বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ]

বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ]। বঙ্গবন্ধুর শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান ১৯৫৬ সালে যত বক্তৃতা দিয়েছেন তার সংগ্রহশালা।

বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ জানুয়ারি ]

১৯৫৬ সালের ২১ জানুয়ারি, শনিবার গণপরিষদে (করাচি) বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ

Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech at Pakistani Parliament,  21 January, 1656

[পাকিস্তান আইন পরিষদের অধিবেশনে বিগত ১৯৫৬ সালের ২১শে জানুযারি খসড়া সংবিধানের বিভিন্ন বিষয় নিয়ে বঙ্গবন্ধু শেখ মুজিবুর রহমান দীর্ঘ বক্তব্য রাখেন। তিনি ইসলামিক প্রজাতন্ত্র প্রসঙ্গে এদেশে বিশেষ করে পূর্ববঙ্গে বসবাসকারী অমুসলমান নাগরিকদের অধিকারের উপর বিশেষ গুরুত্ব আরোপ করেন।

কোরআন, সুন্নাহ্ ও রাসূলুল্লাহর আদর্শের কথা উল্লেখ করে তিনি সকলকে মানবিক ও ন্যায্য দৃষ্টিভঙ্গি গ্রহণের আহ্বান জানান। বিবর্তনমূলক আইনের বিরোধিতা করেও তিনি বক্তব্য গ্রহণ করেন। রাষ্ট্রভাষা ও দাপ্তরিক ভাষা প্রশ্নে তিনি ব্যাখ্যা দাবি করে বাংলাভাষা সর্বস্তরে, এমনকি, প্রতিরক্ষা ক্ষেত্রেও ব্যবহারের জন্য দাবি তোলেন। তিনি বিখ্যাত ২১ দফার ভিত্তিতে সংবিধান রচনার জন্য জোর দাবি জানান।]

The Constituent Assembly’ of Pakistan met in the Assembly Chamber, with the Honorable Deputy Speaker, the Honorable Mr. C. E. Gibbon in the Chair to discuss equality of all citizens in Islamic state.

Honorable Deputy Speaker: It is most unfortunate and regrettable that Mr. Farid Ahmad should have made in his speech such references to an Honorable Member. I would like to encourage Honorable Members to respect on another (Hear, hear) and this objective will not be attained if Members in their speeches use such nasty personal references against one another.

Moulana Abdur Rashid Tarkabagish: Thank you.

Honourable Deputy Speaker: Speaker:

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (East Bengal : Muslim) :

Mr. Deputy Speaker, Sir, my Honourable friend, Mr. Farid Ahmad, has delivered a speech supporting the consideration of the Bill and opposing the motion of MR. Abul Mansur Ahmad. Sir, I want to say something about the Draft Constitution that-has been laid before the House for consideration by the Honourable Mr. I. I. Chundrigar. Sir, this Draft Constitution is the embodiment of down-right treachery and sheer bluff.

বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's Speech 1656 ]
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
It begins with the name of “Constitution for Islamic Republic of Pakistan.” Sir, we want to make an Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The name is already here. May I ask a question from my Nizam-i-Islam friends, particularly and from the members of the United Front, whether a non-Muslim can preside over the Constituent Assembly to frame an Islamic Constitution or not? Sir, I have respect for you.

It is, I think and 1 feet, that my country has given a non-Muslim the responsibility for the little while over this sovereign body and to frame a constitution for a over seven crores of the people of Pakistan, but we have started in the name of Allah, but, Sir, when we are going to make an Islamic Constitution I ask whether a non-Muslim who does not believe in La illaha Illallah Muhammadur Rasulallah, who does not believe in the last Prophet of Allah, can preside over such a constitution-making body as ours?

I know that I will get an answer from the Holy Quran or from the Sunnah or from the history of Islam or from the history of the Muslim Rule.

(Interruption by an Honourable Member.)

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman :

If they say, then I have nothing to say, but I think it is an insult to speak in this fashion. We are all Pakistanis. Call everybody, every citizen, a Pakistani, irrespective of whether he is a Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Christian or a Buddhist. Pakistan is for Pakistanis. Pakistan has not been formed for the Muslims alone. My friend says: “We want to make a constitution for all the Muslims of the world.” All right, then, why are you not making a constitution for the 50 crores of Muslims of the entire world?

You have the monopoly because we the Pakistanis are Muslims, but there are Muslims in India, Muslims in Indonesia, we have Muslims in Iraq, in Egypt and in Turkey and at other places. Muslims are not only in Pakistan. Then why should their constitution be confined to the Muslims of Pakistan alone, it should be for the Muslims of the world, as if you have a monopoly from Allah that you would make a constitution for the whole Muslim World?

Why to make constitution for every other community in Pakistan, so that there should be two House-one for the Muslims and another for the minorities, or say five or six House, for also Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, etc., each having one House for themselves. But you are making an Islamic Constitution. My friends say: ‘Oh, Islamic’, but Islam means justice; Islam means equity; Islam means fair play; Islam means equal distribution of wealth among the people according to the needs of individual.

My friend of the united front says that they cannot. They want to bluff the people of Pakistan in the name of Islam. This is only a label and not the ideal. They have exploited the masses of Pakistan for the last seven or eight years in the name of Islam, in the name of Rassulullah.

If they are sincere and honest to Islam, let them give an Islamic Constitution based on equity and justice where equal distribution of wealth is assured.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Mr. Fazlur Rahman (East Bengal: Muslim):

On a point of privilege. The sponsor of the Bill should have been here to listen to the speeches on the motion before the House. His absence is a great disrespect of the house.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

How does that constitute a point of Privilege involved?

Mr. Fazlur Rahman: The dignity of the House is involved. The sponsor of the Bill should have been here to listen to the speeches so that he may have been in a position to answer the points that

are being raised. He should have shown that amount of respect to this Honourable House.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

What is the breach of privilege involved?

Mr. Fazlur Rahman:

“Privilege” is the dignity of the house.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Mr. Mujibur Rahman.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

I was speaking of the supposed Islamic Constitution. It is a level here and not the ideal that we cherish. You have seen the fundamental rights embodied in this draft Bill. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that every constitution of the world lays down provisions which forbid the government of the day to interfere with fundamental rights. However, in the fundamental rights enumerated in our draft Constitution, we have a serious handicap.

They are subordinate to the whims of the government of the day. Today the Muslim League and the united front party are in power but tomorrow some other party may assume the control of the executive power of the country and they may or they may not show respect to these fundamental rights because ample powers have been given to the government to violate these provisions of fundamental rights.

Such a Government may curtail the rights of the people and restrict their liberty. All constitutions of democratic countries contain an inviolable provision whereby the government of the day cannot encroach on the fundamental rights of the inhabitants of that country.

The fundamental rights are beyond the reach of the Government of the day. Let us examine all that we, have provided in respect of fundamental rights: there will be freedom of assembly, association and all that, but these are made subject to such restrictions as may be imposed by the Government for “Public order”.

There is that well known plea: “in the interest of Pakistan”? Which can be utilized by the Government of the day what is the ‘interest of Pakistan’? and what is “public order”? We know what crimes they have committed on the plea of “interest of Pakistan” and “public order”: they have oppressed people; they have detained persons and they have utilized people for corruption, nepotism and bribery on the excuse of “public order”. They have used these pleas to suppress their political opponents.

By way of illustration I draw your attention to clause 9 of the draft Bill: “Every citizen shall he the right to assemble peacefully and without arms, subject to any restrictions imposed by law in the interest of public order”. If every citizen, I ask, has a right to assemble without arms, how can there be any apprehension of violation of public order?

All the generous provisions of fundamental rights have the appendage of “public order: and in the interest of Pakistan”. These provisions show the tendency of the farmers of the draft Constitution.

Wherever they are giving a right to the people by on clause you will find an corresponding provision by which they take back all’ they give. That is very interesting. Mr. Deputy Speaker, you must have read many Constitutions but I am sure you would not have come across such a thing.

We would like to remind the Honourable Member of the House through you of the provisions of Quran and Sunna in relation to justice: nobody without trial. If I committed a sin, I will be sent to hell-after proer. If I have done well, I shall be sent to heaven-after trail. Let us see what this “Islamic Constitution” provides: anybody can be detained without trial “in the interest of public order and Pakistan”.

Sir, there are courts; there are laws in force and if anybody is to be punished he must be punished after proper trial. We have already noticed that during the last seven years members of this august House have been detained without trial. An Honourable Member of this house goes to East Bengal and he is detained under Public Safety Act-“in the interest of Pakistan” You should not ignore the basic fact that an Honourable Member of this house represents ten lakhs of people.

Mr. Farid Ahmed cannot refute this. I have got documents in my possession to support my point. Then take the case of Mr. Abdus Samad, M.L.A., Kh. Azizur Rahman. M.L.A, Abdul Mannah and others.

Honourable Deputy Speaker: We are taking up the case. You need not refer to it at this stage.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: I am only illustrating the use of “in the interest of Pakistan.” How they curtailed the liberties of the people?

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Honourable Deputy Speaker: Please talk in general terms. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: In this way, Sir, the Baluchistan leader, Mr. Abdus Samad, has been arrested under the Frontier Crimes Act. He is “anti-Pakistani” because he has gone against the One-Unit scheme.

I had no intention of referring to the 21-point Programme but for the reference made to it by Mr. Farid Ahmad. He said that was an election manifesto and you cannot talk of Constitution at the time of provincial elections. I say, you have to do it. You can give a thesis to the people so that they understand thing; you can give them some points. I challenge him no. Unfortunately he has been defeated in the District Board as well.

He said that people have not voted for 21-Point Programme. You should know that 3,000 people of East Bengal have suffered because they were anxious to give this provision in the manifesto that nobody will be detained without trial; there will be no Safety Act. I say that if anybody is against Pakistan, produce him before a court. If you adopt this approach I can assure that everybody will support you. What you intend to do-put the political rival in the jail!

