the political vehicle of the Bengali lawyer and politician A. K. Fazlul Huq, who served as the Prime Minister of Bengal and Chief Minister of East Bengal. Two other chief ministers from the party included Abu Hussain Sarkar and Ataur Rahman Khan; the latter later served as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Abdus Sattar, one of the party's leaders, later became President of Bangladesh.

Lahore Resolution

The Lahore Resolution (Urdu: قرارداد لاہور‬‎, Qarardad-e-Lahore; Bengali: লাহোর প্রস্তাব, Lahor Prostab), was prepared by Muslim League Working Committee and was presented by A. K. Fazlul Huq, the Prime Minister of Bengal was a formal political statement adopted by the All-India Muslim League on the occasion of its three-day general session in Lahore on 22–24 March 1940. The resolution called for independent states as seen by the statement:That geographically contiguous units are demarcated regions which should be constituted, with such territorial readjustments as may be necessary that the areas in which the Muslims are numerically in a majority as in the North Western and Eastern Zones of (British) India should be grouped to constitute ‘independent states’ in which the constituent units should be autonomous and sovereign.Although the name "Pakistan" had been proposed by Choudhary Rahmat Ali in his Pakistan Declaration, it was not until after the resolution that it began to be widely used.

Muhammad Ali Jinnah's address to the Lahore conference was, according to Stanley Wolpert, the moment when Jinnah, a former proponent of Hindu-Muslim unity, irrevocably transformed himself into the leader of the fight for an independent Pakistan.

List of people on the postage stamps of Bangladesh

This is a list of people on the postage stamps of Bangladesh.

The list is complete through 1982.

Mohammad Ruhul Amin (1982)

Kemal Atatürk, Turkish president (1981)

Alexander Graham Bell (1976)

Maulana Bhashani, grass-roots politician and statesman (1979)

Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (1981)

Copernicus (1974)

Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom (1977)

Rowland Hill, postal reformer (1979)

Kazi Motahar Hossain, educator (1982)

Sher-e-Bangla A. K. Fazlul Huq, leader (1980)

Mohiuddin Jahangir, revolutionary (1982)

Mohammed Mustafa Kamal (1982)

Fazlur Khan, civil engineer (1999)

Nur Mohammad Sheikh (1982)

Kazi Nazrul Islam, poet (1977)

Hamidur Rahman (1982)

M. Matiur Rahman (1982)

Mujibur Rahman (1971)

Munshi Abdur Rouf (1982)

Begum Rokeya, educator (1981)

Jasimuddin, poet (1979)

Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize–winning economist (2007)

Mausoleum of three leaders

The Mausoleum of three leaders (Bengali: তিন নেতার মাজার), located at Shahbag, Dhaka in Bangladesh, contains the graves of three pre-liberation politicians from Bengal in the 20th century: A.K. Fazlul Huq (1873–1962), Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy (1892–1963) and Khwaja Nazimuddin (1894–1964). All three men served as the Prime Minister of Bengal in British India.

The monument was designed by architect Masood Ahmed and S.A. Zahiruddin and was established in 1963. The style of architecture of the monuments is an interpretation of Islamic Arcs.

Prime Minister of Bengal

The Prime Minister of Bengal was the head of government of Bengal Province and the Leader of the House in the Bengal Legislative Assembly in British India. The position was dissolved upon the Partition of Bengal in 1947.

Shahed Ali Patwary

Shahed Ali Patwary (Bengali শহীদ আলী পাটোয়ারী; 1899-1958) was a lawyer and prominent politician. He was elected as member of East Pakistan Provincial Assembly. In 1955 he was elected as Deputy Speaker. On 23 September 1958 he was injured in a fight in the assembly and died two days later.Shahed Ali started his political career in 1929 when he joined the Krishak Praja Party headed by Sher-e-Bangla A.K. Fazlul Huq.

Sher-e-Bangla Nagar

Sher-e-Bangla Nagar (Bengali: শেরে বাংলা নগর, meaning City of the Tiger of Bengal) is a neighborhood and one of the thana of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. It is also known as second capital, and home to the National Parliament, official residence of Prime Minister of Bangladesh Ganabhaban. The area has been named after A. K. Fazlul Huq, a renowned statesman and one of the most prominent political figures of Bangladesh who was popularly known as "Sher-e-Bangla" (Tiger of Bengal). The thana was formed in 2009 from parts of Tejgaon, Kafrul and Mohammadpur thanas. Sher-e-Bangla Nagar is a busy commercial and central neighborhood in the city and home to many offices of government and public institutions, educational institutions, banks and financial institutions and shops.

Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium

The Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium (SBNCS; Bengali: শের-ই-বাংলা জাতীয় ক্রিকেট স্টেডিয়াম), also called Mirpur Stadium, is a cricket ground in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Located 10 kilometres away from the city centre in Mirpur, the ground holds approximately 25,000 people, and is named for the Bengali statesman A. K. Fazlul Huq, who was accorded the title Sher-e-Bangla ("tiger of Bengal"). The ground was originally constructed for football in the late 1980s, and first hosted matches at the 1987 Asian Club Championship. The venue was taken over by the Bangladesh Cricket Board in 2004, replacing the Bangabandhu National Stadium as the home of both the men's and women's national teams. The stadium has a field dimensions of 186 m X 136 m.

