When in 1952 the students of Dhaka university took to streets in demand of announcing Bengali as the state language, defied rule 144 and was fired upon, the leader of pakistan was Khawaja Nazimuddin of Dhaka Nabab Bari. And clearly his ordered the police shooting that killed Rafiq, Jabbar, Shafiur, Salam, Barkat and 9 year old Ohiullah. Khawaja Nazimuddin took over the governorship of Pakistan after the sudden death of Mr M A Zinnah and became the prime minister after assasination of Liakat Ali Khan. Even after the killing of 21 st february when there was strong pressure/emotion both from the east and the west side of the country to announce Bangla as the state language, Khawaja Nazimuddin refused to yield to any pressure to recognize Bangla. And he did not let it happen as long as he was the prime minister. Later Mohammad Ali Bogra of Bogra Nabab Bari, after becaming prime minister, did take the steps to recognize Bangla as the state language.
Although Khawaja Nazimuddin and his family failed to stop Bangla from getting the official recognition, they themselves never accepted Bangla as a respectable language. Down the generations his family kept on speaking urdu at home and getting education in a non bengali format i.e. either English or Urdu.
Yasmin Zakiuddin ( later turned Morshed) had to go to Pakistan for her education in sohi Urdu as there was no good ” Non-Bangla” education outfit in pre and post independence Bangladesh. So, on returning home, she built Dhaka Scholastica school to help the coming generations of Khawaja Nazimuddin keep shunning Bangla. This school will, rather following a school curriculum tailored to the culture, history and sensitivity of Bangladesh, will impose a European curriculum. Although scholastica maintains a tag line of “equal fluency in Bangla” to silence the skeptics like me, the ultimate goal was to send Bangla back to where Nazimuddin thought it belongs, the language of the uncultured, dirt poor peasants and subjects.
And what Nazimuddin could not do with bullets and tear gas, her great-grand daughter did it superbly fifty years later. Only in 25 years, The counter ‘Ekushey’ revolution of language movement that she started, saw grand success. Thanks to Yasmin Morshed’s English Medium revolution, we now have a generation of Kids who would rather converse in English among themselves. And Bangla has been relegated to where is belongs, the education medium of the poor, low class kids.
Yasmin Morshed has just been apointed Bangladesh’s high commissioner to Pakistan. I don’t know what she did to uplift the nation or to promote the science, economy or culture of Bangladesh to deserve such a rewarding assignment. But I know that urdu loving Ms Yasmin Morshed will have a soothing life in Pakistan among her kins.
And this is how the revolution that started on 21st february 1952, ends, three generations later, in a big defeat.