Mujibur Rahman

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Rahman, Mujibur:

see Mujibur RahmanMujibur Rahman
, 1921–75, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) political leader, prime minister of Bangladesh (1972–75), popularly known as Sheikh Mujib. Concerned that East Pakistan was unfairly dominated by West Pakistan, he helped found (1949) the Awami League to fight
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Mujibur Rahman

(mo͞ojēbo͝or` rämän`), 1921–75, East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) political leader, prime minister of Bangladesh (1972–75), popularly known as Sheikh Mujib. Concerned that East Pakistan was unfairly dominated by West Pakistan, he helped found (1949) the Awami LeagueAwami League,
political organization in Pakistan and Bangladesh. It was founded in 1949 as an opposition party in Pakistan and had a moderately socialist ideology. The Awami [people's] League, with cofounder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as its leader from 1953, called in 1966 for a
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 to fight for East Pakistan's autonomy. His political stance led to prison terms, but also brought him immense popular support.

The conflict between East and West Pakistan climaxed after the Dec., 1970, elections, in which the Awami League won a majority. Zulfikar Ali BhuttoBhutto, Zulfikar Ali
, 1928–79, Pakistani political leader. Member of a wealthy landowning family, he entered politics as the protégé of General Ayub Khan. Bhutto joined the cabinet in 1958, becoming foreign minister in 1963.
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, leader of West Pakistan, refused to agree to demands for autonomy, and Mujib was imprisoned in West Pakistan. Civil war broke out in Mar., 1971, when Pakistani troops were sent to put down protests in East Pakistan. With the aid of India, East Pakistani guerrillas proclaimed an independent BangladeshBangladesh
[Bengali,=Bengal nation], officially People's Republic of Bangladesh, republic (2015 est. pop. 161,201,000), 55,126 sq mi (142,776 sq km), S Asia. Bangladesh borders on the Bay of Bengal in the south; on the Indian states of West Bengal in the west and north, Assam
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, and defeated the Pakistani army in late 1971 (see India-Pakistan WarsIndia-Pakistan Wars,
name given to the series of conflicts between India and Pakistan since 1947, when the Indian subcontinent was partitioned and the two countries became independent of Great Britain. The most violent outbreaks came in 1947–48, 1965, and 1971.
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Released in early 1972, Mujib became prime minister of Bangladesh, and worked toward normalizing relations with Pakistan. In the face of growing opposition following a famine in 1974, he pushed through (Jan., 1975) a constitutional change making him president with dictatorial powers, but he, his wife, his sons, and other relatives were slain in Aug., 1975, in a military coup. His daughter, Hasina WazedWazed, Hasina
, 1947–, Bangladeshi political leader, grad. Univ. of Dhaka (1973). Popularly known as Sheikh Hasina, she is the daughter of Bangladesh's first prime minister, Mujibur Rahman and a member of the Awami League, which her father cofounded and led.
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, who was abroad during the coup, later served as prime minister of Bangladesh.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Rahman, Mujibur


(Sheikh Mujibur Rahman). Born Mar. 17, 1920, in the village of Tongipara, Faridpur District, East Bengal; died Aug. 15, 1975. Government and political leader of Bangladesh.

Mujibur Rahman graduated from Islam College in Calcutta in 1947. From 1938 to 1947 he was active in the anticolonial movement, and between 1943 and 1947 he was a member of the Council of the Muslim League of Bengal. After the creation of Pakistan in 1947, he was active in the Bengali national movement in East Bengal, which became the province of East Pakistan. He also participated in the peace movement. He was arrested many times for his political activity. In 1949 he was one of the organizers of the Awami League (People’s League). From 1952 to 1958 he was general secretary of the party’s East Pakistani organization, and from 1966 to January 1974 he was party chairman.

In 1954 Mujibur Rahman was elected a deputy to the Legislative Assembly of East Pakistan, and in June 1955 he was elected to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan. In 1956–57 he was minister of labor, industry, and commerce of the provincial government of East Pakistan. In 1966 he proposed a program granting East Pakistan full regional autonomy. In December 1970 he was elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan.

In early 1971 he led the Bengali national movement in East Pakistan and a campaign of civil disobedience, demanding the abolition of the military regime and the transfer of power to the popularly elected parliament. Arrested by the Pakistani military authorities on Mar. 26, 1971, he was released on Jan. 6, 1972. On Jan. 12, 1972, he became prime minister of the government of the independent People’s Republic of Bangladesh, which had been formed in 1971 out of East Pakistan. Mujibur Rahman’s government announced a broad program of progressive socioeconomic reforms. In foreign policy it advocated nonalignment and the development of friendship and cooperation with all peace-loving nations. In March 1972, Mujibur Rahman came to the USSR on an official visit, and in April 1974 he traveled to the USSR for medical treatment. After a presidential government was instituted in Bangladesh in January 1975, he became president of the country. In February 1975, after the dissolution of political parties, Mujibur Rahman became chairman of the newly organized Peasants’ and Workers’ People’s League of Bangladesh (BAKSAL). He was killed on Aug. 15, 1975, during a military coup d’etat.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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