MA Aziz organized Language Movement at Chattogram


A report, published in the weekly Ittefaq on February 17, 1952, reads: “A Sarbadaliya Rashtra Bhasha Sangram Committee (a multiparty State Language Committee) is to be formed at the initiative of the Secretary of the Awami League of Chittagong district, MA Aziz. Awami League, Chhatra League and Tamaddun Majlish are organizing a general strike and hartal on February 21.”

Since 1947, when the Muslim Awami League was not yet formed, MA Aziz coordinated the movements of opposition parties. Although he lived in a divisional city, he influenced central politics a lot.

Tamaddun Majilish was more active in the language movement in Chattogram in 1948. Despite the ideological differences between the organization and MA Aziz, he did not hesitate to cooperate with the Tamaddun Majlis in the greater interest of the country.

MA Aziz was born in 1921 in Halishahar, Chattogram.

His father was Mohabbat Ali and his mother was Rahima Khatun. MA Aziz graduated from Pahartali Railway High School in 1940 and Intermediate from Chittagong College in 1942.

Around this time, he joined the Bengal Muslim Students League. He was expelled from the college in 1944 due to his political activities. His political journey began by leading the Madrasa Hathazari movement during the excavation of the Halda River in 1948.

With the formation of the Awami Muslim League of East Pakistan at Rose Garden on June 23, 1949, MA Aziz took over as General Secretary of the Chattogram District branch of the party.

He spoke at a rally of Burma Oil Company workers led by Zahur Ahmad Chowdhury on January 15, 1950.

After Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s declaration on January 27, 1952 that Urdu would be the state language of Pakistan, Maulana Bhashani sent Shamsul Haque to Chattogram to organize the students there.

Although ShamsulHaque came to Chattogram with his wife, both disguised as tourists to evade detectives, he could not dodge them.

Detectives raided the Awami League office to arrest Haque. That day, MA Aziz accommodated Shamsul Haque and his wife in a hotel in the Chawkbazar district of the city. There, Shamsul Haque hatched a plan to accelerate the language movement in Chattogram schools and colleges.

Meanwhile, a Sharbadaliya Rashtro Bhasha Sangram Parishad (All-Party Council of the State Language Movement) was formed on January 31, 1952 in Dhaka.

A meeting was called at the Awami League office in Chattogram on February 4 as part of the council’s programs. During the meeting, MA Aziz was elected co-organizer.

Recalling the incident, Language Movement veteran Abdullah Al Harun said, “MA Aziz visited different schools in the city of Chittagong and organized the students of the schools in favor of Bengali. The students of the College also contacted him. “

The weekly ‘Noubelal’ reported on February 21, 1952 that the Multiparty Language Committee had been formed in Chittagong on the initiative of MA Aziz of the Awami Muslim League district and Azizur Rahman of Tamaddun Majlish.

However, news of the shooting of students in Dhaka reached Chattogram on February 22. It was then that the flames of rebellion spread throughout the city.

Procession after procession proceeded to the premises of the former Wajiullah Institute, where MA Aziz addressed the crowd.

On this day, it was decided that a hartal and a public rally would be held in Chattogram on February 23 and February 24 respectively. Later, a procession led by MA Aziz and another procession led by Zahur Ahmad Chowdhury converged on the historic Laldighi Maidan.

MA Aziz delivered his speech to a rally of millions at Laldighi Maidan on February 24. This is where the first Ekushey-related poem — “I did not come here to mourn, I came with a request for execution” — was recited.

On March 5, 1952, the RashtraBhashaSangramParishad celebrated “Martyr’s Day”. It was not so successful in Dhaka. But the largest public gathering took place in Chattogram. MA Aziz addressed the rally.

On the show, he strongly criticized government leaflets and statements by so-called Muslim League leaders.

His arguments were so compelling that those present at the rally vigorously expressed their support for him.

Shortly after, MA Aziz was arrested and sent to prison. In 1953, he was elected a member of the Central Executive Committee of the Muslim Awami League.

In 1954 and 1958, the ruling classes of Pakistan again arrested MA Aziz.

When Bangabandhu declared the historic six-point program in Lahore in 1966, large sections of the Awami League themselves were hesitant to accept it. At the time, MA Aziz stood next to Bangabandhu.

He also held a public rally in support of the Six Points at the Laldighi Maidan. He too was later arrested along with Bangabandhu, Tajuddin Ahmad and Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury under the Security Act of May 8, 1966, for organizing this meeting.

M. A. Aziz was elected Member of National Assembly of Pakistan from Kotwali-Double Mooring Constituency as Awami League Candidate in December 1970 General Election.

He died of a heart attack while returning home from attending a public meeting in Fatikchhari on January 11, 1971.


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