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Heroes of Bangla Language movement (1952)

Bangla Language Movement

21 February 1952

Language Monument

Icon: Amar Ekushe

Bhasha: Shahabuddin


Language Heroes

 Rafiq, Salam, Barkat, Jabbar

Rafiq (Rafiq Uddin Ahmed): The eldest son of Abdul Latif Miyan and Rafiza Khatun, Shahid Rafique hailed from Paril a village in the Manikganj district. The Miyan family runs printing business, a business Rafiq was running in 1952. Rafique had four younger brothers: Rashid, Khaleque (a freedom fighter) Salam and Khorshed Alam. Rafique was distinguished, since his childhood, as a supportive, upright, patriotic social worker with passion for music and theatre. He staged and acted in various plays in the neighboring villages.

A pretty cousin of his, gorgeous Rahela Khanom Panu from the next door neighbor, was Rafiquw’s sweet heart. Their passionate love affair was recognized by Rafique’s parents and they organized their wedding. Accompanied by his nephew, Rafique went to Dhaka for shopping for his forthcoming wedding.

On 21st February 1952, although scheduled to return home with his shopping-sari, blouse, churies, alta (lac dye), powder and some ornaments-Rafique, due to his love for Bangla language, instead of going home, joined the protest rally of Bangla Language Movement organized by the students of Dhaka university leaving his shopping with his nephew. His love for his mother tongue surpassed his life long passion for his sweet heart Panu to whom he never returned as a groom. Shot dead by the Paki cops in the language procession on 21st February, Rafique’s dead body was later dumped by the Paki commandos (who stole the dead bodies of language martyrs from Dhaka Medical college morgue) in the Azimpur grave yard where thousands of Bangalees paid their homage the next morning.

Barkat (Abul Barkat): An MA final year student of the department of political science of Dhaka University. Barkat was born on 16 June 1927 at Babla village of Murshidabad district in India. His father’s name was late Shamsuddin and his local address was Bishnu Priya Bhaban, Purana Paltan, Dhaka.

Salam (Abdus Salam): A staff member of the industrial directorate. Salam was shot on 21st February and died in Dhaka Medical College hospital on 17 April 1952. Father: Mohd Fajil Miah.

Jabbar  (Abdul Jabbar): Bangla Language martyr Abdul Jabbar was born on 26 Ashwin, 1326B (1927) in Pachua village, Gaforgaon, Mymensingh. His father’s name was Hasen Ali and mother’s name Safatun Nesa. Jabbar was the eldest son of his family. His schooling started in 1333B (1934) at the Dhopaghat Krishibazar Primary school. After finishing year five at the primary school, Jabbar quit school being upset with his father and left home.

Jabbar, however, returned home after a few months. But later he left for Rangun from Narayanganj. The captain of the ship Jabbar boarded on to go to Ranguan promised him a job in the ship. But he never got the job due to poor health. Returning home, Jabbar organized a village defense group with boys from the neighborhood and took the led the group as its commander. In 1949 he married one of his friends’ sister, Amina Khatun, and settled down. One and a half year after the marriage Jabbar and Amina had a baby boy. The boy was named Nurul Islam Badol.

In February 1952 Jabbar’s mother-in-law fell ill. Jabbar took her to Dhaka for treatment. With the help of one Sirajul Islam, a doctor from the neighboring village, Jabbar managed to admit his mother-in-law in Dhaka Medical College Hospital. In 1952 the Provincial Assembly of East Bangla was next to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

Dhaka of February 1952 was a political volcano. Meetings, processions, rallies and picketing were everyday events in the Dhaka university campus. On 19 February, Jabbar took leave of all his relatives. After dinner while he was taking leave from her aunt Aysha Khatun, she affectionately tied the buttons of his shirt. Jabbar spent the night of 20 February at some Abdul Hai’s residence.

In the morning of 21 February Jabbar went to hospital to see his mother-in-law. After spending some time with Dr Sirajul Islam, Jabbar went outside the hospital gate to buy some fruits for the patient. The procession of language movement was culminating outside. Crowds with fiery eyes and thundering slogans-We demand Bangla as state language-turned the university campus into a battleground. The spirit of the protesting crowd sucked Jabbar in within a flash. Mother-in-law, hospital, fruits all faded away from his memory. Jabbar became the crowd, he carried the banner in front of the procession. When the police opened fire, Jabbar being in the front line, was one of the first to fall.

With Barkat and other martyrs of language movement, Jabbar was immediately taken into the emergency. Jabbar breathed his last on the way to the operation theatre: the first martyr to be one with eternity.