I challenge my Honourable friends to quote a single injunction in Islam whereby a man may be permitted to hold ten or fifteen lakh acres of land and simultaneously another Mussulman may die of” starvation on the streets of Karachi and Dacca. Can they show an injunction in Islam? Can they produce anything to support them in their feudalism of jagirdaris and zamindaries; “Nobody can take the property of a zamindar with our providing compensation”?

Who will give the compensation-the people who have tilled and toiled; to whom will the compensation be paid-to the people who have enjoyed in the name of Islam. How long will they bluff the people of Pakistan in the name of Islam? You are insulting Islam before the whole world. You are discrediting Islam. Can they prove that Islam means some people working in mils for Rs. 80 per month and other people going round the world squandering people’s money?

Islam means equal distribution of wealth. Do they contemplate distributing the wealth of the country to the poor cultivators? What do we find in the Punjab, Frontier and in Sind? You tour for a whole day and you see the property of one man. Whose property-Talpur’s property; whole property-Daultana’s property; Mian Iftikharuddin’s property. It is not hte property of the man who works on the field; it is not theproperty of the poor “Mussulman”.

It is not the property of that poor Mussulman who believes in La Ilaha-illallah-Muhammadur Rasul Ulla. They are the same Mussalmans. The rich “Mussalmans” are going to London and Paris and wasting the money of the people who work whole day.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Mr. Abdul Aleem (East Bengal: Muslim) :

That is why we want a constitution.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Will it be Islamic, Mr. Aleem, please let me know.

Mr. Abdul Aleem:

We want a constitution therefore.

Mr. Zahiruddin (East Bengal: Muslim):

That is why you want to protect them (the feudal lords).

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: I am sorry my friend has interrupted. You are giving protection to jagirdars, zumindars and big people. You are making constitution for the people of Pakistan. But the people of Pakistan will not accept it. Distribute the properties. It is clearly said by Islam that there should be equal distribution of wealth. The whole property should be equally distributed. We do not want that their properties should be confiscated; give them so much as they can live peacefully in their homes with their families.

Take their other properties and give it to the masses. Give them 10 big has or 10 or 5 acres. Work on the principles of Islam. Establish Islamic principles and philosophy and then speak about Islam. This is absolutely a mockery of Islam and democracy.

Here the chaprasi is getting Rs. 45 per month while the head of the State gets 1,000 rupees per month. Is this Islamic State? What our Khalifas took in the Islamic State, what was the expenditure of our Khalifas; what Hazrat Muhammad (Sallallaho-alaihe-wasallam) took from the public Exchequer? He did not spend a single penny from the state funds.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Mr. Abdul Aleem: We will do it gradually.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: My friends call me a Communist. I cannot understand how they call me a Communist. I am a Mussulman.

Honourable Deputy Speaker: Why do you take notice of what they are saying? Please carry on.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: About East Bengal I know the position. He has come by the backdoor and next time he will get proof of that Insha-Allah. Here there is Zamindari system, you know. Then you know who suffered for Pakistan the poor refugees but where they are living and what is their position. Big properties and lands have been left by Hindu and Sikh Landlords and zamindars. But these properties have been taken away by the landlords coming from India, who were a privileged class.

That land has not been equitably distributed among poor masses that are living in Lalookhet and near the Mazar of Quaid-i-Azam. I do not know weather the Quid-i-Azam’s soul is in peace or not, for them. They have no shelter; they have no land, why do not you distribute that land according to Islamic tenants? Do not do mockery to Islam, give them to the people. But you would not give these lands to people because you want satisfy the privileged classes as you have to depend on privileged classes to govern this country.

Although the condition of masses and refugees is so poor, these landlords have been given safeguards, in the constitution. We cannot change the constitution every now and then and how can you give lands to poor refugees and masses or to poor cultivators, who are also Muslims, better Muslims than these big people. They believe in Allah and say their prayers.

How many rich people say their prayers I do not know but I have seen poor masses saying their prayers all rights, Whether they have got their jainamaz or not. You are making a Islamic constitution and you talk of Islamic ways but what you are giving in one way you are taking away in another way, and the poor masses have to suffer most.

Now, they talk of Islam and Islamic way but what they will do in case of Judiciary-they will endeavour to separate, how silly it looks, it may take 25 years, it is all vague, there should be categorical provision in the constitution. Then what they have done is that a Judge of a High Court can be transferred from one province to the other. Now Executive wants to control the Judiciary, is this Islamic constitution? I want to know what was the position of the Qazz’? Even the Khalifa had to ho in front of the Qazi for the charges.

That is Islamic constitution, but here we want to separate Judiciary from the Executive. God knows in how many years; it may take 25 years! It may be after our death. They say “The State shall endeavour to separate Judiciary form the Executive as soon as possible”. Is this according to the wishes of the people of Pakistan? In every constitution you will find that Judiciary has been separated from the executive.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Here the ruling junta and the privileged classes want to keep power intact in their own hands. Can you expect justice in such conditions where the Executive wants to control the Judiciary? Now they will say we will transfer you from Lahore to Dhaka and from Dhaka to Lahore. This is a new thing that have done that the High Court Judges can be transferred from this province to that.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

What part of the constitution have you jumped to?

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

I am speaking about Judiciary, It you want to know the provision I can give you.

The Honourable Mr. Hamidul Huq Chowdhury (East Bengal:Muslim): Transfer of Judiciary is the function of the Executive.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Not without the permission of the President, I know.

The Honourable Mr. Hamidul Huq Chowdhury:

It is clause 30, you want to delete it.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Please carry on.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Now, Sir, about Islamic language. What is the language of Islam, Sir, Arabic, Urdu, Persian or Bengali. What is the language of the Mussulmans, who will judge it? My friend says Urdu. I would say Bengali. Persians will say Persian. Turks will say Turkish. Indonesians will say Indonesian. Other people will say their own language. Sir, why this vague thing. What is this draft? Two official languages?

And the Provincial Government and Central Government will try to make a national language. Here is provision for official language and here is provision for national language. One of my honourable friend, a member of this House, who is the Foreign Minister, told in Dacca that this means State language. Then, why there is still need for national language. He wants to bluff the people of East Bengal and the people of West Pakistan.

The Honourable Mr. Hamidul Huq Chowdhury:

Official language means state language.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: Oficial language does not mean state language. Official language means official language. If that is not so, why there is this provision about national language in Article 31, which reads: “It shall be the duty of the Federal and Provincial Governments to take all possible measures for the development and growth of a national language.” What is national language and what is official language, is it not a bluff, Sir? You have recognized two languages but Article 31 talks of development of a national language.

Sir, you know the whole history. West Pakistan is not against Bengali becoming state language. I have visited Lahore, I have gone to people in Karachi, in Peshawar and Rawalpindi and I find that people as a whole are not against Bengali becoming State language because the people of East Bengal do not claim that there will be only one State language and that will be Bengali.

They do so because they know in Punjab they speak Punjabi language but Urdu is the medium of instruction and so is the case in frontier, where their language is Poshtu but the medium of traction is Urdu and so in Sind, the language is Sindhi but; dium of instruction is Urdu.

Urdu-speaking people in Pakistan are less than Punjabi-speaking people but most of the people in West Pakistan receive instructions in Urdu. We have’ told that people of East Bengal are not sectarian. Do not say that. Never have they declared that they want only one State language, that is Bengali, although they are 59 percent in the country and their medium of instruction is Bengali. They have asked for two State languages for Pakistan. They have sacrificed blood for this. Everybody whether Minister or Prime Minister who has been elected from East Bengal, has promised that he will make Bengali as one of the State languages.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Now, they want to go back on this for six minister ships. How long will you continue as Ministers? The history of Pakistan and the world is there. So many Ministers have come and gone. Mohammad AH Bogra has gone to Washington. Nazimuddin has gone and living at Clifton, so is Gulam Mohammad living at Clifton. Power is nobody’s monopoly. Power may come and power may go but the people will continue, the country will continue.

Sir, I want to draw your attention to the fact that fact that general people in West Pakistan are not against Bengali being declared as one of the State languages of Pakistan. It is only the ruling Junta that wants to show to the world that the people here are not agreeable to Bengali to be declared as the State language with Urdu and this they are doing to meet their own selfish ends. The United front people have betrayed the people of East Pakistan and they have betrayed their electorates.

Sir, you must have noticed that even in the Passport, Urdu has been used along with English. I ask who has allowed that to be done and if that was allowed, why not there also appeared Bengali as well. I ask this question: why have you used Urdu when it has not been declared as the State language of Pakistan. Then, Sir, in the Defense Services also the training is imparted in Urdu and English. There also Bengali has been neglected.

The Honourable Mr. Hamidul Huq Chowdhury: As soon as the Constitution is passed, Bengali will be included.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: That is a very happy thing for me to note. But at present, the training in the Defense Forces is imparted in Urdu and English. Who is responsible for all this discriminatory treatment with Bengali? Or is it being done under the direction, of the Government or the Constituent Assembly has declared Urdu to be the only State language of Pakistan? I want that our men and boys should receive their training in Urdu, Bengali and English, in all the three languages.

As I told you, our West Pakistani brethren are not against Bengali, but the ruling junta, the ruling clique will not allow that to happen; that is the unfortunate part of the whole thing. After all what is the harm if Bengali is also included? If we do not know Urdu, we should learn Urdu and if they do not know Bengali, they should learn Bengali and in these way harmonious relations between the two wings of Pakistan can be brought about.

Of course, they have included it in the Constitution, but there again they are not doing anything practical to show that really they are having Bengali as the State language of Pakistan. They should know that they cannot bluff the general masses any more and that they have to frame the Constitution in the interest of the country and for the general well-being of the masses and not only for the benefit of the ruling junta.

Now, Sir, they have declared Pakistan and democratic country. May I ask what the meaning of “democracy” is? A parliamentary form of government, in the name of Islam, no doubt. They are giving wide powers to the president-in fact they have given all powers to the President. Sir, we have experience of Mogul dynasty: we know about the Pathan dynasty. But, now let them create another dynasty known as the Chowdhury dynasty in Pakistan.

