|Biographical detail : ||Hailed as the toiler’s friend and Bengal’s tiger.
Fazlul Huq also know as Sher-i-Bangla was one such individual whose illustrious career spanned over more than 65 years and who stands today as one of the stalwarts who relentlessly fought and strived for the creation of Pakistan since the Muslim League’s birth in Dhaka in 1906.
Possessing a rich voice, fluent in Bengali, Urdu and English and cultivating a rhythmic delivery, Fazlul Huq backed the call for Bengal’s partition, a Muslim demand. In 1905 the demand was conceded and Dacca became the capital of the new province of East Bengal and Assam.
In 1906 Fazlul Huq moved to Dacca and launched the Muslim League and was requested to draft the body’s constitution. He was elected general secretary of the Bengal’s Muslim League and eventually its president.
Fazlul Huq took the position of a deputy Magistrate and served in several places. Following Congress’s vigorous campaign Bengal’s partition was annulled by the Raj in 1911. Resenting the annulment he quit the Raj’s service and came to Calcutta.
Fazlul Huq cultivated Bengal’s peasants, speaking their language and opposing Bengal’s landlords on their behalf. This activity had led to the emergence, in 1917, of a Calcutta Agricultural Association.
Invited by the Raj for Round Table discussions on India’s future, Fazlul Huq went to London in 1930 and 1931 where he spoke for and about Bengal and as a Muslim and assailed Congress’s practice of distinguishing between “nationalist” and “communal” Muslims.
Fazlul Huq was elected for the Premiership of Bengal in mid-1930s. In his six years of ministry he fortified the tenant-peasant against landlord and moneylender, started a number of schools, colleges and hostels for Muslim students and fixed a fifty percent Muslim quota, and a fifteen percent scheduled caste quota, in new recruitment to government jobs.
Fazlul Huq’s political career was a series of turbulences and about-turns. He sought the inclusion of Calcutta, or of one-half of it, in East Pakistan at the time of the partition of the Indian subcontinent; he wanted to live in Pakistan and Calcutta, at the same time – Calcutta he new knew well and the city gave him glory, adulation and love.
Fazlul Huq was born Abul Kasem Fazlul Huq in Saturia, in Barisal district of Bangladesh; he was made for politics and oratory. He loved the sound of words and read poetry and religious books. He was flexible, warm, obeyed his instincts, and accessible. People from rural parts came and stayed in his Calcutta’s home, he gave money he did not have to students, widows and shrines – a benevolent person. His outstanding quality, above all, was sympathy. Because he showed his sympathy to many and for long, he was loved.
Fazlul Huq was indeed “the greatest son of Bengal.”