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East Pakistan Renaissance Society


East Pakistan Renaissance Society was set up to promote the interests of the Muslim community and to advance the idea of a separate Muslim state. At a meeting held on 30 August 1942 in the office of the Dainik azad, Kolkata, it was agreed to establish a society to promote the idea of a separate Muslim state comprising of the Muslim majority areas of India on the basis of the lahore resolution. Among the 11 founding members were abul kalam shamsuddin, Muhammad Habibullah Bahar, mujibur rahman khan, Mohammad Khairul Anam Khan. Abul Kalam Shamsuddin was president and Mujibur Rahman Khan secretary.

The society attempted to give literary shape to the idea of Pakistan by arranging meetings, speeches, debates, reading sessions, discussions, and carrying out research and distributing booklets. The focus of these writings and discussions was Islam and the Islamic way of life. The language advocated by the society was Bangla with an admixture of Arabic, Persian and Urdu. Arrangements were made to hold regular weekly meetings where articles would be presented and different issues discussed. Despite the focus on Islam, the meetings were not restricted to Muslims. At one of these sessions, for example, manabendra nath roy delivered a speech on 'Pakistan and Democracy', in which he spoke of the inevitability of self-rule for Indian Muslims.

The Renaissance Society visualised East Pakistan as an independent state. Together with Dr M Sadeq, professor of economics, Islamia College, Mujibur Rahman Khan published a booklet, Eastern Pakistan: Its Population, Delimitation and Economics (September 1944), containing a description of the government, economy, population, geographic boundary, security etc of the prospective state along with a map.

The society held its first annual council at Islamia College in July 1944. Papers were presented and discussions held on eleven different topics. abul mansur ahmed voiced the importance of the political and cultural independence of East Pakistan. Among those present at the inaugural function were khwaja nazimuddin, Khwaja Shahabuddin, huseyn shaheed suhrawardy, Hasan Suhrawardy, nurul amin, mohammad akram khan, ak fazlul huq, abul quasem, tamizuddin khan, shahadat hossain, golam mostafa, s wazed ali, abu jafar shamsuddin, abul hussain, Golam Kuddus, Subhas Mukhopadhyay, Gopal Halder.

With the creation of Pakistan and the division of Bengal, the importance of the East Pakistan Renaissance Society faded, and it soon became defunct. [Wakil Ahmed]