Nurul Amin

Nurul Amin

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Nurul Amin was a prominent Bengali
Bengali people
The Bengali people are an ethnic community native to the historic region of Bengal in South Asia. They speak Bengali , which is an Indo-Aryan language of the eastern Indian subcontinent, evolved from the Magadhi Prakrit and Sanskrit languages. In their native language, they are referred to as বাঙালী...

 leader of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

's Muslim League
Muslim League (Pakistan)
Muslim League was the original successor of All India Muslim League that led the Pakistan Movement achieving an independent nation. After formation of Pakistan, the party was renamed to Muslim League which came to an end soon after Qaid-e-Azam's death on the first marshal law in 1958.-History:On...

 who served as the 8th Prime Minister of Pakistan
Prime Minister of Pakistan
The Prime Minister of Pakistan , is the Head of Government of Pakistan who is designated to exercise as the country's Chief Executive. By the Constitution of Pakistan, Pakistan has the parliamentary democratic system of government...

, and the only first and the last Vice President of Pakistan from 1970 till 1971. Having started his career as Chief Minister
Chief Minister
A Chief Minister is the elected head of government of a sub-national state, provinces of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, notably a state of India, a territory of Australia or a British Overseas Territory that has attained self-government...

 of East Pakistan
East Pakistan
East Pakistan was a provincial state of Pakistan established in 14 August 1947. The provincial state existed until its declaration of independence on 26 March 1971 as the independent nation of Bangladesh. Pakistan recognized the new nation on 16 December 1971. East Pakistan was created from Bengal...

 in 1948, Amin was one of the leading activist in Pakistan Movement
Pakistan Movement
The Pakistan Movement or Tehrik-e-Pakistan refers to the historical movement to have an independent Muslim state named Pakistan created from the separation of the north-western region of the Indian subcontinent, partitioned within or outside the British Indian Empire. It had its origins in the...

 and close associate of Liaqat Ali Khan and Mohammad Ali Jinnah. In Pakistan, he is respectable Bengali figure and considered, by many, the patriot who opposed the movements that eventually led to the severing of ties between his Bengali people and the concept of a Muslim homeland in South Asia.

Early life


Amin was born in the village of Shahbazpur, in what was then undivided Bengal's Brahmanbaria District
Brahmanbaria District
Brahmanbaria is a district in east-central Bangladesh. It is a part of the Chittagong Division. It was part of greater Comilla District until 1984. Before 1830 the Sarail Pargana was a part of Mymensingh district...

, he grew up in Mymensingh District
Mymensingh District
Mymensingh is one of the districts of Dhaka division, Bangladesh, and is bordered on the north by Meghalaya state of India and Garo Hills, on the south by Gazipur district, on the east by districts of Netrokona and Kishoreganj, and on the west by districts of Sherpur, Jamalpur and Tangail...

. He passed entrance examination in 1915 from Mymensingh Zila School, I.A and B.A from Mymensingh Ananda Mohan College in 1917 and 1919 respectively. Having obtained his B.L degree from Calcutta University he joined the Mymensingh Judge Court Bar in 1924.

Political career


Amin started his public career as a member of Mymensingh Local Board (1929). He became a member of Mymensingh District Board (1930), commissioner of Mymensingh Municipality (1932), and had been the chairman of Mymensingh District Board from 1937 to 1945. For a long time, Amin was the president of Mymensingh district unit of Muslim league, and was elected the vice president of Bengal Provincial Muslim League in 1944. Amin was elected a member of the Bengal Legislative Assembly in 1946 and was elected its Speaker. He took active part in Pakistan Movement. He was the Minister of Civil Supply in the provincial cabinet headed by Khawaja Nazimuddin
Khawaja Nazimuddin
Hajji Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin, KCIE , was the second Governor-General of Pakistan, and later the second Prime Minister of Pakistan as well.-Early life:...

. He was also a member of the Pakistan National Assembly (1947–1954).

Language Movement


Amin was elected as the Chief Minister
Chief Minister
A Chief Minister is the elected head of government of a sub-national state, provinces of Sri Lanka, Pakistan, notably a state of India, a territory of Australia or a British Overseas Territory that has attained self-government...

 of East Pakistan in September 1948 when Khawaja Nazimuddin
Khawaja Nazimuddin
Hajji Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin, KCIE , was the second Governor-General of Pakistan, and later the second Prime Minister of Pakistan as well.-Early life:...

 was appointed Governor General on the death of Qaid i Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a Muslim lawyer, politician, statesman and the founder of Pakistan. He is popularly and officially known in Pakistan as Quaid-e-Azam and Baba-e-Qaum ....

. During Amin's term as Chief Minister, Governor General Nazimuddin reiterated the federal government's position that Bengali
Bengali language
Bengali or Bangla is an eastern Indo-Aryan language. It is native to the region of eastern South Asia known as Bengal, which comprises present day Bangladesh, the Indian state of West Bengal, and parts of the Indian states of Tripura and Assam. It is written with the Bengali script...

, the language of the overwhelming majority of East Pakistanis in addition to the majority of Pakistanis as a whole, was not to be considered a national language on par with Urdu. This position was highly unpopular in East Pakistan, and subsequently led to what is now known as the Language Movement
Language Movement
The Bengali Language Movement, also known as the Language Movement , was a political effort in Bangladesh , advocating the recognition of the Bengali language as an official language of Pakistan...

, as well as a general loss of power for the ruling Muslim League.

