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Mazlum Jananeta

Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani
আব্দুল হামিদ খান ভাসানী
Maulana Bhasani in Havana, Cuba.jpg
Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani
Member of Parliament of Pakistan
In office
Governor Iskander Mirza
Member of Parliament of Bangladesh
In office
10 January 1973 – 15 August 1975
President Sheikh Mujibur Rahman
Personal details
Born (1880-12-12)12 December 1880
Dhangara, Sirajganj, Bengal Presidency,  British Raj
Died 17 November 1976(1976-11-17) (aged 95)
Dhaka,  Bangladesh
Resting place Santosh, Tangail, Bangladesh
Nationality British Indian (1880–1947)
Pakistani (1947–1971)
Political party National Awami Party (since 1957)
Pakistan Awami League (1949–1957)

Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani (12 December 1880 – 17 November 1976), shortened as Maulana Bhashani His political tenure spanned the British colonial India, Pakistan and Bangladesh periods.

Maulana Bhashani is popularly known with the honorary title Mazlum Jananeta (Leader of the Oppressed) for his lifelong stance for the poor suffered by establishment. He gained nationwide mass popularity among peasants and helped to build East Pakistan Peasant Association. Owing to his leaning to the left, often dubbed Islamic Socialism, he is also called 'The Red Maulana'.

An alumnus of Darul Uloom Deoband, and participant of the Khilafat Movement protesting the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire he led the Muslims of Assam in a successful campaign during the 1947 Sylhet Referendum, through which Sylhet chose to become part of the Pakistan national project. He was the founder and President of the Pakistan Awami Muslim League which later became Awami League (AL). Later however, owing to differences with the right-leaning leaders in the AML, such as Shahid Suhrawardy, on the issue of autonomy for East Pakistan, he formed a new progressive party called National Awami Party (NAP). He also differed with Suhrawardhy when he as Prime Minister of Pakistan decided to join the US-led defence pact CENTO and SEATO. He disagreed with Pakistan's growing ties with the United States.

The split among the left-wing camp into pro-Moscow and pro-Peking factions eventually led to the breakup of NAP into two separate parties; the pro-Moscow faction being led by Muzaffar Ahmed. After Pakistan's 1965 war with India, he showed some support for Field Marshal Ayub Khan's regime for its China-leaning foreign policy; but later he provided leadership to a mass uprising against the regime in 1968–69 with support from Fatima Jinnah.

American journalist Dan Coggin, writing for Time, credited Bhashani, "as much as any one man", for instigating the 1969 Mass uprising in East Pakistan that culminated in the collapse of the Ayub Khan regime and the release of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the others accused in the Agartala conspiracy case. According to lay author S. Akhtar Ehtisham, Bhashani's decision to boycott the 1970 Pakistan general elections effectively led to the electoral sweep by erstwhile opponent Mujibur Rahman. The Awami League, without any viable opposition in East Pakistan, won 160 of the 162 seats in the province and thus gained the majority in the Pakistan national assembly.

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