Shafiur Rahman: 28 years old High Court staff and a law student Shafiur Rahman was killed by the Pakistani troops beside the Khoshmahal Restaurant near Rathkhola on Nababpur road. Shafiur Rahman was the father of a daughter and left behind his pregnant wife and a big family dependent on his income. His father’s name was Maulabi Mahbubur Rahman and he was born in Konnagar village of the Hugli district in India.

Ahi Ullah: Details of language martyr Ahi Ullah are still unknown as the police later captured his dead body and dumped. He was the son of a builder named Habibur Rahman.

Abdul Awal: Abdul Awal died under the police truck used to disperse the funeral procession of the martyrs of the Bangla language movement.

An unidentified boy: Like Abdul Awal, this unidentified lad was run over by the police truck used to disperse the funeral procession of the martyrs of the Bangla language movement. His death was never acknowledged by the Pakistani government.

Champion of Bangla Language

Dhirendra Nath Datta

In defence of Bangla: Bangla as the state language of Pakistan

Sir, in moving this– the motion that stands in my name– I can assure the House that I do so not in a spirit of narrow Provincialism, but, Sir, in the spirit that this motion receives the fullest consideration at the hands of the members. I know, Sir, that Bangla is a provincial language, but so far our state is concerned, it is the language of the majority of the People of the state. So although it is a provincial language, but as it is a language of the majority of the people of the state and it stands on a different footing therefore. Out of six crores and ninety lakhs of people inhabiting this State, 4 crores and 40 lakhs of people speak the Bangla language. So, Sir, what should be the State language of the State? The State language of the state should be the language which is used by the majority of the people of the State, and for that, Sir, I consider that Bangla language is a lingua franca of our State. It may be contended with a certain amount of force that even in our sister dominion the provincial language have not got the status of a lingua franca because in her sister dominion of India the proceedings of the constituent Assembly is conducted in Hindustani, Hindi or Urdu or English. It is not conducted in the Bangla language but so far as the Bangla is concerned out of 30 crores of people inhabiting that sister dominion two and a half crores speak the Bangla language. Hindustani, Hindi or Urdu has been given and honored place in the sister dominion because the majority of the people of the Indian Dominion speak that language. So we are to consider that in our state it is found that the majority of the People of the state do speak the Bangla language than Bangla should have an honoured place even in the Central Government.

I know, Sir, I voice the sentiments of the vast millions of our State. In the meantime I wand to let the House know the feelings of the vastest millions of our State. Even, Sir, in the Eastern Pakistan where the People numbering four crores and forty lakhs speak the Bangla language the common man even if he goes to a Post Office and wants to have a money order form finds that the money order is printed in Urdu language and is not printed in Bangla language or it is printed in English. A poor cultivator, who has got his son, Sir, as a student in the Dhaka University and who wants to send money to him, goes to a village Post Office and he asked for a money order form, finds that the money order form is printed in Urdu language. He can not send the money order but shall have to rush to a distant town and have this money order form translated for him and then the money order, Sir, that is necessary for his boy can be sent. The poor cultivator, Sir, sells a certain plot of land or a poor cultivator purchases a plot of land and goes to the Stamp vendor and pays him money but cannot say whether he has received the value of the money is Stamps. The value of the Stamp, Sir, is written not in Bangla but is written in Urdu and English. But he cannot say, Sir, whether he has got the real value of the Stamp. These are the difficulties experienced by the Common man of our State. The language of the state should be such which can be understood by the common man of the State. The common man of the State numbering four crores and forty millions find that the proceedings of this Assembly which is their mother of parliaments is being conduct in a language, Sir, which is unknown to them. Then, Sir, English has got an honoured place, Sir, in Rule 29. I know, Sir, English has got an honoured place because of the International Character.

But, Sir, if English can have an honoured place in Rule 29 that the proceedings of the Assembly should be conducted in Urdu or English why Bangla, which is spoken by four crores forty lakhs of people should not have an honoured place, Sir, in Rule 29 of the procedure Rules. So, Sir, I know I am voicing the sentiments of the vast millions of our State and therefore Bangla should not be treated as a Provincial Language. It should be treated as the language of the State. And therefore, Sir, I suggest that after the word 'English', the words 'Bangla' be inserted in Rule 29. I do not wish to detain the House but I wish that the Members present here should give a consideration to the sentiments of the vast millions of over State, Sir, and should accept the amendment that has been moved by me.

