Danesh, Haji Mohammad

Haji Mohammad Danesh

Danesh, Haji Mohammad (1900-1986) peasant leader and politician. He was born at village Sultanpur in Dinajpur district in 1900 AD. Having obtained his MA in History from Aligarh Muslim University in 1931 and BL degree in 1932 Haji Danesh joined the Dinajpur district bar.

In 1938, Haji Danesh made himself associated with the Krishak Samiti, a front organisation of the Bengal Provincial Communist Party, and began organising peasant movement in northern Bengal. The Peasant Movement against the realisation of tolls and demanding abolition of zamindari system was organised by him in Dinajpur district when he was arrested and kept confined (1938).

Haji Danesh was one of the organisers of the Bengal Peasant Convention held at Domar in Nilphamari district in 1942. Soon after the closing of the convention he was arrested and had to sustain long imprisonment. He organised the tebhaga movement in northern Bengal to realise the demands of the barga peasants.Haji Danesh joined the muslim league in 1945, but was expelled from the party in 1946 on ground of his continuing leadership to the Tebhaga Movement. The same year he was arrested by the Bengal government and was, however, released in 1947. Thereafter he joined Dinajpur Surendranath College as Professor of History.

Haji Danesh floated a new political party, the Ganatantri Dal, in 1952 and was elected its president. The party joined the united front in December 1953, and Haji Danesh was elected member of the East Bengal Legislative Assembly from Dinajpur in 1954 as a nominee of the United Front. After the promulgation of 92A and the dismissal of the United Front cabinet in East Bengal, Haji Danesh was arrested. He was released in 1956. In 1957, he abolished the Ganatantri Dal only to join the newly floated National Awami Party under the leadership of Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani, and was elected its vice president. With the promulgation of Martial Law in the country in 1958 Haji Danesh was arrested. He was elected general secretary of the East Pakistan unit of the National Awami Party in 1964 and vice president of the central committee in 1965. Haji Danesh politically opposed the Six-point Programme of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. He resigned from the National Awami Party in 1971. Haji Danesh worked in favour of the War of Liberation at Mujibnagar.

Haji Danesh floated a new political party, Jatiya Gana-mukti Union, in December 1973 and was elected its president. In February 1975, he joined the bangladesh krishak sramik awami league (BAKSAL) and was made a member of its central committee. After the fall of BAKSAL government he revived the Jatiya Gana-mukti Union in 1976. But in 1980 Haji Danesh abolished this party, and floated a new political party styled as Ganatantrik Party, and himself became its president. This party was amalgamated with the jatiya party of General Hussain Muhammad Ershad in 1986. Haji Danesh was appointed chief adviser to the Jatiya Krishak Party, a front organisation of Jatiya Party. He contested the Jatiya Sangsad election in 1986 from the Dinajpur constituency, but was defeated. Haji Danesh is better known as the leader of Tebhaga Movement. He died in Dhaka on 28 June 1986. [Mahfuzur Rahman Sarker]