East and West Pakistan
Purpose of this section
This section covers the problems of national integration between East and West Pakistan. It introduces candidates to the: Language Movement
Emerging disparities between the two wings of Pakistan, in terms of economic development, deface and other sectors. Summary
Between 1947 and 1956, the language issue created tension between the people of East and West Pakistan. But it was only one example of the many justices which the people of East Pakistan had to suffer at the time.
1947October: Formation of Rashtra Bhasha Sangram Parishad. 194821 and 24 March: Announcement by Jinnah- Urdu alone should be the state Language- leading to protest. 19499 March: Formation of the Purbo Bangla Bhasha Committee. 195221 February: Language Movement- protests and killings. 1956Bangla given the status of one of the state languages in the 1956 Constitution of Pakistan.
Timeline showing the problems of integration between the two wings of Pakistan.
1. September 1947: Conference Supporting Bangla
Perhaps the first significant event in the Language Movement was in September 1947 when youth workers in East Pakistan held a conference in Dhaka with Tasadduk Hossain as President. This conference Passed a resolution calling for Bangla to be accepted as the language of the officces and the law courts and as the medium of instruction in East Pakistan. Shortly afterwards, a cultural organisation called Tamuddin Majlish called for Bangla to be made one of the state languages alongside Urdu. This call came in a booklet written by Professor Abul Kashem, who asked for all citizens of East Pakistan to join the Language Movement.
2. October 1947: An Organised Structure
In October 1947, Tamuddin Majlish formed a Rashtrabhasha Sangram Parishad to give the movement an organised structure. Nurul Haq Bhuyan was convener of this Sangram Parishad and a number of meetings held, such as that at the Fazlul Haq Hall, which was addressed by the poet Jasimuddin, Mr. Habibullah Bahar, Dr. Qazi Motahar Hossain, Professor Abul Kashem and others.
3. December 1947: Protest at Urdu being only state language
Despite these moves, in December 1947, the Education Conference held in Karachi sponsored by the government of Pakistan, decided to make only Urdu the state language of Pakistan. In protest on 6 December Students held a meeting at the Dhaka University campus under the chairmanship of Professor Abul Kashem and followed this meeting with a procession. The student also met with some of the provincial ministers, including Syed Afzal and obtained a promise on support for Bangla to be a state language.
4. January 1948: Demands Made
In January 1948, the Rashtra Bhasha Parishad made the following demands to question of language: 1. Bangla should be the medium of instruction and language of the offices and law courts of East Bengal (East Pakistan) 2. There should be two state language of Pakistan- Bangla and Urdu
5. February 1948: Protest at use of Urdu and English only
Another important step came in February 1948. The first Constitute Assembly of Pakistan started to record its proceedings in Urdu side by side with English. Dhirendra Nath Dutta of Comilla, a member of the Constituent Assembly from East Pakistan, protested about this demanded that Bangla should be seen as one of the official languages and the proceeding recorded in that language. The demand was rejected by the Constituent Assembly and in protest, students, teachers and intelligentsia of East Pakistan called a general strike in Dhaka on 26 February.
6. March 1948: Strikes
A few days later, on 2 March 1948, supporters of the Bangla language met at the Fazlul Haq Hall of Dhaka University. They agreed to form an all-party Rashtrabhasha Sangram Parishad. The Sangram Parishad called a general meeting on 11 March 1948 to show its opposition to the government’s decision to impose Urdu as...