Begum, Amena

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Amena Begum

Begum, Amena (1925-1989) politician. Amena Begum was born in 1925 at village Faridganj in Faridganj thana of Chandpur district. She passed Matriculation examination in 1940 from Nawab Faizunnesa Girls' School, Comilla and IA in 1942 from Eden Girls' College, Dhaka.

Amena Begum joined East Pakistan Awami Muslim League in 1950. She was elected a member of the East Bengal Legislative Assembly in 1954 as a united front candidate in the reserve seats for women in Comilla-Sylhet constituency. Amena Begum was elected as secretary of women affairs in central executive committee of Awami League in 1966 which office she held till 1970.

At the initial stage of thesix-point programme in 1966, when the top ranking leaders of Awami League including its president Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and general secretary Tajuddin Ahmed were arrested, Amena Begum was made the acting general secretary of the party on 27 July 1966 with Ataur Rahman Khan, vice president of the party, as acting president. Amena Begum had a pivotal role in helming the affairs of the party in that critical period of repression of the autocratic Ayub government upon the activists of the party throughout the country. She played important role in organising the Six-point Movement and maintaining liaison with the Awami League activists working to that end. She contributed a lot to the floating of eleven points Movement of the students in October 1968 and in organising the anti-Ayub mass upsurge in 1969.

Amena Begum was serious in asserting her subsequent position in Awami League, and in the following convention (1970) claimed the portfolio of general secretary of the party. Her expectation being denied, Amena Begum resigned from Awami League and later joined the newly floated (1969) Jatiya League headed by Ataur Rahman Khan. She was elected as senior vice president of Jatiya League on 20 August 1970. Amena Begum contested in the Pakistan National Assembly election in 1970 from Dhaka-9 constituency as a nominee of Jatiya League only to sustain a reverse.

With the revival of Jatiya League in 1976 under the Political Parties Regulations of the martial law government, Amena Begum became active in politics as senior vice president of the party. She took part in the movement against the military rule of Hussein Mohammed Ershad with her party as member of the seven party alliance. After the party president Ataur Rahman Khan joined the cabinet of General Ershad as Prime Minister in 1984, Amena Begum re-organised Jatiya League and took over as president of the party.

She died in Dhaka on 7 April 1989. [Muazzam Hussain Khan]