The declaration of independence by Bangabandhu on 26 March was endorsed in the 403-member Assembly on April 10. On April 17, Taufiq Elahi Chowdhury, Mahbub Uddin and Abu Osman Chowdhury organized the swearing-in ceremony and arranged a guard of honour at Vaidyanath Tola in Meherpur. All three of them were students of Dhaka University. Nurul Quader Khan, Hafiz Uddin Ahmad and barrister Amirul Islam were also present. The last one drafted the Mujib Nagar declaration and was earlier involved in the language movement in 1952.
Taking charge of ministries and setting up of secretariatsAfter taking oath, the responsibilities of ministers were distributed; secretaries, private secretaries and officers of various ministries were appointed to run the offices. Ruhul Kuddus, Qazi Lutful Haque, Hossain Taufiq Imam, Nurul Quader Khan, M.A. Samad, Khandkar Asaduzzaman, Dr. Farooq Aziz Khan and Mahbub Alam Chashi were among the top functionaries who were given various responsibilities in different ministries. The Ministry of External Affairs had Abul Fateh, R.I. Chowdhury, Anwarul Karim Chowdhury, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Mohiuddin Ahmad, Waliur Rahman and others who worked previously in different embassies of Pakistan. The heads of mission in Canada, Kolkata and New Delhi were Justice Abu Saeed Chowdhury, Mustafizur Rahman Siddiqui, M. Hossain Ali as well as Humayun Rashid Chowdhury - all were former students of Dhaka University. Almost all officials manned in other posts of ministries were either former students of the same university or the current senior students. Abu Saeed Chowdhury was the Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University. On hearing the news of the crackdown, he resigned and became involved in the Liberation War.
The delegation of the Government of Bangladesh to UNO was represented by Abu Saeed Chowdhury with Fanibhushan Majumdar, Syed Abdus Sultan, Sirajul Haque, Dr. Mofiz Chowdhury, Asabul Haque, Fakir Shahabuddin Ahmad, Abdus Samad Azad, M. R Siddiqui, Dr. A. R. Mallick, Professor Muzaffar Ahmad Chowdhury, Rehman Sobhan, Abul Fateh, Khurram Khan Ponni, M. A. Karim and M.A. Mohit as members. Apart from a handful of people, they were all involved in the language movement too while they were students of Dhaka University.
Regional Councils and Chairmen
The chairmen of the regional councils of Mujib Nagar Government were Nurul Islam Chowdhury, Zahur Ahmad Chowdhury, Colonel M.A. Rob, Dewan Farid Ghazi, Shamsur Rahman Khan, Motiur Rahman, Md. Abdur Rahim, Ashraful Islam Mia, Abdur Rauf Chowdhury, Fanibhushan Majumdar and Abdur Rob Serniabat. Their administrators were respectively, M.A Samad, Rakib Uddin, Dr. K. A. Hasan, Lutfur Rahman, Faiz Uddin Ahmad, M. A. Kashem, Zahurul Islam Bhuiya, Shamsul Haque, B.B. Bhose and M.A. Momin. With a few exceptions, almost all of the regional chairmen and regional administrators were alumni and teachers of Dhaka University. This was desirable and normal too because this university was the only university in the country till 1953 and the hot-bed of students politics aligned to liberation struggle.
Planning Cell and Dhaka
University's RepresentationDr. Mozaffar Ahmed Choudhury of Dhaka University was the Chief of the Planning Cell, the members were Dr. Musharraf Hossain, Dr. Khan Sarwar Murshid, Dr. Anisuzzaman, Dr. Swadesj Ranjan Bose, while Dr. Vineet Wazihur Rahman, teacher of IER, Dhaka University, was the Senior Research Officer.
Training Camps and their Chairmen
About half of the members, including the chairmen of the Youth Training Camps, the Youth Control Council and the Training Board, were former students of Dhaka University. The number of youth training camps was 19. Each youth training camp was organized with heads, assistant camp heads, supervisors, political trainers, and physical training instructors, medical and assistant doctors. The total number of persons connected with these organizations was several thousands. Generally, the heads of youth camps were MNA or MP. The Bangladesh government also formed the Youth Camp Control Council in mid-June. This had a central committee consisting of Director General and regional directors and was meant to provide primary shelter to the refugees, select fighters and send them to training. Among the directors of the Central Committee and other departments were Dr. Mofiz Chowdhury, Nurul Quader Khan, Professor Nurul Islam, Abdus Samad, all were former students of Dhaka University. About 80,000 students and youth were trained and sent to the battlefield from these centres.
Abdul Mannan, a former student of Dhaka University and Awami league leader, was in-charge of the Ministry of Information and Radio. He was also the editor of Jai Bangla magazine. Among those associated with Jai Bangla magazine were Zillur Rahman, Abdul Mateen Chowdhury, Principal Mohammad Khaled, Dr. Ghulam Samdani; M.A. Mohaimen, Ghulam Sarwar, Anu Islam and many others.
The Dhaka University had a large chunk of those involved in the independent Bangla Radio Centre as artists, art-craftsmen and the celebrated author and reader of the ‘Charam Patra’ (extreme letter) Mr. M. R. Akhtar Mukul, artist Apple Mahmood, Swapna Roy, Bulbul Mahanalabish, Nasreen Ahmed, Aminul Haque Badshah, Zillur Rahman, Anwarul Haque Khan, Alamgir Kabir, Ali Zaker, Sultana Zaman, Bulbul Osman, Asad Chowdhury, Syed Ali Ahsan, Anupam Sen were all students of Dhaka University once. Also Zaheer Raihan, Abdul Ghaffar Chowdhury, Ferdous Qureshi, Sikandar Abu Zafar, Kazi Rozi, Abu Toab Khan, Nirmalendu Gun, Musa Sadiq, Qadri Kibria, Badrul Hasan, Mahadev Saha, Mahbub Talukdar, Amir Hossain, Abul Kashem Sandeep, Vipradas Barua, Rathindranath, Laila Hasan, Manoranjan Ghosal and many others were also former or current students at Dhaka University. These involved in building the public opinion, propaganda to boost up morale of the people inside occupied Bangladesh and aboard were mostly the former students of Dhaka University.
to be continued....
The writer is a former student and teacher of Dhaka University and
currently serving as the Vice Chancellor of World University of Bangladesh