Murshid, Nurjahan

Murshid, Nurjahan (1924-2003) activist in women empowerment, politics, and war of liberation and minister in the cabinet of Bangabandhu sheikh mujibur rahman. Born on 19 May 1924 in Taranagar of Murshidabad district, Nurjahan Murshid had her primary education in her native village. She obtained part of her school education in Barisal, and then she moved to Kolkata. She got her graduation and Master's degrees from Calcutta University. Wife of Professor Khan Sarwar Murshid, formerly Professor of English at Dhaka University, Nurjahan began her eventful career as a teacher at Syedunnesa Girls' High School in Barisal. Later, she taught at Kamrunnesa School, Viquarunnesa Noon School, Holy Cross College and Dhaka University.

Before partition of the subcontinent, Nurjahan Murshid worked as a broadcaster with the All India Radio broadcasting career with the Radio Pakistan after partition.

Nurjahan Murshid joined politics in the early 1950s. As a nominee of the united front in the parliamentary elections of 1954, she was elected to the Legislative Assembly of East Bengal and made a parliamentary secretary. As a female lawmaker, Nurjahan made significant contributions in the lawmaking processes. She worked as a close associate of huseyn shaheed suhrawardy. She was an ardent activist in the War of Liberation. As an accredited deputy of the mujibnagar government, Nurjahan delivered a speech in a joint meeting of the two houses of the Indian parliament seeking recognition of Bangladesh from the Indian government. That prompted the Pakistan military junta to sentence her to 14 years in prison in absentia. In 1972, she joined Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's cabinet as state minister for health and social welfare. She was elected to the country's first parliament in 1973. She was the first president of the bangladesh mahila samiti. She published a short-lived Bangla periodical, Ekal. Later, the paper was renamed as Edesh-Ekal. Nurjahan Murshid died on 2 September 2003. [Md Mukbil Hossain]