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A.K. Fazlul Huq
A.K.Fazlul Huq full name Abul Kasem Fazlul Huq, also known as “Sher-e-Bangla” (Tiger of Bengal) was such kind of a leader who did a very useful and important political, social and educational contribution for the Muslims of the sub-continent. He dedicated almost fifty precious years of his life to attaining separate nation for the Muslims of India.
Early life and Education
A.K.Fazlul Huq son of Kazi Wazeed Ali was born on 26 October 1873 at Chakhar in Barisal. His father was a good civil and criminal lawyer, and his grandfather was a good Arabic and Persian scholar. His mother’s name was Syed-un-Nisa. His parents arranged his traditional Islamic education at home. He learned Arabic and Persian along with the religious book “QURAN PAK”. After this, he starts his regular studies and got admitted to Barisal Zillah School. He completed his F.A from presidency college Kolkata and scored distinction over there. He then obtained his B.A. degree with triple honor in chemistry, physics, and mathematics and M.A in Mathematics from Kolkata University. He was a clever and intelligent student. He completed his education with a law degree in 1897 and start practice in Kolkata high court. He was the second Muslim in India who got a law degree.
He started his political career in the hand of Sir Khawaja Salimullah and Syed Nawab Ali Chauhdry and starts his politics by the formation of the Muslim League where he got the chance to work with Nawab Waqar-ul-Mulk. In 1913, he was selected as a legislative council member. He also served as a secretary of the Bengal Muslim League, where he was leading Bengali Muslims till 1916. In 1915, he also formed an organization for farmers and laborers and named it “Krishk Parjasmaty” and because of this organization large amount of farmers like him, very early he organized a meeting of this organization every year where they talk about their problems. In 1916, he became president of the All India Muslim league after Maulana Mohammad Ali Johar. He was very much in favor of farmers and laborers. He always worked to arrange a better educational system for them. In 1912, he also formed the “Central National Mohammadan Educational Association”, he was president of it and due to the effort of this Muslim students were somehow getting few facilities both by money and education.
In 1916, he played a very vital role in creating a Lucknow pact between the Congress and the Muslim League. He became then joint secretary of the Indian National Congress in 1917. He also leads the All India Khilafat conference in 1920. In 1919, when Montague Chelmsford Reforms were implemented as an act then Hindus were given majority in all over Indian offices, powers were divided and provincial governments were divided into two parts. So, Fazlul Huq was made the first president of Bengal. It was for the very first time after the battle of Plessey that Muslims got that much big authority. Except that he also provides jobs to Muslim students and even reserved seats for them in different schools and colleges.
After leaving the congress, he interacted with Jinnah and organized the Muslim League in 1920, led by Jinnah in different political affairs. He also participated in round table conferences as a representative of Bengali Muslims. In the first conference, other leaders like Quaid-i-Azam, Sir Agha Khan, Maulana Muhammad Ali Johar, Begum Shahnawaz, etc were also with him. In 1935, he became a member of the Indian legislative assembly, and in the same year he was also selected as a mayor in Kolkata Corporation, he was the first Muslim mayor in Kolkata. In 1937, he was elected as a Chief Minister of undivided Bengal.
In March 1940, the All India Muslim league’s 27th yearly conference was arranged in Lahore, this conference continued for three days 22, 23, and 24 March. Almost every Muslim leader comes to this conference from all over the sub-continent. Like other leaders, Fazlul Huq also participates and takes an active part in this conference. In this conference, he presents a resolution and spoke for the protection of the rights of the Muslims in India, and after passing this resolution he became very famous in the sub-continent. After the creation of Pakistan, the government of Pakistan elected him an Advocate in East Pakistan, and in 1956, he was appointed as Governor of East Pakistan. He also served as an interior minister. He also participated in the Bengali language movement and was also injured due to the police’s lathi charge. He separated or resigned from politics in 1961. A quarrel between Quaid-i-Azam and Fazlul Huq was the main reason behind the separation of Fazlul Huq’s separation from politics.
Personal life and Legacy
Fazlul Huq lives a simple life and highly respected personality because of his leadership quality. He joined politics to help the poor. He was very kind and polite with the poor. He was a great leader of the Muslim league. He knew that the reason for the downfall of Muslims was only the dis-interest in education, and it was very necessary for the betterment of Muslims. He established many institutions in India like Islamic college in Kolkata, Adina Fazlul Haque College in Rajshahi, Dhaka Eden girls college building, Medical college hostel, engineering college hostel, Fazlul Haque Hall of Dhaka University. When he was 21 years old his father died. His first wife’s name was Rice begum and after her death, he then got married to Khadija Begum. Fazlul Huq was a leader who worked a lot for Bengal. He was a politician, a well-known lawyer, and a good journalist. His extended family was now scattered in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
Because of the bad health, he got admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital. A true Muslim and a proud Bengali, Fazlul Huq died on Friday 27 April 1962 at the age of 89 years and 6 months. Almost every person was in his Janazah and all offices and institution were closed for giving him tribute. “Sher-e-Bangla” was buried in Dhaka. Fazlul Huq, Nazimuddin, and Suharwardy all of them were buried side by side in the ground of Dhaka high court.