The present Prime Minister is a Chowdhury and a dynasty should be created in his name because a Constitution will be framed during his tenure of office: Though you will be having a parliamentary form of government, yet you have given the power of dissolution to the Head of the State, which is against and quite country to democratic principles.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

You have two minutes left to: Mrtplete your speech.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Sir, you should give me more time: I have ~c-t been speaking irrelevant and that is why you have not interrupted me once. I am not speaking like my other friends here-I mean like my friend, Mr. Farid Ahmad.

Mr. Abdul Aleem:

Like Mr. Abul Mansur Ahmad.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

He was quite to the point throughout his speech and even my honorable friend, Mr. Hamidul Hqu, could not challenge him.

So, Sir, I was speaking about the dynasty. We Muslims have been governed in the past by these dynasties and we are also fit to be governed by them like that and it is, therefore, that I say let there be yet another dynasty known as the Chowdhury dynasty.

And, this they are creating by giving full power, wide powers to the President to dissolve the Assembly. The President has got to be elected indirectly-elected by the Central Legislature along with the Provincial Legislatures, but he can dissolve the directly elected Parliament. That is the power that they have vested in him. He can dismiss Ministers, he can suspend the Constitution by declaring emergency ….

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

All these points have been made by Mr. Abul Mansur Ahmad.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

These are new points: points about the new dynasty. My friend, Mr. Abul Mansur Ahmad has given his ideas in a philosophical way. I am not a philosopher, nor am I a good lawyer and therefore I am putting all these things in a direct way. I am a direct man myself.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

You mean the way of expressions is different? (Laughter)

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

My point is that by giving such wide powers to the President, they have virtually created a dynasty. I you permit me, I can read out the whole section to you. They have given power to one man- a person who is not directly elected. The Head of the State can dissolve and elected Parliament though he himself is elected indirectly. He will nominate Chief Minister and the Cabinet who will function according to his advice and during his pleasure.

He will not act on the advice of the Cabinet that is the whole point. So, I say that this is quite contrary to democratic principles. Under the democratic Constitution, the Head of the State is only a figurehead, but unfortunately in Pakistan it is not so. Sir, this work ‘dismissal’ is a sore word in Pakistan. I want that this word “dismissal” is got rid of the sooner the better it is. In Pakistan we he u of so many dismissals. Rather the history is replete with dismissals.

You see one day Mr. Feroze Khan Noon dismissed; next day Mr. Fazlul Haq dismissed and yet another day Mr. Mohammed Ali dismissed and God alone knows when our present Prime Minister will be dismissed. What is this all? There is no stability at all. Are we living in Saudi Arabia or in Pakistan where people can be dismissed?

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Mr. Abdul Aleem:

I say, you were also dismissed.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Yes, I was also dismissed and put into jail. I was a Minister in the East Bengal Cabinet; I was dismissed and from Government House I was sent Straight to the Central Jail. I am very happy for that.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Most unfortunate!

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

No, I was not unfortunate; rather I was happy.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Good, please carry on.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

So, Sir, that is about dismissals. This dismissal business must stop froth with. This dismissal business is very dangerous in Pakistan.

Now, I come to the question of electorates. Sir, nowhere in any Constitution in the world, you will find that they have provided for electorates in it except perhaps in the case of South Africa where they have two races, the privileged class and the unprivileged class. They have in South Africa, Indians, Pakistanis and the Aricans. But in Pakistan there is no such difference. But they have deliberately left this provision untouched in the Constitution.

Why they have done so? They want to deceive the minority community living in Pakistan. Sir, I recently had been to East Bengal and there I had the chance of discussing the Constitution with the masses in general. There, the people want joint electorates, but they are helpless, they cannot raise there feeble voice against the Centre and if they dare to do that, the next day the Ministry of Mr. Abu Hussain Sarkar will fall.

I fail to understand why they do not want to give joint electorate to the people when they are themselves asking for it. Nowhere in the world, there are separate electorates excepting in South Africa where they have got two classes, the privileged class and the unprivileged class. Here inspite of the persistent demand by the minority for joint electorates, you are not agreeable to it. What is this all? Is it democracy or what that you are denying the right to the people to exercise their own free will.

I say they had not the moral courage to put down in writing that there shall be joint electorate or separate electorate. They have not the courage to face those masses and therefore they want to hoodwink them. I know the views of the people in Bengal over this Constitution. I had been to Dacca recently.

My friends cannot dare to face the people of East Bengal. Though Mr. Fazlul Huq is considered to be a most popular man, he could not address the public meeting the other day at Dacca. Nobody could hear him, with the result that Mr. Fazlul Huq had to leave the place under the protection of Armed Police. Mr. Abdus Sattar Later on High Court Judge and President of Bangladesh. (East Bengal: Muslim) That is you monopoly,

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: They have absolutely neglected the people of East Bengal in every respect. The people of East Bengal are at one on the question of joint electorate excepting a few Moulanas. Our Moulanas gave fatwa against the joint electorate. They want separate electoragte. But you know, Sir/that many of our Moulanas have come in this House on the basis of joint electorate. Moulana Athar Ali is the Member of this Honourable House.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

In East Bengal Hindus and Muslims had jointly voted and Moulana Sahib was elected to this House. But they say that the system of joint electorate is non-Islamic. They have raised the question of jaiz and na-jaiz on this issue. Sir, this question of jaiz and na-jaiz is very dangerous because for the last eight years of the existence of Pakistan we have been voting jointly in every election of Municipality, District or Union Board, Etc.

Here also in the election of the Municipal Corporation of Karachi, the people voted jointly but nobody objected then or no Moulana raised the question of its character being un-Islamic. What has happened to the recent election to the interim west Pakistan Legislature? Why did they not raise a voice that this election was non-Islamic? Sir, Mr. Khuhro was returned and saved because of the votes of the Hindus. It is because of the system of joint electorate that he got himself returned.

Now, Sir, you have seen’ that during all these- years we have had joint electorate. But now they say that if you ask for joint electorate, you are acting against Islam; you are going against Quran and Sunna.

If it is a sin or accepted, we will go to hell. So, they say to ask for a joint electorate, it is a sin or a crime. Sir, if it a sin or a crime then how we would be pardoned by God for committing crimes for eight long years by voting in our elections jointly? Our fathers and grand-fathers voted jointly and perhaps for this reason they are living in the hell.

I shudder to think how Allah will pardon then because for years and years together they voted jointly in the lections of Municipalities, District and Union Boards, etc. These-Moulanas have been giving this fatwa. They are crying hoarse that the joint electorate is anti-Islamic. According to the fatwa, Sir, the Muslims all over the world are kafirs because they vote jointly. I will justly point out how the Muslims of different countries are voting jointly, and yet they are the true followers of Islam.

In India the four crores of Muslims are voting jointly. In Indonesia, the Muslims, Christians, the Chinese and Buddhists, they are all voting jointly. Seven crores of Muslims in Indonesia who are also staunch followers of Islam vote with the Christians and other communities. In Burma Buddhists and Christians vote with Muslims. In Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Iran, everywhere the Muslims are giving joint votes with Christians and Jews, etc., and still they are the true Muslims.

You know out of 50 crores of the Muslims population of the world, we have 6 crores of the Muslims and if we accept joint electorate, we would be kafirs as all the Muslims are already kafirs according to the argument and faiwa of these Moulanas. Therefore, you have seen, Sir, that everywhere Muslims are voting jointly. But if we incorporate joint electronate in our Constitution, we would be acting against Islam and every Muslim who says La Illaha-Illal-Lah will be kafir.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

In East BBengal this sort of fatwa is daily pronounced and lot of money is being spent by the zamindars-money is coming from the backdoor-to launch propaganda in large scale against the joint electorate.

Then, Sir, I come to the question of parity. We accepted parity because, as my Leader has rightly told, we wanted to prove that we the Muslims of both wings of Pakistan are one nation. We accepted this parity between East and West wings because the Muslims of Pakistan are one nation.

In our passports for the foreign countries, it is written “Pakistani Christians”, “Pakistani Muslims”, “Pakistan “ersis”, “Pakistani Buddhists”. We have spent mony for that to show that we are Pakistani Muslims, Pakistani Christians, Pakistani Buddhists, Pakistani Persis. So you can understand the position.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

You have already taken forty minutes.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

I have only two or three points to deal with. I hope my friends would also allow me to speak.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Your friends will give you the same advice.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

My friends will give me some privilege because they know I speak like that. Now, Sir, I come to Railways. Sir, in this Draft Constitution Bill power has been given to the President who will appoint an authority; I cannot understand what they think about the people of Pakistan.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Where has it been provided?

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

It has been provided in the Draft Constitution Bill. One member will be nominated by the Centre

…………..

Mr. Abul Munsur Ahmad:

By the President.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: One by the President, two by the East Bengal Government. Then, Sir, East Bengal Assembly will have no power to discuss their budget and similarly West Pakistan Assembly will have no right to discuss their Railway budget and how its administration is going on.

Then it has been provided that if future Parliament thinks to take over the control of the Railway from the Provincial administration, the Central Government can take it back any time because the emergency provision to this effect has been provided there.

They have given absolutely nothing to the Provinces. Sir, the railways of East Bengal has been absolutely ruined during the last eight years.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

I shall allow you to speak on it when the relevant clause comes up for discussion.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Sir, what I want to point out is this that they have given it to the provincial list. I want to prove it that actually it is not so.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Do it at the proper time. I shall allow you at that stage.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

At least allow me to point out about the Railway at this stage. I will then go to the regional autonomy and finish my speech.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

I shall not allow you to go into details.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Sir, I will show to you how these people have taken our engines from East Bengal; how they have taken our saloons; how they have spent our money.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

How have they taken these?

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

By air, by sea, by ship, by steamer. We can come to this side via India. Sir Railway is commercial subject. The administration of any subject in East Pakistan from distant Karachi is a well-nigh impossibility. It would be well exemplified from gross mismanagement and bunglings that have taken place in the administration of Eastern Bengal Railway during the last eight years.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Where are you quoting from?