Mr Datta's Speech in the Parliament


The contributors in the Bangla language movement


Dr Mohd Shahidullah (10 July 1885-13 July 1969). Professor

Maulana Bhasani (1885-1976). Politics

Dhirendra Nath Datta (1897- 1971). Lawyer and politician

Dr Quazi Motahar Hossain (1897-1981). Professor

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (Father of Bangladesh)

Maulana Abdur Rashid Tarkabagish (1900-85).Politics

Abul Hashim (1905-74). Politics

Ataur Rahman Khan (1905). Law and politics

Abdus Salam (1910-77). Jouralism

Abul Kalam Samsuddin (1897-1978) Journalism

Tofajjal Hossain Manik Miah (1911-69). Journalism

Osman Ali (1900-71) Daudkandi, Comilla) Business & Politics

Shaokat Osman (1917-) Huglee, India). Novelist

Sikandar Abu Jafor (1919-75, Tetulia, Khulna): Journalist & poet

Mohd Abdul Hai (1919-69, Murshidabad, India). Teaching

Samsul Huq (1920-64, Tangail): Politics

Mohd Abul Kashem (1920- Debendi, Chittagong)

Golam Maola (1921-67, Naria, Shariatpur). Medicine and Politics

Abdus Samad Azad (1922, Bhuakhali, Sunamganj). Politics

Kalim Sharafi (1924-): Singer

Mohd Toaha(1922-87)  Kushakhali, Laksmipur: Politics

Kamruddin Hossain Shahud (1925- Janglibari, Kishoreganj). Teaching

Munier Chaudhury (1925-71, Dhaka). Professor, Playwright.

Tajuddin Ahmed (1925-75), Kapasia, Dhaka): The leader of the liberation war.

Sardar Fazlul Karim (1925- Barisal). Professor

Shahidullah Kaiser (1926-71, Noakhali). Journalist and Novelist

Mofazzal Haider Chowdhury (1926-71). Professor

Mohd Sultan (1926-83, Boda, Panchagar): Politics & Business

SA Bari AT (1927-87, Munshipara, Dinajpur). Politics and law.

Mustafa Nurul Islam (1927, Nisindara, Bogra). Teaching

Kazi Golam Mahbub (1927, Barisal): Politics & law

Rafiq Uddin Bhuiyan (1928, Merenga, Mymensing).Politics

Badrul Alam (1927-80, Sherpur). Medicine

Mosharaf Hossain Chowdhury (1927, Tangail). Business

Meer Hossain Ahmed (1927, Dhaka). Professional

Mahbub Alam Chowdhury (1927, Chittagong): Industrialist

Ataur Rahman (1927, Bogra): Teaching

Abdul Momen (1928, Mohanganj, Netrokona). Politics & law

Abdul Matin (1928, Shailjana, Pabna). Politics

Fakir Shahabuddin (1927-89, Kapasia, Dhaka). Politics & law

Fazle Lohani (1928-85, Kolkata, India). Journalist & TV Presenter

Gaziul Huq (1928). Lawyer

MA Ajmal Hossain Bulbul (1928, Sirajganj). Medicine

KG Mustafa: (1928, Kuripara, Sirajganj). Journalism

Zillur Rahman (1929, Kishoreganj) Politics & law

Abdul Gafur(1929-). Journalism

Ahmed Rafiq (1929, Comilla). Medicine

Ali Ahad (1929, Comilla). Politics

Shamsur Rahman (1929, Mahuttuli, Dhaka). Poet

Usha Bepari (1929, Rajbari). Nursing

Abdullah al Muti (1930, Pabna). Scientist

Zulmat Ali Khan (1930,Mymensing). Politics & law

Mohd Ali Asgar (1930) Comilla. Medicine

Habibur Rahman Shelly (1930) Murshidabad, India). Judge

Abdul Latif (1930,Raipasha, Barisal). Singer and musician

Ishtiaq Ahmed (1930, Kolkata, India)

MR Akhtar Mukul (1930) Bogra. Journalism

Anwarul Huq Khan (1930,Basirhat, India). Publisc service

Bahauddin Chowdhury (1930, Armanitola, Dhaka):Journalism

Altaf Mahmud (1930,Muladi, Barisal) Singer and musician

Sufia Karim (1930, Pabna). Teacher

Momtaz Begum (1930,Narayanganj). Teacher

Hasan Hafizur Rahman (1931, Jamalpur). Journalist and poet

Safia Khatun (1931, Kolkata, India). Teaching

Nizamul Huq (1931, Chhagalnaiya, Feni). Dance teacher

Aminul Islam (1931,Totia, Dhaka) Teacher, Arts College

Sadek Khan (1931,Munsiganj). Journalism

Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury (1932, Ulania, Barisal). Journalism

Murtaza Bashir (1932, Ramna, Dhaka). Teacher, Arts College

MN Nurul Alam (1932, Rajshahi). Lawyer

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