Ali, Professor Mohammad Yusuf

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Ali, Professor Mohammad Yusuf (1923-1998) educationist, politician. He was born in 1923 at village Farakkabad in Biral thana of Dinajpur district. His father was Gafuruddin Shah. Yusuf Ali had his early education at village primary school. He passed Matriculation examination in 1944 from Dinajpur Academy High School, Intermediate from Ripon College (Dinajpur) and obtained his graduation from Surendranath College (Dinajpur). He got his MA degree in Bangla Language and Literature in 1953 from Dhaka University. While serving in Surendranath College he obtained B.L degree from Rajshahi University and joined the Dinajpur district bar.

Mohammad Yusuf Ali

Yusuf Ali began his career as Professor of Bangla in Nawabganj (Rajshahi) College. Later he joined as Professor of Bangla in Surendranath College where he worked until 1965. Yusuf Ali joined awami league in 1960. He was elected as member of East Pakistan Legislative Assembly in 1962 as a candidate of the Awami League. He was elected as member of Pakistan Constituent Assembly in 1965 as a candidate from Combined Opposition Party (COP).

Professor Yusuf Ali had active role in Six-point Movement of 1966, agartala conspiracy case movement and in Mass Upsurge of 1969. He was then a member of National Economic Council (NEC). In the general election of 1970, he was elected a member of Pakistan Constituent Assembly from Dinajpur-8 constituency. He was made the chief whip of the Awami League parliamentary party in 1971.

With the army crack down in March 1971 Yusuf Ali along with some other leaders of Awami League escaped to India and had a vital role in the formation of the mujibnagar government. He read out the proclamation of independence at the oath taking ceremony of the ministry of Mujibnagar Government held on 17 April 1971 at Meherpur in Kushtia. He was appointed as chairman of Youth Control Board of the Mujibnagar Government. It was the apex body for recruitment and training the freedom fighters. He was the honorary secretary-general of the ministry of Relief and Rehabilitation headed by AHM Qamaruzzaman. He had leading role in conducting the affairs of the first liaison office of the Mujibnagar Government in Calcutta.

Professor Yusuf Ali was the minister for Education and Cultureal Affairs in the first cabinet of Bangladesh headed by Bangabandhu sheikh mujibur rahman. He was the Labour Minister in the baksal cabinet in 1975 and was in charge of the labour front of the BAKSAL. Professor Yusuf Ali was the minister of planning in the cabinet of Khandakar Moshtaq Ahmed in 1975. After the revival of Bangladesh Awami League in 1977, Yusuf Ali was elected secretary-general of the faction of the party led by Mizanur Rahman Chowdhury. In the general election of 1978 he contested from Dinajpur-7 constituency as a nominee of Awami League (Mizan) and was defeated. Later he joined the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. He was the minister of Textile in 1979 in the cabinet of Ziaur Rahman and the minister of Jute and Textile in 1981 in the cabinet of Justice Abdus Sattar. Until the takeover of power by Husein Muhammad Ershad in March 1982 he was the minister in charge of Industry in the second cabinet of Justice Abdus Sattar. Professor Yusuf Ali joined the Jatiya Party in 1985 and became the minister for relief and rehabilitation in the cabinet of President Ershad in 1986. After few months he resigned from the cabinet.

He died in December 1998. [Mohammad Moniruzzaman]