Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Ekushey February: A Timeline -- 9

1957 (February 7):

The Awami Muslim League organized the historic Kagmari Conference, presided by Maulana Bhasani and attended, among others, by Prime Minister Suhrawarthy. The main themes were regional autonomy and foreign policy. Suhrawarthy was complacent about the autonomy, but Maulana Bhasani was very explicit: "If you [West Pakistan] carry on your exploitation in East Pakistan, if you do not accept full autonomy for East Pakistan, the ruling class of Pakistan should know one thing -- assalamu alaikum -- you go in your way and we will go in our way." The regional autonomy, that was mentioned in the 1940 Lahore Resolution, gained renewed momentum after the February 21, 1952 death of the language martyrs and resurgence of Bangalee nationalism.

1957 (April 3):

The East Pakistan Assembly passed the following unanimous resolution on the issue of full autonomy: "This assembly is of the opinion that government of East Pakistan should represent to the government of Pakistan for taking suitable steps for providing full regional autonomy for East Pakistan, leaving the following subjects only to the concern of the Centre: Currency, Foreign Affairs, and Defence." The motion was moved by Muzaffar Ahmed and supported by Sheikh Mujibur Rahman of the Awami League and Abu Hossain Sarker of the Krishak Sramik Party.

1958 (February 1):

After newspapers published reports on the delay and unfinished work of the Shaheed Minar, the work on the construction restarted on this day after a break of two years. The completion deadline was August, 1958.

1958 (February 21):

The Ekushey was observed throughout the country with due solemnity. Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah mentioned in a public meeting in Rajshahi that he would recommend Bangla to be used in all transactions of the university.

1958 (October 7):

President Iskander Mirza of Pakistan, in collusion with Army Chief General Ayub Khan, proclaimed martial law throughout East and West Pakistan. Ayub Khan becomes the Chief Martial Law Administrator. The Constitution of Pakistan is abrogated, national and provincial assemblies are dissolved and central and provincial governments are dismissed.

1958 (October 27):

General Ayub Khan, after forcing Iskander Mirza resign from Presidency and leave the country, takes over the administrative charge of Pakistan. Under his care all types of repressive measures come into effect in the political, economic, educational and cultural arena until his resignation from power in 1969 under country-wide public fury and agitation.

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