Tribute to poet Mahbubul Alam Chowdhury
91st birth anniversary observed
November 7 marked the 91st birth anniversary of Language Movement veteran and poet Mahbubul Alam Chowdhury, writer of the first poem on the Language Movement titled "Kandte Ashini, Phashir Dabi Niye Eshechhi".
Mahbubul Alam was born on November7 in 1927, at the house of Asad Chowdhury of Gohira at Raujan in Chittagong. His Father's name was Ahmadur Rahman Chowdhury and Mother's was Rowshan Ara Begum. Mahbub ul Alam passed the Entrance Examination with distinction from Gohira High School in 1947. While studying intermediate (IA) in Chittagong College he left Chittagong for political reasons.
Mahbubul Alam was politically active during the early stage of his student life. He Joined Chittagong District Students' Congress in 1942. In 1945, he joined the Students Federation, a Muslim students association during pre-partition days. The Bengal Regional Students Conference was held in Chittagong the same year.
Mahbubul Alam got involved in politics very early in his life. In 1942 he joined Quit India movement against British regime. In 1945 participated in the Bengal Provincial Students Summit where he came upon with the famous Bengali Literature writers of that time. He went across the rural areas during the political turmoil in 1946. He also became the Secretary of the first ever Nazrul anniversary in Chittagong. After the formation of Pakistan Mahbub became concerned about people's rights and formed a monthly magazine "Shimanto".
Mahbubul Alam, along with Shahid Saber from Chittagong, participated in the World Peace Conference organised at Deshbandhu Park, Kolkata in 1949. Litterateur Alauddin Al Azad and Abdus Salam joined the conference from Dhaka. The police arrested four activists of the conference including Mahbubul Alam from the procession which was brought out after the conference. They were sent to the Alipore Central Jail.
Mahbubul Alam organised a protest meeting against the Pakistan Government's Fundamental Policies of Pakistan (1950), which failed to include Bangla as the state language of Pakistan. In the report there was no mention about the autonomy of East Pakistan and recognition of Bangla to be one of the state languages. In the same year (1950) the "Bishwa Shanti Porishad" (World Peace Council) of East Pakistan was formed in Chittagong. Mahbubul-Alam was the secretary of the Council. In the same year, he formed a committee called "Shanti Fauj" and the Anti-riot Peace Committee with the aim of combating communal riots in Chittagong.
He participated in most of the political and cultural movements until the Liberation War and continued his struggle for people's freedom throughout his life. In recognition he was posthumously awarded the "Ekushey Padak" in 2009.
Mahbubul passed away in Dhaka on December 23, 2007.
The writer is a freelance contributor.