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

It is my note. I have to point out many facts and so I have prepared this note. I am not an old Parliamentarian like you and so I cannot speak extempore like you. I was also not a very good student.

Now, Sir, East Bengal Railway, though a Government enterprise, a purely commercial concern, and a proper accounting is the core of a commercial organization. East Bengal Railway keeps it accounts separate from that of the Government and keeps a separate. Accounts Department, only its total receipts and outgoings on revenue accounts month by month, enter into the monthly returns of the Accountant-General of Pakistan Revenues as a separate item.

The difference between these incomings and outgoing over number of years, must necessarily show whether East Pakistan Railway has been a profitable concern. During the last seven years from the last April, 1948 to 31st March, 1955, Eastern Bengal Railway has yielded a net profit of Rs. 146 lakhs or 21 lakhs a year.

But the management of the Railway maintains that the same cannot be taken as the net profit of the Railway, because it has other expenses, which though not incurred in the past, shall have to be incurred in future and as such Eastern Bengal Railway has been a losing concern.

Again, in the Profit and Loss Accounts of Eastern Bengal Railway in the Appropriation Accounts of Pakistan Railway, Part II of 1946-50, which have been certified by the General Manager, and the Chief Auditor, and which accounts are immutable and unchangeable and presented before the Legislature as such, it is found that E.B. Railway had a net profit of Rs. 139 lakhs in 1949-50.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Who wrote this note for you?

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

I myself wrote it. I know how to make notes. What do you think of me, Sir?

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

You said you would be reading from a note.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Yes, from a note of mine and I am entitled to read it. I am reading from my notes because there are some facts and figures which I cannot give you extempore.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Then it is part of your speech  and note a note.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Yes, Sir, I had prepared a long speech, but you have curtailed the time.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

That is right. Do not call it a note. Call it a part of your speech and read on.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

All right, Sir. I call it a part of my speech. So, Sir, E.B. Railway had a net profit of Rs. 159 lakhs in 1948-49 and a net profit of Rs. 139 lakhs in 1949-50. But Annexure ‘G’, page 51 of the Appropriation Accounts, Part I of the Pakistan.

Railway, 1951-52 show that E.B. Railway suffered a loss of Rs. 95 lakhs in 1949-49 and a loss of Rs. 107 lakhs in 1949-50. Such reversal of certified and immutable account is not only preposterous and unthinkable in any commercial concern but the same is even actionable in law. To add to the wonders, the present management of the Railway still tries to argue out this too obvious contradiction in their accounts in 1948-49 and 1949-50 that they had some other accounts of debits, not taken into consideration in the Profit and Loss Accounts of these two years.

The management at the same time vehemently maintains that profit and loss accounts to those years are perfectly correct. Explanation cannot possibly be clumsier and more stupid. In a word, E.B. Railway must have been a profitable concern, though it has made only a nominal profit as is shown in the positive difference between the incoming and outgoings of E.B. Railway in the Accountant General, Pakistan Revenue’s returns.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

But from 1950-51, it has been a deliberate effort of the Railway administration to represent E.B. Railway as a losing concern throughout, even by reversing previous accounts to cover up their gross mismanagement and bunglings of the worst type.

In fact, if E. B. Railway administration was only tolerable efficient, it could have earned a respectable amount of profit in place of a nominal profit of Rs. 21 lakhs a year. Even the profit and loss accounts in the Appropriation Accounts of Pakistan Railway underestimate profit by deducting from gross earnings an average charge of about Rs. 120 lakhs a year for the entire capital account of the E. B. Railway assets, the bulk of which has been received as an inheritance from pre-partition India and not.

Formed by any subsequent capital expenditure. The entire interest charge has moreover been made over to the Central Railway Reserve Fund rather than to the Reserve fund of the E. B. Railway. Moreover appropriation the depreciation fund, from the gross earnings have also worked out to an annual average of Rs. 99 lakhs.

Accounting apart, expenses of the E.B. Railway were unnecessarily inflated by purchasing f from Japan 25 MGYD class locomotives at a cost of Rs. 150 lakhs, 10 diesel engines at a cost of Rs. I crore, 13 XB engines at 1 crore and 700 wagons at a cost of Rs. 210 lakhs, in all costing Rs. 560 lakhs, all of which are lying idle and cannot be used.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Very interesting, but all of it is irrelevant.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

I am sorry, Sir, but I have to finish it.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Please, finish it quickly.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

All right, Sir, the losses due to this only works up to Rs. 80 lakhs a year. Moreover nine old but good engines of E. B. Railway were made over to North Western Railway at their depreciated book values and in their place nine diesel engines were bought by E. B. Railway on which interest charge was made heavier hereby.

Again E. B. Railway has suffered an average annual loss of Rs. 12 lakhs a year, by maintaining a surplus staff of per-partition India and by giving expatriation allowance of about Rs. 2 lakhs a year for employees perfering domicile in the Western wing of the country.

If E. B. Railway were and are even tolerably efficiently managed, it could easily give and can give an annual profit of Rs. 300 lakhs. Aquestion may be asked here, how could E. B. Railway mismanage and bungle its affairs so badly as to bring it to the level of nearly no profit. The answer is simple. The Railway Division of the Ministry of Communications could not maintain any effective control from distant Karachi on the Chittagong management who worked like little dictators and did whatever they liked.

It has been the general experience that whenever control and check on commercial concerns have been slack, bunglings have inevitable taken place. E. B. Railway also has not been an exception. Karachi administration could not maintain any effective check on the Chittagong Railway authorities, while East Pakistan Government and the public were helpless onlookers of the bunglings that little Railway dictators perpetrated there.

It should, therefore, be frankly admitted that commercial concerns like Railway in East Bengal cannot be administered from distant Karachi and as such the same should be controlled locally as a Provincial subject. Now, you know, Sir. ……

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

You have had 50 minutes as against the time limit of 30 minutes.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Please give me a few minutes more.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Five minutes only.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

No, Sir, give me 15 minutes more, and I will try to finish.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

I shall see to that;

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Sir, there is control everywhere in Pakistan and here also you have put a control on us.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Have you lost something?

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

No, Sir, I wanted to say one thing more about East Bengal Railway. Just a second. Sir. There are four heads of departments and none of them is Bengale. Deputy head of departments are four and Bangaiee is only one. So this is the position. Anyhow, I have done with it and now I am going to other points-about regional autonomy which is the demand of the people of East Bengal.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

This, I hope, is your last point, because t is also your last chance.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

If you give me 15 minutes, Sir, I shall try to finish and if I cannot finish in 15 minutes I will sit down. So, Sir, I was speaking about the Defense and my friend, Mr. Abul Mansur, has told you so many points, but I want to add one or two points more. You know, Sir, sometimes they say how many Bangalees are in that department. Now I want to tell you about these points.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

These points are irrelevant.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Why, Sir, It is a question of regional autonomy. We, the poor Bangalees want our due share.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

But that will come when you are discussing it clause by clause. You will have your chance to say all these things at that time. Why do you to say all of it just now?

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

All rights, Sir. I must obey your orders. Then, I was speaking about regional autonomy and parity in all respects. Now that is a very interesting point. Sir, no doubt, about it. Now they ask to-as why we want regional autonomy. Sir, is it against Islam also? I do not know when he fatwah will come from our Maulanas that this is also against Islam as my friend, Mr. Farid Ahmad Chowdhury, said.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Mr. Abdul Aleem:

He is not Chowdhury.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

I know. He is Mr. Farid Ahmad. He is a friend of mine.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

I do not know whether all that you have said is against the Rules. (Laughter)

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

No, Sir, It is one of the fundmental principles of the Constitution. Many points have been said about it and I want that these points should be added up to them.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Go on. Add up.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

My friends say, why you want regional autonomy. It is not in the 21-Point Programme. It is a vague thing. I wish my friend Mr. Farid Ahmad could say this thing to the people who have elected him. You know, Sir, when elections come people give you a manifesto and this 21-Point Programme was given by the people.

They voted for us on the basis of this 21-Point programme. They never voted for Mr. Suhrawardy or for Mr. Fazlul Huq or for Maulana Bhashani. The people voted for these 21 point, otherwise these people who have been elected and have come here, would not have come to this Constituent Assembly in the whole of their lifetime. This thing is categorically said in clause 1 and if you will permit me to read it as you have permitted others, I shall show it to you.

…………

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

This has been read before.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Sir, with Defense, Foreign Affairs and Currency, the Central Government can be a strong Central Government.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

We have heard this argument from Mr. Abul Mansur. We want some new arguments.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: Sir, I am not going into details. I am only referring to ti. Our friends say that with the three subjects, it will be a weak Centre, but Sir, we can prove that it will be a strong Centre. Sir, why are the people of East Bengal for the last eight years fighting for regional autonomy?

Sir, unfortunately there is no more time at my disposal, but if you permit me I can show you what injustice they have done to the people of East Bengal. Sir, according to Mr. Gurmani, East Bengal used to pay 25 percent of revenues to the Central Government. They say that it later decreased to 20 percent and now it is only 14 percent. This is what they say. So, it is decreasing day by day. According to this decrease, Sir, in 1960 it will be nil. East Bengal is so ruined.

………

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

So, Mr. Abul Mansur also informed us. (Laughter)

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Sir, I am only pointing it out to you. Sir, it is like this: there are two hands to the body of Pakistan. One is West Pakistan and the other is East Pakistan. They are making one hand strong and the other hand weak. Sir, this policy is wrong and will ruin the country. In the Central Government Services, those who from 56 percent population are not getting 5 percent share.

The East Bengal people are educated, but they are not getting their share. Sir, we do not blame the West Pakistan people. In fact we want autonomy for them also. If East Pakistan gets autonomy, the West Pakistan people will also get autonomy. We blame the ruling junta. These jagirdars, zamindars, these big landlords and ruling junta of West Pakistan. They are so much suppressed, they cannot cry, they cannot demand, but the people of East Pakistan are politically conscious.

