A. K. Fazlul Huq

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Not to be confused with the cricket ground in Dhaka Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium
Sher-e-Bangla
শের-এ-বাংলা

Abul Kasem Fazlul Huq
আবুল কাসেম ফজলুল হক
A k fazlul hoque.jpg
Governor of East Pakistan
In office
10 March 1956 – 13 April 1958
Preceded by Hamid Ali
Succeeded by Amiruddin Ahmad
Interior Minister of Pakistan
In office
August 11, 1955 – March 9, 1956
Governor General Iskander Ali Mirza
Prime Minister Chaudhry Muhammad Ali
Preceded by Abdus Sattar
Succeeded by Mushtaq Ahmed Gurmani
Personal details
Born Abul Kasem Fazlul Huq
(1873-10-26)October 26, 1873
Jhalokati District, British Raj (now Bangladesh)
Died Dhaka, East-Pakistan
April 27, 1962(1962-04-27) (aged 88)
Citizenship British Subject (1873-1947)
Pakistani Subject (1947-1956)
Pakistan (1956-1962)
Political party Pakistan Muslim League
Other political
affiliations
Krishak Praja Party
Sramik-Krishak Dal
Children A. K. Faezul Huq
Alma mater Calcutta University
Religion Islam

Abul Kasem Fazlul Huq (Bengali: আবুল কাসেম ফজলুল হক; October 1873—27 April 1962);[1] popular with the title Sher-e-Bangla (Urdu: شیر بنگالهTiger of Bengal), was an eminent Bengali nationalist, social democrat, politician and statesman during the first half of the 20th century. He founded the Krishak Praja Party, which championed the rights of the Bengali peasantry. Huq served twice as the Prime Minister of Bengal in British India and was a key figure of Hindu-Muslim unity. After the end of colonial rule, he became one of the leading statesmen of East Pakistan, serving as its Chief Minister and Governor, and was instrumental in pushing through the first major land reforms in the subcontinent. Huq supported the Bengali Language Movement of 1952 and established the landmark Bangla Academy in Dhaka in 1954. He was dismissed from public office by the Governor-General of Pakistan on charges of inciting secession, and was later banned from politics by the military junta of General Ayub Khan. His legacy endures as one of the most respected Bengali statesmen of the twentieth century, and he is popularly honored as the Tiger of Bengal.

He was a senior figure of the Indian National Congress, but later joined the Muslim League in 1920s, under the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He played a crucial role in drafting and presenting the Lahore Resolution. After the establishment of Pakistan, he was appointed as Chief Minister of East Bengal in 1952, and in 1955 became the Interior Minister of Pakistan. In 1954, he was appointed Governor Governor of East Pakistan as part of the United Front platform and presided the provisional state until 1958.[2] After a brief illness, he died in Dacca in 1962 and is buried at a mausoleum at the Suhrawardy Udyan in Shahbag, Dhaka.

Early life[edit]

Huq was born to Kazi Muhammad Wajed, from Chakhar, and his wife Saidunnissa Khatun, in his mother's town of Saturia in Jhalokati District (now part of Bangladesh). He passed the Entrance examination in 1890 and the FA Examination in 1892. He then obtained a BA degree (with triple Honours in Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics) from Presidency College.[2] Then he got admitted in MA in English at Calcutta University. Just six months before the final exam, a friend of him teased that, Muslims are weak in Mathematics and that's why he is also studying English. Huq opposed it strongly and challenged his friend that he will sit for Mathematics exam instead of English. With special permission to attend the exam he passed the MA on Mathematics from Calcutta University with record marks.[2] His formal education was completed with a BL degree in 1897 from the University Law College. He was the second Muslim in the Indian subcontinent to obtain a law degree.[1]

Political career[edit]

After being alienated from the Congress party where he served as its General Secretary in 1916-1918, it was up to the Muslims to nominate a mayor in Calcutta. In 1929, he launched the Nikhil Proja Samiti. In 1935, with the Congress' support, he was chosen and elected first Muslim mayor of Calcutta.