The first international match at the redeveloped ground was held in December 2006, and the stadium has since hosted matches of the 2011 World Cup, 2012 and 2014 Asia Cup, 2016 Asia Cup along with majority of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) matches. The finals of the 2014 ICC World Twenty20 and Women's World Twenty20 were hosted at the stadium. The stadium hosted its first International T20 on 11 October 2011, Bangladesh vs West Indies.On 17 January 2018 during 2017–18 Bangladesh Tri-Nation Series, it became the sixth and the fastest to host 100 ODIs.

Sramik Krishak Samajbadi Dal

Sramik Krishak Samajbadi Dal (Workers Peasants Socialist Party) is a Marxist-Leninist political party in Bangladesh. The SKSD was formed in 1969 by sympathizers of the Revolutionary Socialist Party of India in East Pakistan. The party was led by A. K. Fazlul Huq.In April 1983, the SKSD joined the 15-party alliance, which included the Awami League, to oppose the Ershad regime. When the alliance split over the question of whether to participate in the 1986 general election, the SKSD remained allied with four other left-leaning parties that pledged to boycott any elections held under Ershad. In 1994, the SKSD joined eight other left-wing parties to form the Left Democratic Front, which formed the core of the 11-party alliance in 1996. The alliance contested the June 1996 and 2001 general elections, but failed to win any seat. In the 2001 parliamentary elections, Nirmal Sen was the sole SKSD candidate. The 11-party alliance disintegrated in 2005.The general secretary of the party is Nirmal Sen. The party publishes Samajbadi (The Socialist).

SKSD is currently (2005) the coordinator of LDF. The student wing of SKSD is the Samajbadi Chhatra Jote and the agricultural labour wing is the Khet Majdur Sabha.

Suhrawardy Udyan

Suhrawardy Udyan (Bengali: সোহরাওয়ার্দী উদ্যান) formerly known as Ramna Race Course ground is a national memorial located in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It is named after Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy. Originally it served as the military club of the British soldiers stationed in Dhaka. It was then called the Ramna Race Course and later Ramna Gymkhana. After the end of colonial rule, the place – sometimes referred to as Dhaka Race Course – was used for legal horse racing on Sundays.

It is the resting place of three great national leaders, Sher-i-Bangla A.K. Fazlul Huq (1873–1962), Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy (1892–1963) and Khwaja Nazimuddin (1894–1964). Ramna Race Course was renamed after Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy. A Mughal structure namely the Dhaka Gate was built adjacent to the park area of Suhrawardy Udyan. The gate was built by Mir Jumla II in 1660s.

The Museum of Independence, Dhaka is situated within the park area. The museum depicts the history of the nation since Mughal tenure to independence in 1971.The museum was opened to public on 25 March 2015,the 45th Independence Day of Bangladesh.

Syed Nausher Ali

Syed Nausher Ali (1891–1972) was a prominent left-leaning politician in West and East Bengal (now India and Bangladesh) during the British rule. He was a cabinet member in the first A. K. Fazlul Huq ministry and later the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in the second coalition Ministry. He was renowned for his advocacy of abolition of British imperialism and for his support of Hindu-Muslim cooperation in the form of an undivided India.

United Front (East Pakistan)

The United Front was a coalition of political parties in East Bengal which contested and won Pakistan's first provincial general election to the East Bengal Legislative Assembly. The coalition consisted of the Awami Muslim League, the Krishak Praja Party, the Ganatantri Dal (Democratic Party) and Nizam-e-Islam. The coalition was led by three major Bengali populist leaders- A K Fazlul Huq, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and Maulana Bhashani. The election resulted in a crushing defeat for the Muslim League. Veteran student leader of East Pakistan Khaleque Nawaz Khan defeated sitting Prime Minister of East Pakistan Mr. Nurul Amin in Nandail Constituency of Mymensingh district and created history in political arena. Nurul Amin's crushing defeat to a 27 years old young Turk of Jukto Front effectively eliminated the Muslim League from political landscape of the then East Pakistan. United Front parties securing a landslide victory and gaining 223 seats in the 309-member assembly. The Awami League emerged as the majority party, with 143 seats.A K Fazlul Huq of the Krishak Praja Party became Chief Minister of East Pakistan upon the victory of the United Front. The election propelled popular Bengali leaders into the Pakistani federal government, with leaders such as Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and Abul Mansur Ahmed becoming key federal ministers. In the provincial government, young leaders such as Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Yusuf Ali Chowdhury and Khaleque Nawaz Khan rose to prominence.

The United Front demanded greater provincial autonomy for East Pakistan. It passed a landmark order for the establishment of the Bangla Academy in Dhaka. However, within months of assuming power, the newly elected government was dismissed by Governor-General Ghulam Muhammad, upon of accusations against A K Fazlul Huq of attempting secession. The dismissal of the United Front was a key turning point in aggravating East Pakistan's grievances in the Pakistani union, and lead Maulana Bhashani to openly call for separation and independence in 1957, in his Salaam, Pakistan (Farewell, Pakistan) speech.

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