They challenge anybody and everybody. They challenge Mr. Fazlul Haq, Mr. Suhrawardy, Moulana Bhashani; they challenge their leaders. They tell their leaders, “you have done this wrong and we will not vote for you”, but they have been suppressed, persecuted and they have been economically ruined. They have no land; no shelter. But, Sir, we have nothing against the people of West Pakistan but against the ruling junta, who have entered the Constituent assembly through the backdoor.

One who were not even in the district board and have become Foreign Minister of Pakistan and such people want to speak on behalf of the people of East Pakistan and say that the people of East Bengal support this draft constitution. Sir, I have just come from East Pakistan and know the mind of the people there. I know that they have rejected this non-Islamic, undemocratic and dictatorial Constitution, and it cannot be accepted by the people of Pakistan, Particularly the people of East Pakistan.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

These people are thinking that they will sit in Karachi like Mr. Pathan he will never go back to East Pakistan; he is domiciled here. So these people are also thinking that they will earn some money and make a house here.

They cannot go back because they are going against the demand of full regional autonomy, which is the demand of the people. You can kill us. You can jail us. Some times we hear that our lives are in danger, but we are not afraid. We have been elected by the people on the basis of 21-point programme, on the basis of regional autonomy. They can betray but we cannot. Mr. Abdul Aleem: We have never betrayed.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: Sir, the people of East Bengal will never accept the draft Constitution. You can arrest us. You have already arrested our friends and you will arrest more. I would appeal to my friend Hon’ble Mr. Chundrigar, who fought in the federal Court about the dissolved Constituent Assembly and who has fortunately become the Law Minister now, to frame the Constitution on the basis of 21-point programme.

If you want to push through the Constitution, you could do so, but if you press this constitution then you are playing with fire. I have just now come from East Bengal, and I know the sentiments of the people there, of the agriculturists, the poor businessmen and other people of East Bengal. If you push through this constitution, God alone knows that will happen. We want that Pakistan should be saved from the ruling junta for the poor masses, who have achieved Pakistan after great sacrifices.

These people who are now ruling were not 2-anna members in the struggle for Pakistan. They want to destroy Pakistan in the name of Islam. If you frame the Constitution of the basis of 21-point programme, we will cooperate with you, we will join you, but if you go against the wishes of the people we will mobilize opinion not only in East Pakistan but also in West Pakistan against this dictatorial and undemocratic Constitution.

If you agree to pass a democratic Constitution, we will help you to pass it within seven days, even within three days, but that Constitution should be on the democratic basis of 21-point programme, otherwise we will oppose it tooth and nail.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ ফেব্রুয়ারি ]

১৯৫৬ সালের ১৬ ফেব্রুয়ারি বৃহস্পতিবার বিকাল ৩টায় পাকিস্তান গণপরিষদে বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ

[১৯৫৬ সালের ১৬ই ফেব্রুয়ারি অনুষ্ঠিত আইন পরিষদের অধিবেশনে রাষ্ট্রভাষা ও আঞ্চলিক ভাষা সংক্রান্ত বিষয়ে আলোচনা হয়। বঙ্গবন্ধু এই অধিবেশনে যে বক্তব্য পেশ করেন তার অংশবিশেষ নিম্নে উদ্ধৃত হলো।]

The Constituent Assembly of Pakistan met in the Assembly Chamber with Mr. Speaker the Honourable Mr. Abdul Wahab Khan in the Chair to discuss about the state languages and the regional language of Pakistan.

Mr. Speaker: You have had your say. Please resume your seat. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman! You want to speak?

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (East Bengal: Muslim): Many others will also speak. If the Deputy Speaker of the House gave five minutes time it was on an assurance given to the House that if an Honourable Member made important points, the time could be extended to ten or even fifteen minutes.

Mr. Speaker: Any way! Please speak on the point and not on the time.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: I am opposing the amendment of Sarder Amir Azam Khan.

The Honourable Sarder Amir Azam Khan: The amendment has been moved by Mr. Yousuf Haroon.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: In your name! I do not know where from the third pilot of the Bill got this encouragement. This amendment has come before the House while we are actually framing the Constitution, and so many clauses have already been passed. It is not a question of insulting the President; it is a question of election pure and simple. It may be that the election of the President may be unfair and the affected person must have a right to appeal to the judiciary.

This provision is not for any Acting President, in which case we may have ignored. In a house of 300 representatives it is possible that there may be two, three or even four candidates for the office of the President and in the counting of votes it is just possible that there may be a mistake-may be unintentional. Well, the defeated candidate must have a right to challenge the election of the President.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Flow is it they have come forward with this amendment at this stage? Have they got any threat from a person who is likely to become the President of the Republic of Pakistan? Perhaps that is the reason why they have come forward with the amendment that the validity of the election of the President shall not be questioned in any court of law. Can you quote a single instance from the constitutions of the world where such elections cannot be questioned in a court of law?

Well, it is the question of fair and free elections. We are not insulting the President. You have provided that the House can discuss the activities of the President and here you say that his election cannot be questioned. What is you intention? Do you want to make a farce of it and discredit Pakistan in the eyes of the world just to satisfy one or two persons?

An Honourable Member: Why not quote some other instances?

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: I am not going to challenge the second pilot.

This is the position. Supposing I contest Sardar Amir Azam Khan and I am defeated. For my satisfaction I should have a right to challenge the election. It is surprising that these people come forward with anything and everything they like. God knows where they are sending Pakistan! I would appeal to them to consider the issue and withhold the amendment. I would counsel them to consult their leaders, the Prime Minister and the Law Minister before they come forward with such an amendment. With these words I oppose the amendment of Honourable Sardar Amir Azam Khan, moved by Mr. Yusuf Haroon.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: Sir, while speaking on the motion before the House I recall the sacrifices and sufferings undergone by the students of East Bengal as a result of which about fifteen hundred people went to jail. In the end the Government recognized their demand on account of the force of public opinion, and accepted Bengali as one of the State languages. Sir, I can appreciate the force of the argument that it requires time to replace English, but the questions what is the period of time involved.

If the State patronizes the State languages, then I do not think more than ten years are necessary. I remember to have gone to China in 1952, three years after their liberation in 1949 and was impressed by the manner in which they had substituted Chinese during that small period. The same thing could be done here. It may take two years or three years or a little more, but the target should be ten years. In the circumstances I appeal to the mover of the Bill to accept this amendment of ten years.

Sir, may I refer to sub-clause (2) of clause 221 of the Bill: “On the expiration of ten years from the Constitution Day, the President shall appoint a Commission to make recommendations for the replacement of English.” This is all very vague. Everything should be categorically stated here, because God knows what will happen and we have seen may times how the people of Bengal have been cheated; how the people of Pakistan have been cheated. I hold the same views about Urdu.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

They also want, with us, that English should be replaced by Urdu and Bengali within ten years. They are very anxious; it is their demand. In all their meetings they are demanding the same thing. I am not speaking for Bengali alone. I am speaking for Bengali and Urdu, because these are the two State languages of Pakistan today. Another point is that if we have accepted two languages it does not mean that the languages of Sind and the Punjab and Frontier should be finished.

We want that their languages should also be developed, but it is impossible without Government help. All provisions for their development should be categorically stated here because they may not get a shock afterwards. Here in West Pakistan there are several languages which are well developed: Sindhi, Poshtu, Punjabi and Baluchi and there are pictures produced in those languages. If the West Pakistan Govt. patronizes these languages, definitely it will go a long way to develop them and each one of them can be one of the best languages of the world. Every language can be developed. I have another amendment on the subject which I am not moving because I am lending my support to this amendment.

I request that if they accept this amendment of Mr. Mahmud Ali: “Notwithstanding anything in this clause the Federal and the Unit Government shall take all possible ………….”

Mr. Speaker: You have already spoken.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: I am giving my point.

Mr. Speaker: You need not repeat.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

“…………. Measures for the development and growth of all national languages of Pakistan, namely, Benali, Punjabi, Sindhi, Poshtu, Baluchi and Urdu.”

If I mention here the name of a country some of my friends may be frightened-I am speaking about Soviet Russia. That country also, Sir, helped the other states like Uzbekistan and other to develop their own languages and the Central Government of Russia is helping them. They have recognized every national language of the country and these have been developed in such a way that those are one of the best languages. Similarly we have our groups.

We have made on Unit and there are three or four languages in that Unit: Sindi,  Punjabi, Baluchi and Pushtu. These four languages are there. We must provide in the Constitution that the West Pakistan Government must take all steps to develop these four languages. Otherwise what will happen? It might be that a particular province who are in a majority, may suppress the other languages of the Unit. This is the point to which I wish to draw the attention of the House.

I would appeal to them to accept the amendment of Mr. Mahmud Ali and our amendments, about ten years. If I speak in Bengali they cannot follow; if they speak in Urdu, I cannot follow. But if we can develop, I will speak in Urdu and they will speak in Bengali and this will lead to greater friendship co-operation and Pakistan will become stronger. Ten years is a sufficient period.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

সংগ্রহ-বাঙ্গালীর কণ্ঠ,

১৯৫৬ সালের ১৭ ফেব্রুয়ারি পাকিস্তানের গণপরিষদে (করাচি) শুক্রবার বিকাল ৩টায় বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ

[পাকিস্তানে সামরিক শাসন জারী করার হুমকি এক নিত্য-নৈমিত্তিক বিষয় হয়ে দেখা দেয়। বঙ্গবন্ধু দেশের রাজনৈতিক অঙ্গনে এর অশুভ প্রতিক্রিয়া সম্পর্কে অভিমত ব্যক্ত করে আইন পরিষদের অধিবেশনে বক্তব্য রাখেন। ১৯৫৬ সালে ১৭ ফেব্রুয়ারি তারিখে প্রদত্ত তাঁর ভাষণের কিছু অংশ নিম্নে উদ্ধৃত হলো।]

The Constituent Assembly of Pakistan met in the Assembly Chamber with Mr. Speaker, the Honourable Mr. Abdul Wahab Khan in the Chair to discuss about the proclamation of Martial Law or emergency only with the approval of the National Assembly.

The Honourable Mr. M. A. Khuhro: What is Islamic in it?

