Early CareerNazimuddin belonged to an elite family and his life was full of honours and triumphs, but more than that all his career was notable for the nobility of his heart and conduct. The numerous victories, he scored and the highest offices as well as titles of great honour which were bestowed on him right from 1922 to 1953. It was the early twenties, when Nazimuddin started his career as Chairman of the Dhaka Municipality in 1922, a position he held till 1929. During that time, he was also a Member of the Executive Council of Dhaka University. For his good work at both these institutions, in 1929 he was appointed a Member to the Governor’s Executive Council. He continued to serve in this capacity till 1937. He was elected a Member of Bengal Legislative Assembly from Barisal Muslim constituency in 1923, 1926 and 1929 and was the Education Minister of united Bengal from 1929 to June 1934 and later as Minister for Agriculture. In the former capacity he successfully piloted the Compulsory Primary Education Bill; removing disparity that existed in education between the Hindus and the Muslims. As Minister for Agriculture in 1935, he piloted the Agriculture Debtors Bill and the Bengal Rural Development Bill which freed poor Muslim cultivators from the clutches of Hindu moneylenders.
Associated with Muslim LeagueNazimuddin was associated with the Muslim League from the mid-thirties and remained concomitant with it till his last breath. The Muslim League was re-organized in Bengal in 1935 by virtue of the inspiration given by the Quaid-i-Azam and the active leadership of Khwaja Nazimuddin. He was among the pioneers fromBengalto respond to the Quaid-i-Azam’s call to reorganize the Muslim League inBengalin preparation for the forthcoming general elections of 1937. Since then he has been one of the most loyal lieutenants of the Quaid-i-Azam and one of the most ardent supporters of the Muslim League. He had been an emphatic and consistent Muslim Leaguer. His able leadership had brought all the different Muslim parties under one platform except that of Fazlul Haq and his Krishak Praja Party. His refusal to join the Muslim League meant a certain division of the Muslim votes which would have been fatal for them. To avoid this catastrophe at the time of election in Bengal, the two parties United Muslim Party and New Majlis Party merged in Muslim League to form an election alliance. Thus, the Muslim League was emerged as the single largest party in the election.
In 1937In 1937 he was appointed Home Minister in Haq’s Coalition Ministry. On1 December 1941, he resigned from the Cabinet because of differences between Haq and Jinnah. Fazlul Haq was expelled from the League and his Ministry way to another Ministry in coalition with the Congress members. During the Shyama-Haq Coalition (1942 to 1943), Nazimuddin acted as the Leader of the Opposition. On 24 April, 1943, Muslim League formed the Ministry with Nazimuddin as the Prime Minister on the fall of Haq Ministry on 28 March 1943. The circumstances were unpropitious. The spectre of famine was increasing the fair in Bengal. Nazimuddin and his Ministry boldly faced the situation and resolutely set themselves to the task of overcoming the famine. Due to the machinations of the opposition and the shifting loyalty of some elements, the Nazimuddin’s Cabinet was dissolved on 28 March 1945 and he lost Chief Ministership to Suhrawardy. However, he remained a member of the all India Muslim League Working Committee from 1937 to 1947.
In 1946In 1946, Nazimuddin was elected a member of the Central Legislative Assembly in New Delhi and was appointed Deputy Leader of Opposition. That reflected the trust and confidence bestowed on him by the Quaid-i-Azam at that very critical juncture. Throughout this period of struggle, Nazimuddin remained one of the Quaid’s trusted colleagues. The nation and the leaders of the Muslim League did not forget his sincerity to the cause of the Muslims of India and to the Muslim League. Within the formation of Pakistan he became an important part of the early governments. He was appointed Chief Minister of East Bengal after the creation of Pakistan on 14 August 1947. In the contest for leadership, Nazimuddin was supported as against Suhrawardy by the Central League leadership, because of Suhrawardy’s involvement with the united Bengal movement, and his association with Gandhi.
Major WorksMany factors had contributed to Nazimuddin’s ouster from the Prime Ministership. The poor state of economy, issues of constitutional, political and foreign policies, the Punjabi-Bengali rivalry, the anti-Ahmadi movement were some of the more important reasons. However, the unconstitutional and undemocratic dismissal of Nazimuddin as Prime Minister of Pakistan was a serious blow to the development of democracy in Pakistan.
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