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Journalist writer Abul Mansur Ahmed

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Rana Razzaque :
Abul Mansur Ahmed (1898-1979) was a journalist, lawyer, politician and a litterateur. He was born at village Dhanikhola in Mymensingh district in 1898. His father's name was Abdur Rahim Farazi and mother's name was Mir Jahan Begum. He passed the Matric from Nasirabad Mrithunjoy Bidyalay in 1917, the Intermediate from the Jagannath College of Dhaka in 1919 and the BA from Dhaka College in 1921. Then he studied Law at Ripon Law College of Kolkata from 1926 to 1929 and passed the BL examination. After getting Law degree, he started practicing in Mymensingh and there he was involved in his profession till 1938.
Abul Mansur Ahmed was a professional journalist. Among the mentionable periodicals that he worked for were the Soltan, Mohammadi, Musalman, Krishak, Nabajug and Ittehad. He was the Editor of the weekly Soltan and Mohammadi (1923-1926). From 1926 to 1929 he worked in the Musalman. He was appointed Editor in the daily Krishak in the month of December, 1938. In October, 1941, he took service in the Editorial department of the Nabajug. He was the Editor of the daily Ittehad from 1946 to 1948.
Abul Mansur Ahmed also a politician. He took active part in the Khilafat and Non-Cooperation Movement. Though his political career started with the participation in the Khilafat and Non-Cooperation Movement, he was very doubtful about the reality of this movement. He was not so happy with a movement in the phase of all Indian perspective on the basis of non-Indian issue, his call for the Non-Cooperation in that movement was with the aim of achieving Swaraj. In this respect, he felt that Gandhi was not realistic.
Though Abul Mansur Ahmed was connected with Congress, he was against the policy of the Central Congress. He supported the politics of Swarajya Party of Chitta Ranjan Das (1870-1925) and he was interested in the effort that maintained to make friendship between the Hindus and Muslims through the Bengal Pact of 1923. Then he joined the Proja Samiti of Bengal and performed the works of the Krishak Proja Samiti with competence in Mymensingh district. At the same time, he was the Vice-President of the Mymensing District Congress Committee.
Abul Mansur Ahmed criticizing the programmes of the left-wing Congress based Kishan Sabha and Kishan Samiti, used to say that those programmes were merely a trick to restraint the Anti-Zamindar Movement. The Krishak Proja Party obtained quite a good result in the election of 1937. Hence, the leader of this party AK Fazlul Huq was expecting that the Indian National Congress would get support for a coalition government in Bengal. But the Congress did not agree to form a coalition government with the Krishak Proja Party. Fajlul Huq was compelled to form a coalition government with the Muslim League. Most of the members of the Congress did not take this attitude of the party easily. Many nationalist politicians think that the Congress, to some extent is against the Muslims and at the same time they disagree to form a coalition government in Bengal. As a result he left the Congress and became inclined to the polities of Muslim League. In March, 1940 the Muslims of India demanded a separate homeland for them. Abul Mansur thought that the demand was logical. In the Conference of East Pakistan Renaissance Society, held in 1944, he said that on the ground of distinct cultural identity. Later he gave emphasis on the identity of Bangali culture. In 1946-47 he raised the demand for creating United Independent Bengal jointly with Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy. But this demand could not be materialized and in 1947 Bengal province also was partitioned.
Abul Mansur Ahmed played a vital role in the formation of the Awami Muslim League. He was the Vice- President of the Awami League from 1953 to 1958. He was one of the main authors of the 21 points which were the election manifesto of the United Front. He was elected member of the East Pakistan Provincial Assembly in 1954 as a candidate of the United Front. In 1954, he was Health Minister under Huq ministry.
Abul Mansur Ahmed was elected member of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly. He was Minister for Education in the United Front government of East Pakistan in 1956 and Minister for Commerce and Trade in 1956-1957. After the Promulgation of Martial Law by Ayub Khan in 1958, he was imprisoned and was released in 1962. Then he took retirement from politics.
Though Abul Mansur Ahmed was actively involved in politics of various brands at different times, he was well known as a witty writer. His famous sarcastic works are Aina (1936-1937) and Food Conference (1944); novels, Satya Mithya (1953), Jiban Ksudha (1955) and Ab-e-Hayat (1964); his book of reminiscence, Amar Dekha Rajnitir Panchash Bachhar (1969) and Sher-e-Bangla theke Bangabhandhu (1972) and his autobiography Atma Katha (1978).
For his contribution to literature he was awarded the Bangla Academy Prize (1960), the Independence Day Medal (1979) and the Nasiruddin Gold Medal. He died on 18 March, 1979.  n

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