Unity all around for Bangla | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 13, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 13, 2011

Amar Ekushey

Unity all around for Bangla

Vociferous protests marked a meeting of the Youth League soon after Nazimuddin made his remarks on the language issue on January 27, 1952.
Contact was made with the Awami Muslim League, the political party formed by Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani and Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy in June 1949 as a protest move against the ruling Muslim League. It was a step that would have a far-reaching impact on Bangalee politics in Pakistan. What followed was an all-party meeting to study possible responses to the prime minister's provocative remarks on the language question. The meeting, held on January 31, was presided over by Maulana Bhashani, president of the Awami Muslim League, and attended by representatives of a large number of organisations, among which were the Youth League, All East Pakistan Students League, Dhaka University State Language Action Committee, Tamaddun Majlis, Islamic Brotherhood, East Pakistan Students Muslim League and East Pakistan Awami Muslim League.
A good number of political personalities, including Abul Hashim, Hamidul Haq Chowdhury, Shamsul Haq and Khaleque Nawaz Khan chastised the prime minister and the government of Pakistan over their attitude to the Bangla language issue. The upshot of the meeting was the formation of a 40-member strong body to be known as the All Party State Language Committee of Action. Kazi Golam Mahbub, general secretary of the East Pakistan Students League, was named convenor of the committee. A good number of resolutions were adopted at the meeting. Total support was voiced for the strike scheduled for February 4. Attempts to have Bangla written in the Arabic script were strongly condemned and demands were made for the release of all political prisoners. Among the prisoners was a young, fast rising politician named Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
On the day of the strike, February 4, 1952, a huge number of students gathered at Dhaka University. The meeting, presided over by Gaziul Haq, commenced at 11:00 in the morning. A good length of time was expended on the subject of whether a demonstration needed to be brought out in the city. At one point Abdul Matin, convenor of the Dhaka University State Language Committee, asked the students if they were in favour of a demonstration. The response was a resounding 'Yes', which was soon followed by a procession that passed by the official homes of the vice chancellor and the chief minister. The strike on February 4 was observed not only in educational institutions in Dhaka but also in those in such towns as Chittagong, Mymensingh, Comilla and Narayanganj. On the same day, a students' meeting at Dhaka University, clearly encouraged by the response to the strike, decided that a general strike would be observed throughout East Bengal on February 21, 1952.

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