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A. K. Fazlul Huq

Bengali politician

Died when: 88 years 183 days (1062 months)
Star Sign: Scorpio


A. K. Fazlul Huq

Abul Kasem Fazlul Huq (Bengali: আবুল কাশেম ফজলুল হক, Urdu: ابو القاسم فضل الحق‎; 26 October 1873 — 27 April 1962), popularly known as Sher-e-Bangla (Lion of Bengal), was a British Indian and Pakistani lawyer, writer and parliamentarian from eastern Bengal (present-day Bangladesh).

His political achievements included being the first and longest serving Prime Minister of Bengal, presenting the Lahore Resolution and leading the United Front to win the 1954 East Bengali election.

In Pakistan, he is remembered as one of the country's founding statesmen.In Bangladesh, he is revered as one of the most important Bengali statesmen of the 20th century.

According to Indian historian and Mahatma Gandhi's grandson Rajmohan Gandhi, "He who in 1943 had wanted to see Nazimuddin and Suhrawardy bite the dust now shares the same stretch of earth with them.

All three are buried, side by side, in the grounds of the Dhaka High Court.For a while, the two of them were called Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Fazlul Huq was not.But only he was spoken of as the Royal Bengal Tiger".Huq was first elected to the Bengal Legislative Council from Dhaka in 1913; and served on the council for 21 years until 1934.

Huq was a key figure in the Indian independence movement and the later the Pakistan movement.In 1919, he had the unique distinction of concurrently serving as President of the All India Muslim League and General Secretary of the Indian National Congress.

He was also a member of the Congress Party's enquiry committee into the Amritsar massacre.He was a member of the Central Legislative Assembly for 2 years, between 1934 and 1936.

For 10 years between 1937 and 1947, he was an elected member of the Bengal Legislative Assembly, where he was Prime Minister and Leader of the House for 6 years.

After partition, he was elected to the East Bengal Legislative Assembly, where he was Chief Minister for 2 months; and to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan, where he was Home Minister for one year during the 1950s.

Huq boycotted titles and a knighthood granted by the British government.He was notable for his English oratory during speeches to the Bengali legislature.

Huq courted the votes of the Bengali middle classes and rural communities.He pushed for land reform and curbing the influence of zamindars.

As Prime Minister, Huq used legal and administrative measures to reduce the debt of millions of farmers subjected to tenancy under the Permanent Settlement.

Huq was considered a leftist and social democrat on the political spectrum.His ministries were marked by intense factional infighting.

In 1940, Huq had one of his most notable political achievements when he presented the Lahore Resolution which called for the creation of a sovereign state in the Muslim-majority eastern and northwestern parts of British India.

During the Second World War, Huq joined the Viceroy of India's defence council and supported Allied war efforts.Under pressure from the Governor of Bengal during the Quit India movement and after the withdrawal of the Hindu Mahasabha from his cabinet, Huq resigned from the post of premier in March 1943.

In the Dominion of Pakistan, Huq worked for five years as East Bengal's attorney general and participated in the Bengali Language Movement.

He was elected as chief minister, served as a federal minister and was a provincial governor in the 1950s.Huq became secretary of the Bengal Provincial Muslim League in 1913.

In 1929, he founded the All Bengal Tenants Association, which evolved into a political platform, including as a part of the post-partition United Front.

Huq held important political offices in the subcontinent, including President of the All India Muslim League (1916-1921), General Secretary of the Indian National Congress (1916-1918), Education Minister of Bengal (1924), Mayor of Calcutta (1935), Prime Minister of Bengal (1937-1943), Advocate General of East Bengal (1947-1952), Chief Minister of East Bengal (1954), Home Minister of Pakistan (1955-1956) and Governor of East Pakistan (1956-1958).

Huq was fluent in Bengali, English, Urdu, Arabic, and Persian.Huq died in Dacca, East Pakistan on 27 April 1962.He is buried in the Mausoleum of Three Leaders.

Huq is widely revered and admired in Bangladesh for his role as a leading voice of Bengali Muslims in British India.

He is the namesake of Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, which houses the Parliament of Bangladesh.His son A.K.Faezul Huq was a Bangladeshi politician.

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