Tofazzal Hossain Manik Miah

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Tofazzal Hossain Manik Miah
Manikmia.jpg
Born 1911
Bhandaria Thana, Pirojpur, British India
Died June 1, 1969
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Other names Manik Miah
Occupation Editor for The Daily Ittefaq
Awards Ekushey Padak Award 1976[1]

Tofazzal Hossain Manik Miah (Bengali: তফাজ্জল হোসেন মানিক মিয়া) (1911 - June 1, 1969) was a Bengali journalist and politician. He was the editor of The Ittefaq. Manik Miah played a vital role during the rise of Bengali nationalism in 1960s. His editorial "Rajnoitik Moncho" or "The political stage" was immensely popular and influential at that time. Most of his journalists were considered leftist as Manik Miah followed the pattern of Awami League. According to journalist and editor of Shongbad Bozlur Rahman, Awami activists followed his editorial more than any actual decision of a meeting.[2]

Early life[edit]

Manik Miah was born in Bhandaria Thana of Pirojpur District in 1911. He attended Pirojpur High School upon passing his Entrance Examination and earned his B. A. degree from Barisal Brajamohan College. He started working under Sub-divisional officer of Pirojpur as an assistant. Subsequently, he became Barisal's district public relation officer. Manik Mia was an outspoken person. Therefore, he resigned from government job and took up journalism as a profession.

He died at Karachi, Pakistan not in Dhaka Bangladesh as is cited. His closest friend and companion at death was A.K. Rafiqul Hussain ( Khair Miah Shahib). Khair Miah Shahib accompanied his beloved friend's dead body to Tejgaon Dhaka Airport. At the airport all prominent leaders were present to receive Manik Miah's dead body.

Role as a journalist[edit]

Tofazzal Hossain Manik Mia was famous for his political write-ups in Bengali. He was equally prolific in his English renderings. Manik Mia, who was popularly known for his powerful political column in the Daily Ittefaq (founded by Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani and Yar Mohammad Khan) under the pen-name 'Musafir' dedicated his entire life for the cause of emancipation of the people in the then East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and establishing the democracy in its truest sense. Yar Mohammad Khan invited Tofazzal Hossain Manik Mia who was working at that time as a journalist at Calcutta and made him the editor of The Daily Ittefaq.. Journalist, editor, columnist and pioneer of democratic politics Manik Mia always used his mighty pen as a weapon of struggle being inspired by patriotism, love for humanity and social responsibility. He was turned into an institution during his lifetime.

Manik Mia foundation

The Daily Ittefaq was burned down by Pakistani army on March 25, 1971 the day before declaration of independence of the country. The newspaper remerged after liberation war of 1971 in Bangladesh.

Democratic activism[edit]

Manik Mia was active in writing against military rule, autocracy and violation of the fundamental rights of people[citation needed]. Through his active involvement in the six point movement of the Awami League, and his editorials, Manik Mia contributed greatly to the secular nationalist movement that eventually led to the creation of Bangladesh. Moreover, Manik Mia played a significant role in inspiring the people to join the struggle for freedom under the leadership of Mujibur Rahman.[3] Manik Mia was a close companion of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and Mujibur Rahman. After independence, the present Manik Mia Avenue of Dhaka city has been named by Mujibur Rahman the then president of Bangladesh in recognition of his contributions to the Bengali nationalist movement.[4]

Six point movement[edit]

Manik Mia played an extremely decisive role during the Six Point Movement of 1966. The movement--spearheaded by Awami League leadership after realizing that the East and West Pakistan were moving along divergent economic paths--tried to establish regional economic autonomy of East Pakistan.

The announcement of the six point movement was supposed to be made by Shah Azizur Rahman as per the decision of Mujib himself. However, Tofazzal Hossain Manik Mia felt that it should be Mujib rather than Shah Azizur Rahman who should make the announcement. Mujib's declaration of the program in 1966 elevated his position as the undisputed supreme leader in what would become the movement for independence in 1971.

Between May and June 1966 almost the entire Awami League leadership was behind bars. Manik Mia was arrested on June 16, 1966. The following day, Ittefaq was ordered closed.

[5]

Death[edit]

Manik Mia died in 1969 at the age of 58 at Rawalpindi's Intercontinental Hotel in Pakistan of cardiac arrest. He was buried at the Azimpur graveyard in Dhaka, Bangladesh. During the burial, among his friends and supporters was his closest ally Sheikh Mujibur Rahman busy the whole day accomplishing the final rituals of Manik Mia, his greatest well wisher.

Books[edit]

Notable among his books are Pakistani Rajnitir Bish Bachhar (Twenty years of Pakistani politics) and Nirbachita Bhashan O Nibandha (Selected speeches and articles).

Positions held[edit]

  • Elected president of the Pakistan branch of International Press Institute in 1963.
  • Secretary of the government-sponsored Pakistan Press Court of Honours
  • Director of Pakistan International Airlines (1956-58).

External links[edit]

References[edit]