Mr. Zahiruddin: I will let you know. Sir, the principles that should have been accepted in the Constitution ………… of the House.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman : Sir, I support the amendments moved by my friend, Mr. Zahiruddin. He has discussed the history of Martial Law in the Punjab and the catastrophe that it caused in Punjab, and the dismissal of the Daultana Ministry. Sir, during the last 8 years of Pakistan’s existence we have seen that whenever people try to create public opinion in fabour of their demands, it is indirectly threatened that martial law will come.

Do not demand for food; otherwise martial law will come, do not demand anything otherwise Martial Law will come. During the last eight years we have seen how politician are almost ousted from the political field and some service people come at the top of the administration. Some people are Marshal, Major-General and they directly or indirectly become Head of the State. Sir, once the tiger tastes human blood it will always try to taste the blood of the human being.

That is the habit of the tiger. Similarly, Sir, those who get into power by any way, and if the people mobilize public opinion, then they try to retain the power and use the power of Martial Law. Sir, we are not asking for exclusion of Martial Law. The amendment of Mr. Zahiruddin is very clear. Mr. Zahiruddin wants that Martial Law should be applied when there is war or armed rebellion. We agree that if there is war or armed rebellion in the country, then Pakistan Government has the right to save the country be imposing Martial Law.

But, Sir, when there is no such emergency, what right Government has got to curtail the civil liberties of the people by imposing Marital Law? Sir, we have seen during the last two or three years that when the Constituent Assembly was dissolved we were told that martial law will come and the right of Federal Court or Supreme Court will be suspended ad that they will give Constitution to the country.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

This was all mentioned and they tried it, Sir, but because there was one democrat in the Cabinet, they failed to do it. They always try to keep their power by declaring martial law. Sir, they should not be given so much power except in case of war and rebellion.

Sir, I appeal to the Honourable Members on the Government side who are in power today and god knows when they will be ousted to accept the amendment of Mr. Zahiruddin and do justice to the people. Martial Law sometimes plays such havoc in the country that history has not seen. We have already seen what happened in the Punjab. Sir, during the days of 92-A one person, who had gone from Karachi to administer, threatened that if you persist we will declare martial law.

That was the position. If you address public meetings or say one word against 92-A, I will put martial law and fire. Sir, that was openly declared and those people are still in power. Sir, because there is a danger that if there are elections, these particular people may not be elected. Therefore they will say because they are going out, they should apply martial law and keep power in their hands. Therefore, Sir, I appeal to them to accept the amendment of my friend Mr. Zahiruddin, because it is for the betterment of the country and people as a whole.

Mr. Chairman (Mr. Abdul Sattar): Motion moved.

“That after sub-clause (9) of clause 199 of the Bill, the following new sub-clause is added, namely: “(7) A Proclamation issued under clause (1) shall, if approved by National Assembly remain if force until it is revoked.”

Mr. Mahmud Ali: Mr. Chairman, Sir, during the last 8 years of independence, we have been tired or proclamations …………… of the House.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman : Sir, I am supporting the amendment of my friend, Mr. Mahmud Ali. I want to draw the attention of the House through you to the proclamations and emergencies, how many times within eight years the Central Government have declared emergency and issued proclamations. We have seen how emergency delared is. On Ministry goes and another ministry come. The Leader here have so much used it that nowhere in the world it has been used so much.

Sir, why use this vague word “internal disturbances.” We do not object if they have this power during war or rebellion in the country and use it for the safety of Pakistan, but what is the meaning of “internal disturbances?” The mover of the Bill has not clarified it. Sir, one day the people will rise. They know it. The democratic movement will grow and reactionary forces will have to vacate the chair. Sir, how can we accept the vague words “internal disturbances”?

If you put “war or rebellion” we will accept, but if you say “internal disturbances” we will oppose, and a day will come when we will go and oppose words and say everywhere that we do not want to give power to one man, who may become a despot one day. Sir, the Prime Minister will be there; the Speaker will be there. They can call the National Assembly; they can discuss whether there is internal disturbance and if the Assembly feels they can request the President to declare an emergency and issue a proclamation. Sir, take the example of East Bengal. I do not want to repeat it as I have said many times in this House.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Everyone knows how emergency was declared on account of Adamjee Jute Mill and Provincial Government was suspended. What they do? The executive authority of the Federation shall extend to the giving of directions to a Province as to the manner in which the executive authority thereof is to be exercised. What does it mean? They will, sitting here in Karachi, govern East Pakistan in any emergency. This is our provincial autonomy; this is our self-determination and this is the full provincial autonomy both of East and West Pakistan.

This is the Federation which we are making; then why do you not have a unitary Government? You are giving power with the left hand and taking it back with the right hand. You are telling the people of Pakistan that you are giving them provincial autonomy. You have passed this Constitution and everywhere you have taken everything from the people of the Province. There is only one power there; and in the name of emergency and internal disturbances you are taking back this particular power also.

Of course, you can say that in other countries of the world there is a provision like this, but in countries like the United Kingdom, which you wish to copy, they respect democracy and they respect the wishes of the people. Our leaders who are in power before and who are still in power, many of them do not respect the wishes of the people of Pakistan. Leave out the words “internal disturbance”, but if you do not do that then we must oppose it.

That is my point of view. Under (b) of sub-clause (2) of clause 199 you are giving absolute powers to the executive authority of the Federation to govern the Provinces. It means that there is no provincial autonomy. They have taken everything back.

I request my honourable friend, Sardar Amir Azam Khan and the Honourable Foreign Minister that they should consider carefully whether the words “internal disturbance” are not very vague. They should withdraw these words from this clause of the Bill. With these few words I request the mover of the Bill to accept this amendment.

সংগ্রহ-বাঙ্গালীর কণ্ঠ,

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

১৯৫৬ সালের ২১ ফেব্রুয়ারি মঙ্গলবার বিকাল ৩টায় পাকিস্তান গণপরিষদে (করাচি) বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ

[ যৌথ নির্বাচকমন্ডলী এবং ঢাকা ও করাচিতে দুই রাজধানী স্থাপন সম্পর্কিত বিষয়ে আলোচনাকালে বিগত ১৯৫৬ সালের ২১শে ফেব্রুয়ারী তারিখে বঙ্গবন্ধু রাষ্ট্রভাষা, বৈষম্য, পূর্ববঙ্গের জনগণের দুর্দশা প্রভৃতি বিষয়ে বক্তব্য প্রদান করেন। তাঁর বক্তব্যের বয়ান নিচে উদ্ধৃত করা হলো।]

The Constituent Assembly met in the assembly Chamber with Mr. Speaker the Honourable Mr. Abdul Wahab Khan in the Chair to discuss about joint electorate and two capitals at Karachi and Dacca.

 

Motion for Adjournment

Martyrdom for Recognition of Bengali as State Language.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: (East Bengal: Muslim):

Mr. Speaker, I beg to move:

“That the House be adjourned today, the 21st February, in the memory of the martyrs who laid down their lives for the cause of getting Bengali as State Language.”

As you know it was 21st February when our brothers sacrificed their lives for the sake of getting Bengali as State Language in the streets of Dacca. The Government of Bengal declared this day as holiday. So this Assembly is adjourned in the memory of the martyrs who sacrificed for the cause of the country and the mother-tongue. So I move this adjournment motion and I draw your attention that it should be discussed and the House should be adjourned.

Mr. Speaker:

The Honourable Member will get another chance to speak on that.

Mr. Muhammad Abdul Khaleque:

Only one minute. Now, Sir, what does it say? It does not satisfy the claim which we have put forward in our amendment. We have definitely said in accordance with the demand of the people of East Bengal that Capital of Pakistan must be at Karachi and at Dacca and in consonance with their demand, we have put it there and we request Honourable Mr. A. K. Fazlul Hqu to kindly make his party accept this demand of our amendment. With these few observations I commend our amendment to the acceptance of the House.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Sir, in opposing the substitution clause of Sardar Amir Azam Khan and supporting the amendment of Mr. Abul Mansur Ahmad, I want to draw the attention of that part of the house through you, Sir, to certain important facts which they appear to have absolutely forgotten. Sir, we are claiming at the top of our voice in Karachi and in Dacca and allover Pakistan that it is an Islamic State where Muslims can ordain their lives according to the teachings of Islam.

You remember, Sir, when we wanted Pakistan, we had declared that the ten crores of Muslims of India constituted one nation and Sir, out of those ten crores of Muslims, five crores are still left in India at the mercy of those fanatic Hindus.

Have you ever imagined what would be their fate if you declare Pakistan “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”? If you declare today that Pakistan is an Islamic Republic and name it as an “Islamic Republic of Pakistan”, the fanatic Hindus such as R.S.S. and Mahasabhaists might agitate tomorrow for declaring India a “Hindu Republic of India” for taking vengeance on those unfortunate four crores of the Muslms of India who have sacrificed everything for the achievement of Pakistan and for making a separate State for seven crores of the people of Pakistan who are enjoying the fruit of their sacrifice today.

Is it not fact that today we are throwing those unfortunate Muslims of India to the ocean or are we not throwing them in front of these Hindu fanatics? These were the unfortunate Muslims who sacrificed everything for the achievement of Pakistan and are still living in Hindustan; in Madras, Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta, Bihar and U.P. what right have we got living in Pakistan, to kill the unfortunate Muslims of India, I cannot understand, Sir. Why are they playing with those Muslims?

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

They have played with them, still they are playing and they will play more. Such has been the tactics always of the ruling junta, the ruling junta which is always out to get power by manipulation. It is their habit to give bluff to the people in the name of Islam and in the name of religion. Whenever the people of Pakistan want food, clothing and shelter, our leaders of Pakistan say: Kashmir Khatre men hai; Kashmir Khatre men hai, Kashmir is in danger, Kashmir is in danger.

And in this way they want to divert the attention of the masses towards that particular issue. It is not an issue. Now they have created an atmosphere that Awami League is against in Islamic Constitution. I say to them, “No, the Awami League is not against an Islamic Constitution if it is based on the fundamental principles of Islam, that is equality, fairplay and equal distribution of wealth according to the need of individual.

