Students protested Nazimuddin statement | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 12, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 12, 2012

Students protested Nazimuddin statement

Khwaja Nazimuddin's statement on the language question turned out to be incendiary and predictably led to swift and severe criticism all across East Bengal. Badruddin Umar, whose research on the Language Movement has been noted for its authenticity, has his account of the events following the governor general's speech. According to him, Nazimuddin's remarks had even Yusuf Ali Chowdhury, general secretary of the East Pakistan Muslim League, riled. Chowdhury echoed Nurul Amin's feeling that no one in the ruling party had any idea that the governor general would suddenly raise the language issue once again and in that manner.
A curious side to Nazimuddin's position on the language issue was that Bangla was not his mother tongue and he could not speak it. But the speech he delivered in Dhaka had been written out in Bangla through means of the Urdu script. And the script was prepared by Mizanur Rahman, at the time a senior Bengali government official in Karachi. Another surprise, in the post-speech period, came through the remarks of Aziz Ahmed, the non-Bengali chief secretary of the provincial government. Aziz Ahmed, who was later to be Pakistan's foreign secretary under Ayub Khan and then minister of state for foreign affairs under Z.A. Bhutto, told Chief Minister Nurul Amin that he had not seen the text of the governor-general's speech before Nazimuddin delivered it. If he had, he would have advised Nazimuddin against it.
On January 29, 1952 the Dhaka University State Language Committee of Action called a meeting on the campus to condemn Nazimuddin's statement. Oli Ahad, general secretary of the Youth League, severely condemned Khwaja Nazimuddin in a statement that was carried by all newspapers in the province. On January 30, the East Pakistan Muslim Students' League called a meeting at Dhaka University where the governor general was pilloried over his remarks. It renewed the call for Bangla to be made a state language of Pakistan. Following the meeting, the EPMSL activists marched in a procession to Burdwan House, the chief minister's residence, where they raised a number of slogans in favour of Bangla. They also announced a strike at all educational institutions in Dhaka for February 4, 1952.
On January 30, Khwaja Nazimuddin, addressing a public meeting in Dinajpur, asked the people of East Bengal to eschew provincialism.

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