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Bangla Insider

Principal Abul Kashem: Architect of Language Movement

Published on : 11 March 2019, 08:20 AM
Principal Abul Kashem: Architect of Language Movement

Today marks the 28th death anniversary of Bangladeshi politician, writer, social worker, pioneer and architect of Language Movement Mohammad Abul Kashem. He left his last breath on 11 March, 1991. He is renowned for founding the Islamic-oriented Bengali cultural organization Tamaddun Majlish.

Mohammad Abul Kashem was born on 28 June 1920 in Chattogram.  Kashem obtained his Matriculation Examination from Boroma Trahi Menka High School with first class and government district scholarship in 1939. He passed ISC from Chittagong Government College in 1941 with first class. He obtained BSc (Honors) in Physics from the University of Dhaka in 1944 and MSc in 1945. In 1946, he joined the University of Dhaka as a lecturer of Physics department. He was with the university until 1953.

In the initiative of Abul Kashem, on 1 September 1947, the literary and cultural organization Tamaddun Majlish was established in Dhaka. He was its general secretary. Through this organization, he first demanded recognition of Bengali as the state language of Pakistan. On 15 September 1947, a booklet titled `Pakistan`s State Language: Bengali and Urdu` was published. There was a brief proposal made by Abul Kashem in this original booklet that proposed Bengali as the medium of education and as the official language of the then East Pakistan (Present Bangladesh). Due to his initiative Tamaddun Majlish led the formation of the Shorbodoliyo Rashtrabhasha Sangram Parishad on 1 October 1947.

The State Language Movement Council organized the Language Movement at the end of 1947 and early 1948. Abul Kashem was the moderator of the movement at the beginning of the Language Movement. He contributed immensely to the support of Bangla as the state language of Pakistan. Abul Kashem was the founder of Bengali weekly Sainik. This weekly was first published from Dhaka on 14 November 1948 and was active in propagating the ideals and objectives of Language Movement as the mouthpiece of Tamaddun Majlish. The magazine continued until 1961.

Principal Abul Kashem is a rare personality in the country`s culture and political arena. He established Bangla College for the institutionalization of the original consciousness of Language Movement. He wrote 40 textbooks in Bengali and was actively involved in the activities of Bangla Academy, Art College, Islamic Foundation, City College, and more than 50 social and cultural organizations. While he was a member of the Provincial Legislative Council, on September 30, 1956, he proposed the introduction of Bengali as the medium of education, which was unanimously adopted.

A talented writer, Principal Abul Kashem wrote about 100 books. Of these, there are 40 physics textbooks. His well-known books include: Pakistan Er Rastrobhasha, Akmatro Path, Ghoshona, Bibortonbadh, Islam Ki Diyeche O Ki Dite Pare, Ekushdaffer Rupaon, Mukti Kon Pothe, Oadunik Chintadhara. In order to improve Bengali spelling and Bengali literary reform, he invented a new method.

Abul Kashem received a number of national and social awards, including Independence Day Award in 1993, EkusheyPadak in 1987, Bangla Academy Literary Award (for his book Biggan Somaj O Dhormo) in 1982, Islamic Foundation Award in 1988, and Pakistan Writers Guild Award in 1964.


Bangla Insider/ SM