Saturday, February 20, 2010

Virtual Bangladesh : History : Ekushe February


1st Wave

September 15, 1947

Tamuddun Majlis (Cultural Society, an organization by scholars, writers and journalists oriented towards Islamic ideology) in a booklet titled State Language of Pakistan : Bengali or Urdu? demands Bengali as one of the state language of Pakistan.

The Secretary of the Majlis, at that time a Professor of Physics in Dhaka University, [Abul Kashem] was the first person to convene a literary meeting to discuss the State Language issue in the Fazlul Huq Muslim Hall, a student residence of Dhaka University. Supporters and sympathizers soon afterwards formed a political party, the Khilafate-Rabbani Party with Abul Hasim as the Chairman. (-- Talukder Maniruzzaman)

November 1947

In Karachi, the representatives of East Bengal attending the Pakistan Educational Conference, called by the Minister of Education Fazlur Rahman, a Bengali, oppose Urdu as the only national language.

February 23, 1948

Direndra Nath Dutta, a Bengali opposition member, moves a resolution in the first session of Pakistan's Constituent Assembly for recognizing Bengali as a state language along with Urdu and English.

The resolution "... was opposed by Liakat Ali, the Prime Minister of Pakistan and other non-Bengali members in the Assembly. Regrettably, this was opposed by Khawaja Nazimuddin - hailing from the eastern wing - and a few other Bengali collaborators of the West Pakistanis in the Assembly. Later, D. N. Dutta came up with a few amendments to the original resolution, and everytime these were opposed by the west Pakistanis and their Bengali stooges. The West Pakistanis were uncompromising to such a genuine demand of the majority Bengalis." (-- Rafiqul Islam)


"The demand for Bengali as one of the state language gathered the spontaneous support of the Bengali Civil Servants, academics, students, and various groups of middle class. Several members of the Provincial Assembly, including some ministers, were reportedly active in supporting the movement. By the end of February 1948, the controversy had spilled over on the streets. The East Pakistan Student League, founded in the first week of January by Mujibur Rahman, was in the forefront of the agitation." (-- Hasan Zaheer)

March 1948 (1st week)

A Committee of Action of the students of Dhaka University, representing all shades of opinion - leftists, rightists, and centrists - is set up with the objective of achieving national status of Bengali.

March 11, 1948

Students demonstrating for Bangla as state language is baton-charged and a large number of students are arrested in Dhaka.

" The situation grew worse in the days that followed. The Quaid-i-Azam was due to visit Dhaka from 19 March. The provincial government became nervous and Nazimuddin under pressure of widespread agitation, the impending visit of the Governor-General, sought the help of Muhammad Ali Bogra to enter into negotiations with the Committee of Action. An agreement was signed by Nazimuddin with the Committee which, inter alia, provided that (1) the Provincial Assembly shall adopt a resolution for making Bengali the official language of East Pakistan and the medium of instruction at all stages of education; and (2) the Assembly by another resolution would recommend to the central government that Bengali should be made one of the state languages." (-- Hasan Zaheer)

March 21, 1948

Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan and its first Governor-General, while on a visit to East Bengal, declares in Dhaka University convocation that while the language of the province can be Bengali, the "State language of Pakistan is going to be Urdu and no other language. Any one who tries to mislead you is really an enemy of Pakistan."

"The remark evoked an angry protest from the Bengali youth who took it as an affront: their language Bangla (Bengali) was, after all, spoken by fifty-four percent of the population of Pakistan. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, then a university student, was among those who raised the protest slogan and was placed under detention. The Dacca University campus became the focal point for student meetings in support of the Bangla language." (--Siddiq Salik)

Jinnah meets the student representatives of Committee of Action to persuade them of the necessity of having one national language, but the students are not convinced.

"The discussion of Jinnah with the student representatives could not bear any fruit but blurred the difference between the student group led by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his associates and the student group led by Shah Azizur Rahman. The National leadership resorted to repressive policies in order to crush the Bengali language and put its supporters behind bars." (-- Md. Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan)

No comments:

Post a Comment