Language Movement Leader: Prisoner of Political Jealousy
February is the month of Bengali Language Movement.
It is a month soaked with the blood of courageous Bengali speaking men and women who fought for their right to speak in their mother tongue, Bengali.
Unfortunately, in this month we have one of the leaders of the language movement, Ghulam Azam, behind the prison bars.
In 1952 he braved his own life to fight for the right of Bengali people to speak their own language and yet now he is a victim of false accusations and political jealousy. Out of political jealousy the current government of Bangladesh wants to strip Ghulam Azam of the honour of great sacrifice he has made for the right and honor of our mother tongue.
Who knows, may be Salam, Rafique, Barkat, and Jabbar, the great Martyrs of language movement, would also have been behind bars with Ghulam Azam now if they were alive today and spoke against the tyranny of the current Awami League government.
Ghulam Azam is not only a leader of the language movement but also one of the most courageous and popular student leader of his time. Ghulam Azam was elected the General Secretary of the Fazlul Haq Hall Muslim Hall in Dhaka University with the largest and record breaking support of students. His talent and charisma also lead him to be the General Secretary of Dhaka University Student Union for the 1947-1948 terms. He was re-elected again for the 1948-1949 term as the General Secretary. On December 3rd, 1950 he joined Rangpur Carmichael College as the lecturer of Political Science and remained a popular teacher there until 10th February, 1955. It was during his career as a professor that he actively played a leadership role in the 1952 language movement in Rangpur and was arrested and put behind prison in Rangpur.
In 1952, Hossain Shaheed Shohrawardi visited Rangpur during his election campaign. Professor Ghulam Azam was invited to a general assembly where Sheikh Mujib was also present. It was Mujib who introduced Ghulam Azam to Showrawardi as a leader of language movement who had sent a memorandum on behalf of the students of Dhaka University to then Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan demanding that Bengali be made the official language of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) instead of Urdu as Liaqat had planned on imposing by force. Now, Ghulam Azam is victim of State Terrorism for his role in supporting Islam and the people of Bangladesh and her sovereignty.
Will we not see through the mirage of propaganda and stand up for this great leader of language movement?
The time has come for all of us to forget our differences and unite under the cause of protecting the sovereignty of Bangladesh and clearly identify the patriots and the traitors.