In the 1954 elections, the Muslim League was comprehensively defeated by the United Front, an alliance between the Awami League (led by Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy
Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy
Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy was a Pakistani-Bengali politician and statesman who served as 5th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1956 till 1957, and a close associate of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan, first Prime minister of Pakistan...

), the Krishak Sramik Party (led by A. K. Fazlul Huq
A. K. Fazlul Huq
Not to be confused with the cricket ground in Dhaka Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium Sher-e-Bangla Abul Kashem Fazlul Huq was a well-known Bengali statesman in the first half of the 20th century...

), the Nizam i Islam Party (led by Maulana Athar Ali), and the Ganatantri Dal (led by Haji Muhammad Danish and Mahmud Ali Sylheti). Amin lost his assembly seat to a veteran student leader of the then East Pakistan and language movement hero Mr. Khaleque Nawaz Khan and the Muslim League was effectively eliminated from the provincial political landscape.It is worth to mention Mr. Nurul Amin lost only one election in his whole political carrier and that was in 1954 Jukto front election while he was in office and it is still a record in political arena of Indo Pak bangla subcontinent.When Mr. Khaleque Nawaz Khan unseated Mr. Amin he was only 27 years old young fresh university graduate.

Pakistan Democratic Party


Amin joined National Democratic Front (NDF) headed by Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy
Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy
Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy was a Pakistani-Bengali politician and statesman who served as 5th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1956 till 1957, and a close associate of Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan, first Prime minister of Pakistan...

 in 1962, and was thus associated with the movement against autocratic rule of President General Ayub Khan. After the death of Suhrawardy he was elected president of NDF in 1964. He was elected member of the National Assembly in 1965, and was the leader of the combined opposition Parliamentary Party (1965–1969). Nurul Amin was made the chairman of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) formed in 1967 as a united platform of National Democratic Front, Jamaat-e-Islami, Nezam-e-Islam, Council Muslim League, and Awami League (pro 8-point). He played an important role in floating the Democratic Action Committee (DAC) in 1969, and as one of the top leaders of the forum participated in anti-Ayub movement. As a representative of NDF he attended Round Table Conference at Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi
Rawalpindi , locally known as Pindi, is a city in the Pothohar region of Pakistan near Pakistan's capital city of Islamabad, in the province of Punjab. Rawalpindi is the fourth largest city in Pakistan after Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad...

 (1969) convened by President Ayub Khan with a view to mitigate the political crisis between the government and the opposition parties. A new political party was floated by him as Pakistan Democratic Party (PDP) in 1969, and he was made its president. Nurul Amin was elected member of the National Assembly in 1970.

Civil war in East Pakistan


In the 1970 elections, Amin was elected to the National Assembly
National Assembly of Pakistan
The National Assembly of Pakistan is the lower house of the bicameral Majlis-e-Shura, which also compromises the President of Pakistan and Senate . The National Assembly and the Senate both convene at Parliament House in Islamabad...

 as one of only two non-Awami League members from East Pakistan. During this time, the Pakistani authority in East Pakistan had already become highly unpopular as the struggle to promote Bengali as a national language was further suppressed. Civil unrest ignited by the Language Movement and fuelled by alleged discriminatory practices against Bengalis eventually led to East Pakistan's declaration of independence.

The Bangladesh Liberation War
Bangladesh Liberation War
The Bangladesh Liberation War was an armed conflict pitting East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan. The war resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh....

, as it is now known, further escalated as India formally declared war on Pakistan in 1971. As the situation in his home district of East Pakistan worsened under civil war, Amin was appointed Prime Minister by President
President of Pakistan
The President of Pakistan is the head of state, as well as figurehead, of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Recently passed an XVIII Amendment , Pakistan has a parliamentary democratic system of government. According to the Constitution, the President is chosen by the Electoral College to serve a...

 General Agha Muhammad Yahya Khan
Yahya Khan
General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan Qizilbash, H.Pk, HJ, S.Pk, psc was the third President of Pakistan from 1969 to 1971, following the resignation of Ayub Khan...

 on December 6, 1971. On December 20, 1971, however, Yahya Khan resigned, leaving the Deputy Prime Minister (and Foreign Minister) Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was 9th Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1973 to 1977, and prior to that, 4th President of Pakistan from 1971 to 1973. Bhutto was the founder of the Pakistan Peoples Party — the largest and most influential political party in Pakistan— and served as its chairman until his...

 to be sworn in as the new President. Two days later, Amin was appointed as Vice President of Pakistan, the only person to have held this post. He continued to hold this post until the lifting of martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 on April 21, 1972.

Postwar


While his political career lasted through war and civil unrest, Amin is considered by many Pakistanis to be a patriot, as he opposed the movements that eventually led to the severing of ties between his Bengali people and the concept of a Muslim homeland in South Asia. Many Bangladeshis, however, view him as a traitor and collaborator with a genocidal occupation force.

Disappointed and frustrated with the apparent indifference portrayed by the Pakistani government when it was clear that East Pakistan had been lost, Amin is said to have remarked to President Yahya and his military advisers, "So Dhaka has fallen, and East Pakistan is gone, and you are enjoying yourselves..."

Amin continued to deliberately stay in West Pakistan, while his home region of East Pakistan won its independence as the People's Republic of Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

following a bloody civil war and the deaths of between 1 and 3 million people. Following the war, Amin did not return home and died in Rawalpindi on 2 October 1974, less than three years after the dissolution of the united Pakistan.