Khwaja Nazimuddin's statement on the language issue on January 27,1952 created a furore among intellectuals and students in East Pakistan.
The Youth League got in touch with the Awami Muslim League, with the result that an all-party conference was convened on the issue on January 31. The conference, presided over by Moulana Bhashani, was attended by representatives of the Youth League, Dhaka University State Language Committee, Tamaddun Majlis, Islamic Brotherhood, East Pakistan Muslim Students League and East Pakistan Awami Muslim League.
At the meeting, a number of politicians, such as Abul Hashim, Hamidul Haq Chowdhury, Shamsul Haq and Khaleq Nawaz Khan roundly condemned the government over its insensitivity to Bangalees' feelings on the language question. The conference formed a 40-member All-Party State Language Committee of Action, with Kazi Golam Mahbub as its convenor. A good number of resolutions were adopted at the conference, including one voicing support for the general strike called for February 4.
Political machinations toward adopting the Arabic script for Bangla were criticised and the release of all political prisoners was demanded. Among the prisoners was the young activist Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
A large number of students gathered for a meeting on the Dhaka University campus on February 4. Presided over by Gaziul Haq, the meeting debated the matter of whether a demonstration should be organised in the city in the course of the general strike.
At a certain stage, Abdul Matin, convenor of the DU State Language Committee, intervened to ask the students if they were ready to march to the residences of the vice chancellor and the chief minister. The answer was unambiguously in the affirmative.
The strike was observed successfully in Dhaka, Chittagong, Mymensingh, Comilla and Narayanganj on February 4. Encouraged by the public response to the strike, the students of Dhaka University called another strike in the province for February 21,1952.