Lal Mia - Politics


Lal Mia had become a fully registered member of the All India Congress, from 1918, while he was still 14, becoming the youngest person to ever hold an official position in the party. He became an active member of the planning committee of the Congress Party from the same year, and Khilafat Movement since 1919 and member of Civil Disobedience Movement and General Secretary of Faridpur Committee of the movement since 1931. Mohandas K. Gandhi had appointed Lal Mia to spearhead the movements across Faridpur and East Bengal.

Lal Mia was one of the principle financial backers of the Congress in Bengal. The Annual Conference of the Bengal Central Congress was held in Faridpur in 1924 and was arranged by Lal Mia. The conference was attended by leading independence leaders including Mahatma Gandhi, Deshbondhu Chittaranjan Das, Sarojini Naidu and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

Lal Mia developed a deeply personal relationship with Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose who would regularly visit Lal Mia's family residence Moyez Manzil in Faridpur. He was also close to Jawaharlal Nehru and the two men were imprisoned together in the Arambagh Fort during the Quit India Movement in the early 1940s. Although belonging to two different parties, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah maintained good personal relations with Lal Mia. He was present with all the leaders at the Midnight Hour of the Partition of India and Pakistan.

Lal Mia was immensely admired by the three premier leaders of Bengali Muslims including Sher-e-Bangla A. K. Fazlul Huq, Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy and Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani. Sher-e-Bangla regularly visited Moyez Manzil and the family's other residence Biwshash Bari.

In 1936, Lal Mia was elected to the upper house of the Bengal Legislative Assembly. He was also elected to the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. From 1943, he became an executive committee member of the All India Muslim League until partition after which he was elected to the first Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. In 1962, he was elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan. From 1962 until 1967, he served in the cabinet of President Ayub Khan holding various portfolios in different times as Minister of Health, Labour and Social Welfare. He was also the Chief Whip of the Muslim League during this period in the National Assembly.

He was also the only member of Ayub Khan's cabinet who supported the demand for the autonomy of East Pakistan and interceded on behalf of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

At the grass roots level, Lal Mia had been the Chairman of Faridpur District Council for 20 years and also of the Faridpur Municipality for over a decade. He had been the Founder President of Faridpur Improvement Trust in 1950.

Lal Mia had also been the main initiator in the establishment of the Anti-Riot & Relief Committee and All India Muslim League Relief Coordination Committee in 1946-47 and he was appointed the General Secretary of the committee. He had also been the Founder of the Calcutta Cloth Rationing Advisory Board in 1943, President of Central Primary Education Board of Pakistan in 1951 and President of District School Board of Faridpur in 1946. He had also been Chairman of several associations and organizations such as the Farmer’s Association of Bengal in 1931, Assam Youth Association in 1931, and Murshidabad National Students Union also in 1931.

Lal Mia was also the person to initiate the movement against the publication of the black hole conspiracy contrived by the British against Nawab Sirajuddowla. It was as a result of the movement initiated by him that the chapter was taken off the textbooks in 1939.

He also trained up a large cadre of volunteers in the art of stick fighting and martial arts and had them affiliated to the Azad Hind Force of Neta Shubhash Chandra Bose.

He was imprisoned a total of 16 times for a total of 5 years between 1918 and 1947 as punishment for his Anti Colonial activities.

Lal Mia published many articles criticizing British rule and organized meetings and rallies among the youth of Calcutta ever since his adolescent days. He organized and funded a series of conferences in grand scale in Faridpur mainly, and in other parts of East Bengal to promote support for the freedom struggle and increasing participation of East Bengal is in the struggle.

Lal Mia also organised the Muslim Conference in Poona and also a subsequent one in Faridpur which was attended by Nawab of Mahmudabad and all noteworthy Muslim aristocrats and politicians, to get them to render their support to the cause of independence.

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