Ittefaq, The

Ittefaq, The a daily Bangla newspaper published from Dhaka. The daily Ittefaq was first published on 24 December 1953. Formerly it was a weekly. tofazzal hossain (widely known as Manik Mia) was the editor of the daily. It used to be printed and published from the Paramount Press at 9 Hatkhola Road, Dhaka. For several years, Maulana abdul hamid khan bhasani was mentioned on the top of the paper as its founder.

The Daily Ittefaq had a vital role in ventilating people's sentiments about the contemporary issues. It was a strong supporter of the awami league. The paper was very critical about the widening disparity between the two wings of Pakistan, and the discriminating attitude of the central government towards East Bengal.

A post editorial column by Tofazzal Hossain titled Rajnaitik Mancha (political platform) earned great popularity among its readers. Ittefaq had a significant role in the general elections of 1954 and contributed much to the victory of the united front. It strongly opposed military rule of Mohammad Ayub Khan and his Basic Democracies system.

In 1961, Ayub Khan enacted the Press and Publications Act with an avowed object of curtailing the freedom of press. Tofazzal Hossain bitterly criticised the measure and opposed the enactment.

The Ittefaq gave support to the six-point programme launched by Bangabandhu sheikh mujibur rahman in February 1966, and virtually played the role of a propagator of the Programme. By mid 1960s Ittefaq emerged as the virtual voice of the people of East Bengal striving for self-rule. Consequently, the government of Ayub Khan censored the publication of the paper from 17 June to 11 July 1966, and then again from 17 July 1966 to 9 February 1969. Tofazzal Hossain, the editor of the paper, was detained several times.

During the mass upsurge of 1969, Ittefaq was revived on 10 February. Tofazzal Hossain died on 1 June 1969, and the management of the paper was undertaken by his two sons, Mainul Hossain and Anwar Hossain.

The office of the Ittefaq was burnt down by the Pakistan army on 25 March 1971, and consequently from that day the publication of the paper ceased. However, the Ittefaq was revived from 21 May 1971 under the surveillance of the Pakistani ruler.

The Ittefaq was brought under government management on 17 June 1975. Nurul Islam Patwary was made the editor of the paper. It was published from New Nation Press at 1 Ramkrishna Mission Road, Dhaka. The ownership of the paper was restored to the successors of Manik Mia, Mainul Hossain and Anwar Hossain on 24 August 1975. From its very inception Ittefaq had been following the classical style of Bangla which is later replaced by current style.'

Anwar Hossain is now the editor of the Ittefaq and Habibur Rahman Milon is its advising editor. [Manu Islam]