Khan, Hatem Ali

Khan, Hatem Ali (1904-1977) Peasant leader. Hatem Ali Khan was born on 24 November in 1904 at Belua village of Gopalpur thana under Tangail district. His father was Nayeb Ali Khan, a petty landholder. Although born in a landed family, Hatem Ali was in favour of empowering the peasantry, restore their rights in land and thus bring change in their lifestyle. He passed the Entrance Examination from Hemnagar High School in 1920. He was then admitted to Ripon College of Calcutta in 1921. At this time, he was influenced by the contemporary radical nationalist ideas. He becme acquainted with personalities like surya sen, satyen sen, kazi nazrul islam, Jiten Ghosh, and others. He passed the IA examination from Ripon College in 1924. He organized movement on the issue of rural indebtedness. His slogan was to stop the rapacity of land-owners, which meant he even went against his own family as well. He came in contact with comrade muzaffar ahmed in Kolkata in 1926. Here, he published a magazine called 'Sarbahara'. The magazine lasted for six months only. Soon after he published two other periodicals named 'Chashi-Majur' and 'Din-Majur'. Despite being involved in active revolutionary activities, Hatem Ali Khan could manage to pass the BA Examination in 1926 and the MA in 1928 from Calcutta University.

On his return from Calcutta in 1933, he started to living permanently in his own village Belua with the objective of organizing peasant for rural uplift. He gave leadership to the Tebhaga Movement (1946). At one stage of the movement, he laid siege to the residence of Hemnagar zamindar. The zamindar instituted a series of suits against him. But these were dismissed in the court due to absence of witnesses against Hatem Ali. Even lawyers of Tangail sub-divisional bar refused to plead on behalf of the zamindar. Following the influx of thousands of refugees into Hemnagar from assam, tripura and West Bengal after the Communal riots of 1950, Hatem Ali Khan worked hard for their rehabilitation.

Hatem Ali was elected from Gopalganj as a candidate of the Jukto-Front (united front) in the 1954 elections. He was elected the chairman of 'Kendrio Krishak Samity' (Central Peasants Association) in 1976. Apart from his own district Tangail, Hatem Ali Khan worked for various tebhaga (divided in to three) units of Rangpur, Dinajpur, Raipur and Munshiganj regions. During his eventful life, Hatem Ali Khan was imprisoned a number of times. He passed away on 24 October 1977. [Khan Mahbub]