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A language hero inspired by poetry

From his first year of university studies, Abdullah Al Harun – mentored by the eminent poet Mahbub-ul-Alam Chowdhury – was different from his classmates

February 10, 2022, 08:30

Last modification: February 10, 2022, 08:32

Abdullah Al Haroun. Sketch: TBS

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Abdullah Al Haroun. Sketch: TBS

Political caution and a love of poetry can imbue a spirit in a young person who can eventually become a leader within him. The hero of the Chattogram language, Abdullah Al Harun, is a glaring example.

From his first year of university studies, Harun – mentored by the eminent poet Mahbub-ul-Alam Chowdhury – was different from his classmates. With a keen political conscience, he opposed the proposal to write Bengali in the Arabic alphabet by the then Pakistani rulers, and later spearheaded extremist political programs helping the fiery language campaign come to an end in 1952. .

Abdullah Al Harun was born on March 14, 1933 in the village of Gahira of the Raozan upazila of Chattogram. In 1948, he established a library named Pragati Sangha next to Gahira School. There he launched a program to mobilize student support for the recognition of Bengali as the state language. From 1950, he became involved in the chattogram-centric language movement.

During the movement, when the then Minister of Education, Fazlur Rahman, took the initiative to start a project to write Bengali in the Arabic alphabet, students from Chattogram College were the first to get involved. oppose. They sent an open letter to Fazlur Rahman and formed a cross-party student alliance. Subsequently, they played a glorious role in the language movement of 1952.

Abdullah Al Harun was the organizer of the Chattogram district student alliance. His prominent Language Movement comrades included MA Halim, Mohammad Ali, Golam Akbar Chowdhury, Abdul Hai, LM Nurunnabi and Dr Hashem.

Although Abdullah Al Harun was a freshman at that time, he was more politically aware due to his acquaintance with the poet and prominent hero of the language movement Mahbub-ul-Alam Chowdhury who wrote “Kadte Ashini Fashir Dabi Niye Eshechi “(I did not come to mourn, rather to invent the demand for justice). At this time, Chattogram College was at the center of all political activities with the support of Principal Abu Hena. Abdullah Al Harun was then editor of the college magazine which was published in English. Then some students, including Harun, took the initiative to publish the magazine in Bengali. Their initiative was met with protest from some students, but in vain.

The Governor of East Pakistan at the time was Sir Abdur Rahman and the Minister of Education was Fazlur Rahman. Fazlur Rahman came to Chattogram College in the 1950s. He first faced student protest publicly that day for his decision to write Bengali in Arabic.

A student alliance named the Independent Student Organization was then formed, with Abdullah Al Harun as president and Mohammad Ali and Farid Uddin Ahmed as general secretaries. Later, the name of this organization was changed to “Sarbadaliya Chhatra Sangram Parishad” in February 1952 and the above three student leaders were appointed co-organizers.

When Khawaja Nazimuddin – one of Pakistan’s founding fathers – declared that “Urdu shall be the state language” on January 26, 1952, students at Chattogram College erupted in protests and forced the multi-party Sarbadaliya Sangram Parishad to sit in a meeting. Student council leaders, including Abdullah Al Harun, began to influence parishad leaders as they could not come to a final decision on the state language. At one point the parishad announced a strike in Chattogram on February 21, 1952. The political caution of MA Aziz, Mahbub-ul-Alam Chowdhury, Chowdhury Harun, Ruhul Amin Nizami, Mofizul Islam, Nurul Islam Chowdhury and Abdullah Al Harun was important in the adoption of the program.

In preparation for the strike, students at Chattogram College worked tirelessly. The day after the strike, Chattogram students distributed the printed copy of the poem “Kadte Ashini Fashir Dabi Niye Eshechi”. Abdullah Al Harun played an important role in these activities.

Even the students led the demonstrations on February 21 and 22, 1952 in different parts of the city of Chattogram.

Abdullah Al Harun was the founding president of East Pakistan Students’ Union Chattogram District Chapter in 1952. He died on September 13, 2004.


Nahad logo. Photo: Courtesy

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Nahad logo.  Photo: Courtesy

Nahad logo. Photo: Courtesy

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