Do it first. You are not making a democratic and Islamic Constitution.” You are making a reactionary Constitution, a Constitution not for the people but for the ruling junta to govern the country according to their own fancy and desire. So you are giving bluff to the people of Pakistan in the name of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. If you look to all the clauses starting from the Fundamental Rights to the Provincial Autonomy which they have claimed to have given to the provinces, you would find that everywhere they have done injustice to the people of Pakistan.

Now, Sir, how injustice and Islam can go together? Obviously, they cannot go together, when there is injustice, when there is corruption, when there is nepotism, when there is bluff, when there is falsehood prevailing all around. If you really provide in the constitution, fundamental principles of Islam and accept them in the name of Islam, nobody would object to it.

Even the Hindus will not object to it. In the amendment moved by Honourable Sardar Amir Azam Khan, you will find the words “Territories of Pakistan.” That Pakistan shall be Federal Republic to be known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan……… and then again in sub-clause (2) he has said ‘the territories of Pakistan shall comprise……….” So he has mentioned “Territories of Pakistan” in two places but he has not mentioned what is the character of Pakistan or what will be the character of Pakistan, whether Socialistic, Capitalistic, etc.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Nothing has been mentioned there. That is the tactics they are playing with the people of Pakistan. They simply say that Pakistan shall be of Islamic character and will be a Federal Republic. They do not say that Pakistan will be an Islamic State. They are not doing that. Sir, their days are numbered and they want to bluff the Muslims of Pakistan who are mostly illiterate. I tell you, Sir, that if the people of Pakistan say to our party that the Awami League has no right to govern the country, we will leave politics, we have got that moral courage.”

But my friends opposite do not have that moral courage because they want to keep power in their own hands and pockets. But, Sir, they cannot do it because history has so many times proved it that you cannot bluff the people for all the time. For some time you can bluff the people, but for all times you cannot bluff them.

Why do you not give the country a character? Why do you not say that it will be a Socialistic State where land will be distributed among the poor classes of the people and His Excellencies will not get Rs. 12,000 a month. Sacrifice some money and give it to the poor masses who” are dying of hunger and starvation. They are actually the Musalmans who are dying in the streets. They have achieved Pakistan.

Go to East Bengal and see how the people are dying. There is scarcity of food there and this is the month of February, Sir, which is the cultivation time and they have no food and famine has started. Within two or three months there will be a famine which you may not have seen in the history of Pakistan and Sir; sometimes I feel that 1943 may be repeated. Now, what the government is doing? What action they are going to take or taking while the Muslims are dying?

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Mr. Speaker:

You have made out your point, but now you are digressing.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Sir, is it you’re Islamic State? Suppose I have some money and a Hindu beggar comes to me and asks for money. Should I not give him because he is a Hindu? No, whether he is a Hindu beggar, or a Muslim beggar or a Christian beggar, they are one and the same.

There is no difference between poor and poor as there is no difference between a big landlord and a big landlord. I have seen, Sir, in Calcutta riots, how big and moneyed people who had crores of rupees saved their lives and came over to Pakistan. It was the poor rickshawwalas and gariwalas who sacrificed their lives for Pakistan.

Can you tell me sir, whether any big man died in the name of Pakistan? It was the poor masses of India who died and made sacrifices for Pakistan. Now you are playing with the poor masses of Pakistan in the name of Islam. Sir, let Pakistan be a pure and simple Pakistan of the people. Do not try to hoodwink the people of Pakistan in the name of Islam. Now, Sir, there is another question about the minorities.

What right we have got to treat them in this manner? Before the achievement of Pakistan, had you declared in the last Convention of 1946 at Delhi, where I was also present, that Hindus will not be able to live in Pakistan? Hindus have every right to live in Pakistan; Christians have every right to live in Pakistan. Read the history of Islam and see how the rulers of Islam have treated the minorities and how they have given them rights.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Now, if you behave in this way and declare that your country is an Islamic Republic, at once the minorities become second class citizens. At least I feel so and my conscience says that it is against the fundamentals of Islam. You have no right to treat them in that fashion. They are living here, they are paying taxes and so they have every right to govern the country.

You have no right to say that. Show them the Islamic character, the true Islamic character; otherwise they will feel that there is something wrong with the fundamentals of Islam and there is not much difference in the fundamentals of Islam and other religions. Islam is for the good of the humanity: As a Musalman, I believe in my religion and it is my duty to obey it. Allah will punish me for my faults.

Is there anywhere that the Government will punish me if I do not say prayers five times a day? Is there in the Holy Quran, can you show me? I think there is nowhere mentioned that the Government will punish me and put me in jail if I do not say my prayers. It is my own character and my own personal matter. Now, Sir, Muslims are not living only in Pakistan. There are so many other countries where they may be in a hapless minority.

We are living in a civilized country and it is the atomic age and we should see what we are doing. We should not try to cheat people in the name of Islam. If you want an Islamic Republic of Pakistan, do justice on the basis of Islam so that people may feel that it is Islam. You cannot bluff them in the name of Islam. Now-a-days what do we find? Everywhere there is corruption, nepotism, bribery and favouritism and people are dying of hunger and starvation. This is not Islam.

If you make such an Islamic Republic of Pakistan today, when the next generations come after five years or ten years and see all this happening in the name of Islam and in an Islamic State, what will be their feeling for Islam? Today the position is that if you go to a court for getting justice, we have to pay bribe. If you go to a shop for buying something, you have to pay black-market prices, and if you go to a pleader there also you have to pay money for telling lies.

When they will I mean when the next generation will see all these things happening in Pakistan, they will at once turn away from it and they will not care for Islam. And, Sir, sometimes I feel that my friends who are sitting on the other side have decided to kill and spoil the name of Islam in the world. With these few words, Sir, I support the amendment of my friend, Mr. Abul Mansur Ahmad Honourable.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Deputy Speaker:

So the House has agreed to sit beyond 11 O’clock.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Sir, I rise to support my amendment and at the same time oppose the amendment of Mr. Sattar. Sir, this is a very vital point so far as the Constitution is concerned.

Honourable Deputy Speaker: What is the vital point? Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: The question of electorate that we are discussing now in clauses 153. Sir, in my amendment I have said:

“All elections to the National Assembly and Provincial Assemblies shall be held on the principle of joint electorate.”

Now, Sir, what I feel is this that only to fight the catastrophe that is coming on the East Bengal Ministers, they want to have this clause and they want to send this issue back to the Provinces.

Mr. K. K. Dutta has come forward with and amendment that if the Provincial Assemblies decide what sort of electorate would be, then that system, whether joint or separate electorate would form part of the Constitution. Now another amendment has come in the name of Mr. Sattar that it should go to the National Assembly and the National Assembly will decide whether there will be joint electorate or separate electorate.

Honourable Deputy Speaker: What is your objection as a Member of the Central Legislature?

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

I am speaking as a Member of the Constituent Assembly and the same number of members will sit in the National Assembly: We are not going to sit in a House of 310 members. We are going to sit with the same 80 members. So what is the harm to accept it now? Do they want this in order to take time, in order to give bluff to the people, nothing more; nothing less? Sir, it is always the minorities who want separate electorate.

(Interruptions)

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Order please.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

I knowMr. Aziz Din will interrupt me but I can go on speaking in spite of his interruptions. I do not care of him.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

You should care for what I say. Please carry on with your speech.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Certainly. You are Deputy Speaker of the Assembly.

Honourable Speaker:

Please do not take notice of the interruptions.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

I am not taking any notice of the interruptions.

Sir, what I was submitting was that only the minorities want reservation of seats or electorate. In pre-partition India, the Muslims of India wanted separate electorate because they were only 10 crorers whereas the Hindus were 32 crores and to safeguard.

Their interests they wanted separate electorate because they felt that their interests will not be safeguarded by the brute majority of the Hindus. But, Sir, now in Pakistan we are 852 percent Muslims and 15 percent are minorities including Hindus, Christians, Buddhists and Parses. Now we fear that if there is a joint electorate the minorities will sweep us that are all the 85 percent Muslims of Pakistan. This is the idea of my friends in West Pakistan.

They feel the East Bengal Muslims are not politically conscious and the 20 percent minorities of East Bengal will control the Muslims of East Bengal.

Sir, my friends will probable remember that in 1946 elections when the Hindu Zamindars of Bengal-the Hindus of Bengal were big businessmen, they were advocates, they were Doctors, 90 percent Zamindari were in their hands; they were District Magistrates, they were S. Ps.-were against the creation of Pakistan and when there was a fight about the Pakistan issue, the Musalmans of Bengal voted for Pakistan whereas persons who claimed to be more of Musalman than the Musalmans of East Pakistan, they were divide.

There was a Unionist Ministry in the Punjab, G. M. Syed Ministry in sind and Khan Sahib’s Ministry in the Frontier and they were all against Pakistan. Now after the achievement of Pakistan, do’ you think specially when the District Magistrates are muslims, when the S. D. O.s are Muslims, in short, everybody is Muslim, the Hindus will control us and sell us away and therefore, out of fear, they say there should be separate electorate because if we keep joint electorate.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Hindus will finish us as we have up confidence in the Muslims of East Bengal who have sacrificed everything for the achievement of Pakistan and their fear is that we will sell Pakistan in the hands of the minorities. Sir, in this connection I would invite attention of some of our friends, particularly the so-called Mullas of our country to another point of view. Sir, they are declaring that if the joint electorate is conceding, then it would be un-Islamic because it is against the principles of Islam. Now, Sir, we are in a very difficult position, so far as East Bengal and the Muslims of Pakistan are concerned.

They say that if you give vote jointly with the Hindus or the Minorities, then you will have to go to hell, not in the heaven. Heaven is closed for us. This is the Fativa that is going on. Honourable

Deputy Speaker:

Who said so?

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Some Mullas of our country have said so. An honourable Member: we have not decided that.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

You cannot decide anything except by brute majority.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Is that the way?

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

They sometimes ………….

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

The Honourable Pir Ali Mohammad Rashdi:

They have no sense of honour!

