Fazlul Huq’s Letter to Liaquat Ali Khan Secretary,All-India Muslim League

[su_tabs][su_tab title=”গুরত্বপুরন নোটস “] ১৯৩৭ সালের ১ এপ্রিল ফজলুল হক বাংলা সরকারের মুখ্যমন্ত্রী রূপে অধিষ্ঠিত হন হক মন্ত্রিসভা (১৯৩৭-১৯৪৩)। গভর্নর স্যার অ্যান্ডারসন (১৯৩২-১৯৩৭) এই নিয়োগ দেন  । যে মন্ত্রিসভা প্রদেশের প্রশাসনিক দায়িত্ব গ্রহণ করে তা ছিল বিভিন্ন দল ও গোষ্ঠীর মিশ্রণ, যাদের আদর্শগত অবস্থান ছিল ভিন্ন। ফজলুল হকের আকর্ষণীয় ব্যক্তিত্ব ও সুযোগ্য নেতৃত্বের ফলেই এ ঐক্য সম্ভব হয়েছিল, কেননা তিনি ছিলেন উভয় সম্প্রদায়েরই আস্থাভাজন। [/su_tab][su_tab title=পটভূমি ]১কিন্তু অল্পদিনের মধ্যেই কোয়ালিশনে দলগত বিতর্ক ও কলহ শুরু হয় এবং অনেকেই দলত্যাগ করেন। অংশত এটা ঘটেছিল ব্যক্তিগত উচ্চাকাঙ্ক্ষা, আনুগত্য পরিবর্তন, ব্রিটিশ রাজকীয় স্বার্থের পারস্পরিক ক্রিয়া, শাসনতন্ত্রকে কার্যকর করতে কংগ্রেসের অনমনীয়তা এবং প্রদেশের রাজনৈতিক নিয়ন্ত্রণ লাভে লীগের দৃঢ় সংকল্পের কারণে  ।  শেরে বাংলা   একে   ফজলুল তৎকালীন মুসলিম লীগের বিভিন্ন পদক্ষেপে ক্ষুন্ন হয়ে  এর সেক্রেটারিকে চিঠি প্রদান করেন ৮ সেপ্টেম্বর ১৯৪১ ।[/su_tab] [su_tab title=”তথ্যের উৎস “]Source: Government of India, Home Political File 17/4/41-Poll /বাংলাদেশের স্বাধীনতা যুদ্ধ দলিলপত্রঃ প্রথম খন্ড  [/su_tab] [su_tab title=”প্রকাশনার তারিখ “] ৮ই সেপ্টেম্বর, ১৯৪১ [/su_tab] [/su_tabs]

 

Early in July Viceroy asked me through my Governor to serve on National Defense Council as Premier of Bengal representing this Province. 1 assented feeling this to be my duty. I knew I was selected in official capacity as Premier so no objection could possibly arise. I was surprised to read statement from League President as soon as personnel of Council was announced that he considered action of myself and other League members so objectionable that he must consider what action should be taken to express his disapproval of our conduct. I issued statement explaining position and contending that Premiers were selected in official capacity and therefore could not refuse to serve. I thought position was clear and clamour caused by President’s statement would subside; but I was amazed to read President’s statement dated 30th July declaring that it had been decided to take disciplinary action. There was no ambiguity in language and words used indicated accomplished fact. I maintain this action of President was highly unconstitutional. Despite Madras resolution he should never have done anything without hearing our explanation. I also maintain that his subsequent decision to refer matter to Working Committee was meaningless. Working Committee had no alternative but to endorse President’s action as refusal would have amounted to vote of no confidence in President, contingency that Working Committee were not prepared to face. Committee therefore passed resolution calling upon me to resign unconditionally from National Defense Council.

 

[su_quote cite=”Fazlul Huq”]At the present moment I have a feeling that Bengal does not count much in the counsels of political leaders outside our province, although we constitute more than 1/3rd of the total Moslem population of India. Even in this controversy, the leaders of the minority provinces never cared to take into in consideration my particular responsibilities and difficulties and wanted to drown my voice with meaningless slogans which may suit their own conditions of political helplessness, but which are utterly unsuited to the conditions prevailing in my province. I was condemned before I could put before the President my point of view.” [/su_quote]

 

2. President apparently received communication from Viceroy through Bombay Governor on 21st July intimating Premiers had been approached to serve on Defence Council in certain capacity. Whether we were selected as Premiers or as representative men, President knew of our selection at least one day before names were published. It was his clear duty to inform us by telegram or by telephone of his disapproval and that he would like us to resign from Defense Council; he might even have hinted that if we did not resign he would be obliged to take disciplinary action against us. But instead he waited till names were published and then announced decision to take disciplinary action; even ordinary courtesy required a warning before such announcement. His procedure placed us in extremely awkward position, he gave us an opportunity of explanation and took us unawares as if anxious to make public exhibition of his authority; he thus converted simple affair into complicated political problem.

