Nurul Amin's move in the House | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 19, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 19, 2013

Nurul Amin's move in the House

On February 22, 1952, despite his statement in the legislative assembly that the students of Dhaka University had committed an offence by breaking Section 144, chief minister Nurul Amin introduced a resolution in the House asking that Bangla be adopted as a state language of Pakistan.
The resolution was a significant pointer to the fact that while other Pakistani politicians, including some from East Bengal, were determined to prevent Bangla from being a state language, Nurul Amin spotted logic in the language demand. He was the very first ruling Muslim League politician in office to make known his support for Bangla.
Meanwhile, against the background of the killings of the previous day, students at educational institutions across the province lowered the national flag to half mast as a mark of respect to the martyrs. They organised marches in different areas of Dhaka. For their part, the authorities appeared determined to give the happenings of February 21 their own bizarre spin. As a press note issued by the government was to observe:
“On the Nawabpur Road another unruly crowd overpowered the police officers in charge of the forces. . . Since it would not disperse, firing was resorted to in order to disperse it. A lathi charge was also made in the university area.”
It was clear the authorities were bent on demonising the students, through reporting at one point that Hasan Ali, minister for communications, had been injured in student violence.
The strike, observed all over the province, went beyond February 22 and well into the next day. Shops stayed closed and no vehicles were seen on Dhaka streets. Railway workers stayed away from work, which left train services disrupted. Meanwhile, various organisations issued statements severely condemning the police action of February 21.
On February 23, Pakistan's leading English language newspaper Dawn, based in Karachi, wrote a long editorial on the tragedy of February 21.
Part of the editorial went as follows:
“We can assure the people of East Pakistan that the people of West Pakistan will not grudge them the equality with Urdu which Bengali has at last won.”

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