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

I am sorry, he has more honour that me! These Mullas have given Fatwa that if you vote jointly, you go to Dozakh. Now, Sir, ever since on hundred years, we in East Bengal have been voting jointly with the minorities in the Union Board, in the District Board, in the Municipal Board elections.

Similarly in West Pakistan in all such elections, people have voted jointly. It is a fact. Even in this Constituent Assembly, we have been elected to this House on the basis of joint electorate. Even the leader of the Nizam-i-Islam party, Moulana Athar Ali, most respected and an emin’ent Moulana, has been elected to this House on the basis” of joint electorate.

Moulana Hafiz Athar Ali: (East Bengal: Muslim) :

You have mentioned my name. What are you saying? I do not understand English. Speak in Bengali or Urdu that I am give you a fitting reply.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

What is that?

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: Sir, he says that I should speak either in Bengali or Urdu so that he may understand me. But my difficulty is that is that if I speak in Bengali, my friends on that side will not understand me and as regards Urdu, I know very little of it pid I cannot express myself in that language.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Have you got any other difficulty? I shall try to remove them.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

My another difficulty is that I am suffering from throat trouble.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Why do you not take a throat tonic and try to be relevant? (Laughter)

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

You are not giving me patient hearing, because you are busy in drafting something. I am always on my point.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

I am not a doctor but whatever I am drafting is for your benefit.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

So, Sir, in this very House we have come on the basis of joint electorate and we have jointly voted. Our Moulana Athar Ali and Mian Abdul Bari have also come on the basis of joint electorate. Now the position is this that all the Members of this constituent Assembly will go to hell according to the Fatwa of these moulanas. I am also in a very difficult position because I am a Musalman and I fear in Allah, because I do not want to go to hell.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

You will have no competition there. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman: Sometimes I fell that let me go to the hell because it is better to rule in hell than to serve in heaven. Now, Sir, that is the position with the 7 crores of Muslims in Pakistan. According to the statistics collected, we the Muslims are about 50 cadres in the whole of the world. Now, Sir, in India there are about 4 crores of Muslims, in Indonesia 7 crores, in Trukey one creore and 80 lakhs, in Egypt tow crores, in Iran 1 crore 50 lakhs and in all the countries of the world there are Muslims.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

But there are only 5 minutes.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Sir, I have got two or three amendments and I got 10 minutes, 5 minutes of each amendment. Now, Sir, if you interrupt sometimes: I lose my point. Sir, I was feeling that about 50 crore Muslims are there in the world in everywhere there is joint electorate. Now our Alims, our Mule and some Moulanas are declaring that if we support joint electorate, there is no alternative for us but to go to hell.

Now, Sir, all the 50 crores of Muslims will go to hell and we the 7 crores of Muslims will go to heaven. So that is the position. Now, Sir, do not want and like the Muslims of Pakistan to be frightened by minorities because they know how to safeguard their interest. So far as East Bengal is concerned, it has 56 percent of the total population of the whole country. Now my Leader, Mr. Suhrawardy, when he was the Law Minister ……………

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Where did he get the ticket from hell or heaven?

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

He will certainly go to heaven. He is an open minded person and he is always supporting the cause of justice. Now, Sir, I was telling that when he was the Law Minister, then it was decided that we accept parity and parity in all respects. Sir, through our Leader we went to see in Murree and you were not there. Honourable Deputy Speaker: I think I was there.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

No, Sir, you were not present there. Dr. Khan Shahib was there. His Excellency Mr. Gurmani was there and some other leaders of West Pakistan were present.  In the Government House of Murree, we discussed and accepted parity on the basis of joint electorate. Now when we had the majority, it was said that Bengalees are in majority and they will govern and rule us.

When they accepted parity that was for mutual understanding and goodwill and cooperation and to put the two wings of Pakistan like two brothers. Now they have raised this question of joint electorate, which means that Hindus will get some seats and Muslims will get some seats.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

You have got 2 minutes left.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Out of 10 minutes, Sir?

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

No, out of 15 minutes.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Sir, I will finish. Sir, by interrupting me, you have taken two or three minutes.

Mr. Abdul Aleem (East Bengal : Muslim):

Sir, he is in Murree!

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Order, please, please. But he is in his correct seat at least, which you are no.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Sir, he is always parity. Now if 150 come from East Bengal, then naturally there will be 25 or 30 minority member and 110 will come from the Muslims. Now, Sir, they are dividing us to rule as they are doing it today. Now, there is a point which I would like to discuss and to tell you and on which I hope my leader will also speak. Now if this amendment of Mr. Abdus Satter is accepted, by this they want to send it to the province without any power. Now, is it not a bluff?

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

It is the demand of every person in East Pakistan that we want joint electorate. There is no parity and if they pass this Constitution by brute majority, we know how to deal with that because the people of East Bengal are behind us and they will not accept it. You are giving this bluff to the people of East Bengal and you will see its consequences. There will be joint electorate.

Can I ask, Mr. Aleem, “Have you not promised this to the people and now you are trying to shirk that responsibility with these words, Sir, I commend my amendment for the acceptance of the House and I oppose the amendment of Mr. Abdus Sattar who also promised that it will be joint electorate, and now unfortunately for the sake of power, the has violated it.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Mr. Yusuf A. Haroon! Do you want to speak on you amendment?

Mr. Yusuf A. Haroon:

I will speak later on should there be any need; otherwise I do not want to say anything. I would rather listen.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Sir, my amendment is clear. I do not like to speak on this motion for more than a few minutes because this is the demand of the people of East Pakistan that there should be two Capitals because in a country like Pakistan one should be two Capitals because in a country like Pakistan one wing of which is about 1,200 miles away from the other wing, it is necessary to have two Federal Capitals. My friends on the opposite say that it cannot be done.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

I can cite illustrations of some countries. Sir, in South Africa there are three, in India there are two Capitals, namely Delhi and Simla and at the same time in Pakistan because f the peculiar geographical condition of this country, there should be two Capitals.

Ours is absolutely, a new country and one wing being separated by 1,200 miles form the other, it is impossible to work without tow capitals, one should be at Dacca and the other at Karachi, Is it possible on the part of the people of East Bengal to come over to Karachi to ask for a small remedy, even so far at the business is concer5ned service is concerned or other matters are concerned. Now in this Constitution what do we see?

In the Federal Constitution, they have made Unitary Constitution and as such all powers vest in the hands of Centre and for everything the people of East Pakistan will have to come to Karachi. If the people of East Pakistan have to come to Karachi, they have to spend at least 400 rupees for coming and going.

How, is it possible for a poor man to come fro East Bengal to Karachi for a small remedy? It is impossible, specially when the country has been divided into two wings separated by 1,200 miles by a foreign territory.

Therefore, Sir, what is the harm in keeping two capitals. Supposing if there are 12 ministers, six of them can remain here and six can go there and in this way exchange themselves, for the administration of the country as a whole. In this way the people can directly approach the Central Government and the Central administration for any grievance.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

I have already told you that it is absolutely necessary to have two capitals because it is rather a unitary form of constitution because in the name of Federation they have taken all the powers in the hand of centre.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

It is harmless to advance on absurdity!

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

How do you say that it is absurd? We have created to wings by separating each wing by 1,200 miles. Is it not absurdity?

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

You were directed by the Honourable Speaker to speak about the amendment known as “Federal Capital”.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Yes, I am saying about the Federal Capital.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Your amendment says “Capitals”.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Two Capitals “Dacca and Karachi”. This is my point of view to which I want to draw you attention that there should be two Capitals for the people of Pakistan, because the majority of the people are living in East Bengal. We may accept parity or any other recommendation.

But it must always be kept in mind that at least 56 percent of the populations of the people of Pakistan are living in East Bengal and the Capital is in Karachi and the people of East Pakistan are not getting any direct fruit of the Federal Capital being here because it is impossible for the people of East Bengal to come every now and there for the redress of their small grievances.

Sometimes our Central Ministers go there for two or three days to visit their houses and come back. The people do not get any chance to see them. Sometimes they go to see the food situation and instead of that they go to their villages and address public meeting and spend the public money, money of the poor people.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

So, Sir, the people of East Bengal want that their representatives should be there so that they can approach them for the redress of their grievances. Now, Sir, we have seen how the food situation in the Province has deteriorated and people are dying without food, and the Central Government is responsible for it because the Provincial Government cannot continue without the help of the Central Government.

Mr. Yusuf A. Haroon:

Sir, on a point of order. Have you accepted his amendment? If you have not accepted it and if he is speaking on amendment, then it is irrelevant to the subject of the amendment.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Sir, you have accepted my amendment. I am very sorry; the mind of my friend is not here. It is somewhere outside the House. I am sorry for him. My point is that you have accepted my amendment and I am speaking on my amendment.

With these few words, Sir, I request them to accept my amendment that there should be two capitals of the Federation-Dacca and Karachi.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

I have not accepted your amendment.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

You have, Sir. Then where was the point in my speaking on it?

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

I have been waiting for all this time to see how it was relevant.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

You could say “it was irrelevant.” But you have accepted it and I have moved it.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

When I give you a long rope to prove whether it is relevant or not, you object to that. When I will give you a short rope to prove whether it is relevant or not, you object to that. Now what do you want me to do?

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

Sir, you could have said that it is irrelevant.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

I repeated it and asked you to show how this amendment is relevant and you have been allowed to link it with this amendment. If it is not relevant, please try and make it relevant. I will give you that opportunity. Now I am not here to coach you as how to do it.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

It will go with clause 218 of this Bill.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Where should it come?

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

My amendment is coming.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

But this is a substitution clause…

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

My amendment will come first as I have sent it three months age. His amendment has come today.

Honourable Deputy Speaker:

Make your point.

[ বঙ্গবন্ধুর ভাষণ ১৯৫৬ সাল [ Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Speech 1656 ] ]

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman:

I have already submitted what I had to say on my amendment and I commend it for the acceptance of the House that 56 percent of the total populations of Pakistan are living there and they demand that Dacca and Karachi should be two Capitals of Pakistan.

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