Oli Ahad

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Oli Ahad
Native name অলি আহাদ
Born c. 1927
Brahmanbaria District, India (now Bangladesh)
Died October 20, 2012(2012-10-20) (aged 84 or 85)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Occupation Politician
Nationality Bangladeshi
Notable awards Swadhinota Padak (2004)
Spouse Rashida Begum
Children Rumeen Farhana

Oli Ahad (c. 1927 – 20 October 2012) was a Bangladeshi politician and language activist of the Language Movement.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Ahad was born in the Islampur village of Brahmanbaria District in c. 1927. In 1944, he graduated from Daudkandi Government Aided High School. During the election for referendum of Pakistan, He became involved in politics and campaigned in places like Tripura and Bogra, and was arrested a number of times.

Involvement in language movement[edit]

Ahad first met with Khawaja Nazimuddin to discuss his language proposal on 8 January 1948. Later that year, he became a member of the committee that organised a Hartal on 12 March, demanding Bangla be made the official state language. Prior to that, he was also nominated as a member of the Muslim Chhatra League. While picketing in front of the Secretariat, he was attacked and arrested along with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Khaleque Nawaz Khan, and Shamsul Haque by the police.

In 1949, Ahad and three other students were expelled from the University. Ahad was present at the historical meeting that took place at the Amtala of Dhaka University on 21 February 1952. Later that day, he organized the agitated students. The next day he led a rally and called for a nationwide Hartal.

Legacy[edit]

To show the nation's respect for Ahad, Dhaka City Corporation renamed Dhanmondi Road No.4 after him as of 27 February 2007. The veteran politician played key roles in the movements for speech and personal freedom, democracy and freedom of press in Bangladesh, and had to go to prison several times for protests.[1] At the time of his death, BNP leader Abdullah Al Norman stated that "at present there is no political personality like him in the country," and added that the young generation should follow him.[1] Fellow language movement member Abdul Matin also stated that said, "It was Oli Ahad who had inspired us to join the Language Movement. He not only led the Language Movement but also all the democratic movements in the country."[1]

Other activities[edit]

Ahad served as the editor of the weekly publication Ittehad. He was also the chairman of a political party named Democratic League.[3] He wrote a book named Jatiyo Rajneeti 1945 Theke 1975(National Politics: 1945 To 1975), which is a well-referred book in the study of the political events of Bangladesh during these period.

Illness and death[edit]

Ahad had been ill and in the hospital in March/April, 2012, returning home after his condition improved. He was again admitted to Shamarita Hospital in Dhaka on 14 October with a lung infection, ultimately resulting in his death on 20 October 2012, aged 84 or 85. His is survived by his wife, Professor Rashida Begum, and daughter Rumeen Farhana, a Barrister-at-Law, practicing at the High Court Division of Bangladesh Supreme Court.[1][2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Language warrior Oli Ahad dead". bdnews24. Retrieved 21 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Oli Ahad no more". The Daily Star (Dhaka, Bangladesh). 21 October 2012. p. 1. Retrieved 2012-10-21. 
  3. ^ Ahmed, Monowar. Bhasha Andoloner Shochitro Dolil, Agamee Prokashani, pp. 110 ISBN 984-401-147-7