Inception of Awami League: Rise of Opposition Politics


With the 1947 partition based on a flawed Two-nation Theory of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, India and the artificial state of Pakistan came into being. The religion-based partition saw the birth of a Pakistan with two wings separated by a thousand miles. 

These two wings comprised two entirely different lands, languages and cultures. Besides, the repressive policies of the Pakistani ruling elite against various nationalities brought the question of Bangalee’s separate nationhood to the forefront. Against this backdrop, within 4 months and 20 days of the creation of Pakistan,an opposition student organization named East Pakistan Students League was formed under the leadership of the then young and promising student leader- Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on January 4, 1948. On June 23 next year, from a meeting of the leaders and activists known to be the supporters of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy at the Rose Garden of KM Das lane, Dhaka, a new political party named Awami Muslim League was formed. Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan  Bhashani became the President, Shamsul Haq of Tangail the Secretary while Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was made the Joint Secretary. It was the first opposition party in the then East Bengal (later renamed East Pakistan). In a process of secularization, the word- Muslim was later dropped from the name of the party.


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