3. I maintain that acceptance of membership of Defense Council in no way involves breach of League’s principle or policy. League last year rejected Viceroy’s offer to form expanded War Council composed of Indian states and representatives of various political parties but Defense Council consists of Indian states and representatives of various Provinces. This makes fundamental difference and membership of Defense Council therefore does not come within mischief of League resolution. Despite President’s declaration that we were selected as Muslim representatives, I maintain that we were selected as Premiers. From this point of view also membership of Defense Council does not involve violation of League principles and policy. Further, since outbreak of war, I have been taking keenest interest in promoting war efforts and using official and non- official position to induce people of Bengal to cooperate in support thereof. Hitherto President has not expressed disapproval of my extensive activities in aid of war efforts but has even allowed prominent Muslim League leaders to act likewise throughout India.

4. Having regard to my provincial war activities my membership of Defense Council pales into insignificance; I consider it absurd that I should be called upon to non- cooperate with Government of India at centre.. On merits I maintain President’s action ratified by Working Committee was unjustified. I do not admit that my acceptance of membership of Council has disapproval of majority of Muslim community of India or of Bengal Muslims. Outside Province there is large volume of public opinion in my favor. President’s action throughout has been unfair and unconstitutional and I have done nothing contrary to interests of Muslim community; charge that by accepting membership of Council I have created a situation which may lead to split in ranks of Muslim India is baseless. I therefore find no justification for resiling from my original decision to stick to membership of Council despite view of President and Working Committee.

5. But there are other matters to be taken into consideration. President’s indiscreet and hasty announcement creating feeling in Muslim minds that we have accepted membership of Council from personal interests or to oblige high officials has produced most baneful consequences. Very few of present generation of Muslim politicians know services I have rendered to League of Muslim Community; without wishing to be boastful 1 have no cause to be ashamed of my record as a leader in cause of Islam and Indian Muslims. I emphatically declare that 1 am not being hampered in any way by high officials from exercising my independent judgment. I have been faced by embarrassing dilemma. I feel I ought to adhere to Council, but I also feel that continuance, therein especially after other Premiers have vacated their seats would lead to split in ranks of Indian Muslims. In such event I would be held responsible for situation and responsibility may also be thrown on other personage who have not had slightest desire to interfere in these matters but whose detachment is not within knowledge of public.cropped-bangladesh-webinfopage1.png

6. In these circumstances I feel that no useful purpose would be served by my being member of National Defense Council; I am therefore going to request Viceroy through Governor to give me leave to tender resignation. In taking this step I have had before me sole desire to avoid conflict in ranks not merely of Muslim League but also of Indian Muslim community. My reason for resignation thus differs from Sir Sikanders. He alleged to have resigned because he felt convinced he had acted under misconception of facts. I resign because though convinced I was right in accepting membership of Council, my continuance therein would jeopardize interests of community. Sir Sikander feels he was wrong and has rectified mistake; I feel I was right but cannot continue member in view of possible consequences. I am thus deliberately accepting position which militates against my own judgment, in desire to avoid greater evil of domestic feud at time when we should close our ranks for great task ahead of defending best interests of community and country.

7. I protest emphatically against manner in which Bengal and Punjab Muslim interests are being imperiled by Muslim leaders of ‘Minority Provinces’. Muslim brethren in minority provinces can never hope to enjoy effective voice in administration let alone power. They cannot imagine advantages of dominant position of Muslim community in administration of Bengal and Punjab. They neither realize responsibilities of Muslim Premiers of these Provinces nor care for repercussions on politics of Bengal and Punjab Muslims of their decisions for Muslim India as a whole. They should not meddle too much with politics of majority provinces. At present I feel that Bengal does not count much in counsels of political leaders outside province, though we constitute more than one third of total Muslim population of India. My critics prejudge and condemn me without knowing facts and forgot my lifelong services to Muslim community. I confidently hope that political dictators in future will act with greater foresight so as to prevent creation of situation from which escape can be affected only by course of action which is revolting to sound sense or even conscience.

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8. It follows that I cannot continue to be member of Working Committee of All India Muslim League. As mark of protest against arbitrary use of powers vested in President I resign from membership of Working Committee and Council of All India Muslim League. I cannot usefully continue to be member of body which shows scant courtesy to provincial leaders and arrogates to itself functions which ought to be exercised by provincial executive. In matters under discussion President should have referred question to decision of Provincial Muslim League. He has signally failed to discharge heavy responsibility of office in constitutional and reasonable manner. In tendering resignation I should like to enter caveat that recent events have forcibly brought home to me that principles of democracy and autonomy in All-India Muslim League are being subordinated to arbitrary wishes of single individual who seeks to rule as omnipotent authority even over destiny of 33 millions in Bengal who occupy key position in Indian Muslim politics

 

 

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