Portrait of an icon: Sher-e-Bangla Abul Kasem Fazlul Huq

Tiger of Bengal


Marriyum Latif
3 minutes read

Abul Kasem Fazlul Huq, popularly known as Sher-e-Bangla (Tiger of Bengal), was born on October 26,1873 in Saturia town, which is situated in Bakerganj area. He was the first to support and present the Lahore Resolution, which required the creation of sovereign Muslim-majority states in eastern and northwestern British India in 1940. In 1943, he was chosen as the Prime Minister of Bengal amid the British Empire in Bengal. A renowned legal advisor and promoter, he served as General Secretary of the Indian National Congress; and was a working board of trustees individual from the All-India Muslim League. In 1929, he established the Krishak Praja Party (K.P.P.). After the sovereignty of the two states Dominion of Pakistan and Dominion of India, he moved to Pakistan and governed the United Front government in East Pakistan, serving as Chief Minister and Governor. He, later on served as central minister of home issues, food, and agribusiness. A deep rooted Bangla patriot, he is viewed as one of the fore running pioneers in the freedom of Pakistan. He set up the Bengali Academy in Dacca. Huq passed away in 1962 and was interred on the grounds of Ramna Park in Shahbag.

He passed the selection test from Barisal Zilla School in 1890, and the FA Examination in 1892. He then acquired a BA degree (with triple Honors in Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics) from Presidency College. Then he completed his Master’s in English degree from Calcutta University. Only six months before the final examination, a companion of him teased that, Muslims are weak in Mathematics and that is the reason he was studying English. Huq opposed it vigorously and dared his companion that he will sit for Mathematics exam rather than English. With special consent to go to the exam, he passed the Master of Arts in Mathematics from Calcutta University with distinction.

Overall his rule was not stable as it was damaged by controversies. In 1938, the Independent Scheduled Castes got separated and the K.P.P. gradually began to break down. Moreover, he moved the well-known Lahore Resolution in 1940, which expanded communal hostility. The Lahore Resolution, drafted by Sir Zafrulla Khan, of 1940 built up Muslim League’s interest for a separate country for Muslims that at last brought about our beloved country, Pakistan.
In the early 1940s, Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the Muslim League directed a public campaign against Huq. He was blamed for being a renegade and conflicting with the interests of Bengali Muslims. This hurt Muslim solidarity in East Bengal and harmed Huq’s reputation. In 1945, he contested elections effectively on two seats, but his party was defeated seriously by the All India Muslim League. In 1947, he joined the League campaign to incorporate Calcutta in Pakistan but the opposition of the Congress guaranteed the partition of the province. Later on, he blamed Jinnah for not being diligent enough for the cause.

A. K. Fazlul Huq was chosen to the Bengal Legislative Council and was appointed as the Education Minister under the dyarchy plan in 1924. As Education Minister, he was contributory in setting up the Islamia College in Calcutta, making an exceptional directorate for Muslim education and holding seats for Muslim young men in different universities of Bengal. These reforms were seem to elevate one and only group, and were restricted by the Hindu individuals from the Legislative Council who passed a no-confidence motion against Huq. Therefore, he held office for six months only.

He was married three times. His first wife was Khurshid Begum with whom he had two little girls. The marriage ended in separation. His second wife was Musammat Jannatunissa Begum who was from Howrah, West Bengal. They had no children. His third wife Khadija was from Meerut area, Uttar Pradesh. They had a son together, A. K. Faezul Huq, who played an important part in Bangladeshi politics.

One Response

  1. April 30 2016
    No one had the rights to divide Bengal
    No one had the rights to divide Punjab
    No one had the rights to divide Kashmir
    But the religious divisions made the division possible but all such nations coming out of such divisions remain divided within. Beside the religion, other divisive elements pop in with linguistic, ethnic, racial, and other divisions. Is division a viable mean to attain peace for all matters ?
    A united geographical boundary of a nation can understand all such divisions with full democratic rights to each diversity protecting each one’s right in such a land. I recognize all such already divided lands in Indian Subcontinent but deter them against any further divisions and separations. Utilise your passion in a democratic fervour without violence, communal tension, hatred and subjugation against fellow citizens and strengthen your nation through democratic principles by listening to all and without oppressing and threatening anyone in your nation.
    You would become an ideal nation like of CANADA (Amen / Amen).

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