Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ekushey February: A Timeline -- 4

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THE CLIMAX OF THE LANGUAGE MOVEMENT

1952 (January 26):
Khwaja Nazimuddin, a Muslim League member and then the Prime Minister of Pakistan, at a public meeting at Paltan Maidan (an open-air field for sports and huge public gatherings) in Dhaka, repeated late Mohammad Ali Jinnah's earlier statement that Urdu would be the state language of Pakistan. This latest anti-Bangla speech, coupled with the Basic Principles Committee's 1950 interim report suggesting Urdu to be made the state language, started a new wave of language agitation in East Pakistan. The University of Dhaka students again began to take the leading part in this.

1952 (January 28):
East Pakistan Jubo (Youth) League and East Pakistan Students' League organized a protest rally at the Amtola (under an old mango tree in front of the university Arts Faculty building). In his speech, Habibur Rahman Shelly, publicly criticized Mr. Jinnah's anti-Bangla statement of 1948, Prime Minister Liaquat Ali's sychophancy, and Khwaja Nazimuddin's latest mimicry of Jinnah. Students also denounced the East Pakistan provincial ministers' toeing the line of the West Pakistani ruling elite.

1952 (January 30):
At the call of the Awami Muslim League party (later renamed Awami League), a secret meeting is held in Dhaka where a few communist and other small party members attend. They decide that the Awami Muslim League, under the leadership of Maulana Bhasani, take up and continue the Bangla langauge movement as the students themselves cannot do it alone.

1952 (January 31):
In this all-party gathering, an "All-Party Committee of Action" is formed with representatives from the Awami Muslim League, Khilafat-e-Rabbani party, Students' League and Youth League, and the Dhaka University State Language Committee of Action.

(Continued)
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