In 1937 elections took place in British India. A year before that he had converted the Nikhil Proja Samiti to Krishak Praja Party (K.P.P.). Meanwhile, Muhammad Ali Jinnah nominated him to the Muslim League Central Parliamentary Board (C.P.B.). But Huq refused to dissolve his own party citing its bi-communal composition, thus terminating his alliance with the League. When elections were held he successfully challenged Khwaja Nazimuddin for his seat. The K.P.P. won 35 seats. Despite his bitter fight with the League which had won 40 seats, the K.P.P. entered into an alliance with it. The Europeans (25), the Independent Scheduled Castes (23) and the Independent Caste Hindus (14) lent support to the alliance. As a result, Huq was appointed the Premier of Bengal.

His reign was unstable as it was marred by controversies. In 1938, the Independent Scheduled Castes seceded and the K.P.P. slowly started disintegrating. He also moved the Lahore resolution in 1940 which increased communal tensions. In 1941, The Viceroy of India, Lord Linlithglow nominated him to the Defence Council. But the Quaid-i-Azam who headed the All-India Muslim League asked him to resign. He obeyed but, to demonstrate his unhappiness, resigned from the League Working Committee. As a result of Huqs' reluctance to obey the League ministers resigned.

In 1945, he contested elections successfully on two seats. But his party was trounced badly by the All India Muslim League. In 1947,he joined the League campaign to include Calcutta in Pakistan. The other prominent supporters included Husseyn Shaheed Suhrwardy and Sarat Chandra Bose. The opposition of the Congress, however, ensured a partition of the province. Later on he accused Jinnah of not working hard enough for the cause.

He became Chief Minister of Bengal in 1952. In 1955, he was Home Minister of Pakistan and, from 1956 to 1958, Governor of East Pakistan. He drafted and moved the Lahore Resolution of 1940 that established Muslim League's demand for a homeland for Muslims; that ultimately resulted in the nation of Pakistan.[3] He was buried in Dhaka.

Legacy[edit]

Sher-e-Bangla founded several educational and technical institutions for Bengali Muslims, including Islamia College in Calcutta, Baker hostel and Carmichael hostel (residence halls for Muslim students of the University of Calcutta, Lady Brabourne College, Adina Fazlul Huq College in Rajshahi, Eliot hostel, Tyler Hostel, Medical College hostel, Engineering College hostel, Muslim Institute Building, Dhaka Eden Girls' College Building, Fazlul Huq College at Chakhar, Fazlul Huq Hall (Dhaka University), Sher-E-Bangla Hall (Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology) Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University (SAU) Dhaka-1207, Bulbul Music Academy and Central Women’s’ College. Sher-e-Bangla had significant contribution for founding the leading university of Bangladesh: Dhaka University. During his premiership Bangla Academy was founded and Bengali New Year’s Day (Pohela Baishakh) was declared a public holiday.[4]

Throughout Bangladesh, educational institutions (e.g., Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College), roads, neighborhoods (Sher-e-Bangla Nagor), and stadiums (Sher-e-Bangla Mirpur Stadium) have been named after him. This depicts the respect of the people for Sher-e-Bangla. Fazlul Huq's only son, A. K. Faezul Huq, was a Bangladeshi politician. Islamabad's A.K.M. Fazl-ul-Haq Road is named after him.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gandhi, Rajmohan. (1986) Eight Lives, SUNY Press. p. 189. ISBN 0-88706-196-6.
  2. ^ a b c De, Amalendu; Rahim, Enayetur (2006). "Huq, AK Fazlul". Banglapedia. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-13. 
  3. ^ Stevenson, Richard. (2005) Bengal Tiger and British Lion, iUniverse. p. 107. ISBN 0-595-36209-5.
  4. ^ "Great Politicians". Sher-e-Bangla AK Fazlul Huq (Krisak Proja Party). Muktadhara. 2001-05-09. p. 67. Archived from the original on 8 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-14. 
  5. ^ On the 49th death anniversary of the man who moved the resolution that eventually resulted in the creation of Pakistan, there is barely a mention of him in the media. One of the main roads in Islamabad is named after him. Some years ago the name of the road was misspelt as Fazle Haq Road, and it has been changed to A K M Fazlul Haq. What the letter “M” stands for remains a mystery. In memory of Fazlul Haq

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