Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Habib ur Rahman, February 20, 2010

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
Transcript
Toggle Index/Transcript View Switch.
Index
Search this Index
X
00:00:00 - Background

Play segment

Partial Transcript: This is Amber Abbas. Today I am at the Aligarh, uh, Old Boys' Association of Dhaka and today is the twentieth of February.

Segment Synopsis: Rahman talks about when and where he was born. He then talks about his education in Dhaka (Bangladesh), as well as his father’s ambition that he attend Aligarh Muslim University, and the train adventure he sent him on in order to learn the Hindi language.

Keywords: Agra (India); Aligarh Muslim University; Aligarh Old Boys Association; Aligarh Old Boys’ Association; Daughters; Dhaka (Bangladesh); Education; Fathers; Fort Aurangabad; Government College; Hindi language; Independence; India; Kolkata (India); Lalbagh Fort; Law; Mosaics; Religious education; Sheikhs; University of Calcutta

Subjects: Agra (India); Aligarh Muslim University; Bangladesh--History.; Daughters; Dhaka (Bangladesh); Education; Fathers; Government College University (Faiṣalābād, Pakistan); Hindi language; Independence; India; India--History; Kolkata (India); Law; Mosaics.; Pakistan--History; Religious education; University of Calcutta.

GPS: Dhaka (Bangladesh)
Map Coordinates: 23.7, 90.366667
00:07:59 - Traditions and rules at Aligarh Muslim University

Play segment

Partial Transcript: The whole beauty of it, when I was admitted in Algiarh, this is a peculiar thing.

Segment Synopsis: Rahman talks about the hazing he experienced at Aligarh Muslim University. He then talks about the practice of mixing students from different backgrounds in the residence halls, as well as the uniform that was required of Aligarh Muslim University students. He also talks about the requirement that the Aligarh Muslim University students participate in military activities.

Keywords: Aligarh (India); Aligarh Muslim University; Aligarh Old Boys Association; Assam (India); Bangladesh; British; Chowdry, Haroon; Cinemas; Great Britain; Hazing; Movie theaters; Proctors; Residence halls; Seniors; Sherwanis; Sir Syed Hall; Sugar cane; Theology; Traditions; Uniforms; Urdu language

Subjects: Aligarh (India); Aligarh Muslim University; Assam (India); Bangladesh; Bangladesh--History.; British; Great Britain; Hazing.; India--History; Islamic clothing and dress; Pakistan--History; Theology; Uniforms; Urdu language

GPS: Aligarh Muslim University
Map Coordinates: 27.915009, 78.078793
00:16:13 - Life after Aligarh Muslim University

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Amber Abbas here with, uh, Mr. Habib ur Rahman for part two of our interview, after we've had our snack.

Segment Synopsis: Rahman talks about his decision not to join the Indian Air Force, as well as famous individuals from Bengal (India).

Keywords: Aligarh (India); Aligarh Muslim University; Bengalis; Captains; Chief justices; Dhaka (Bangladesh); Government Titumir College; Hindus; India; Indian Air Force; Jinnah College; Judges; Kites; Muslims; Pilots; Teachers

Subjects: Aligarh (India); Aligarh Muslim University; Bangladesh--History.; Dhaka (Bangladesh); Hindus; India; India--History; India. Air Force.; Judges; Kites.; Muslims; Pakistan--History; Pilots; Teachers

GPS: Dhaka (Bangladesh)
Map Coordinates: 23.7, 90.366667
00:22:06 - Pakistan movement

Play segment

Partial Transcript: And I didn't come back because by this time there was a movement.

Segment Synopsis: Rahman talks about Bengali students' reactions to the Pakistan movement. He then talks about his trip to Lahore (Pakistan) in 1946 as a worker for the All-India Muslim League. Rahman also talks about the escalating tension between East and West Pakistan.

Keywords: Aligarh Muslim University; All-India Muslim League; Central Legislative Assembly; Democracy; English; Government Titumir College; Hindus; Jinnah College; Karachi (Pakistan); Khan, Liaquat Ali; Lahore (Pakistan); Pakistan; Pakistan Army; Pakistan movement; Paper; Punjabis

Subjects: Aligarh Muslim University; All-India Muslim League; Bangladesh--History.; Democracy.; English; Hindus; India--History; Karachi (Pakistan); Khan, Liaquat Ali, 1895-1951.; Lahore (Pakistan); Pakistan; Pakistan movement; Pakistan--History; Pakistan. Army.; Paper.

GPS: Lahore (Pakistan)
Map Coordinates: 31.549722, 74.343611
00:27:48 - Language movement

Play segment

Partial Transcript: In nineteen fifty-two, here the people said, you know, you know better than me in America that three language is the state language.

Segment Synopsis: Rahman discusses West Pakistan’s attempt to make Urdu the official language of the state, upsetting Bengalis, who subsequently attempted to have Bengali named as the official language. As a result, Rahman resigned from his position at Jinnah College, which later became Government Titumir College.

Keywords: Bangladesh; Doctorates; Government Titumir College; High courts; Jinnah College; Language movement; London (England); Official languages; State languages; Urdu language

Subjects: Bangladesh; Bangladesh--History.; Degrees, academic; India--History; London (England); Pakistan--History; Urdu language

GPS: Jinnah College, now called Government Titumir College.
Map Coordinates: 23.781389, 90.404167
00:30:56 - Conflict between East and West Pakistan

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, so, um, when you--let's say when you were a student at Aligarh and you felt that Pakistan--establishment of Pakistan was the correct thing to do, did you ever have the chance to talk about that with, uh, I mean, anyone else in your family or did you ever speak to your father about Pakistan or?

Segment Synopsis: Rahman talks about why the idea of Pakistan appealed to him; however, he felt alienated by West Pakistan’s decision to make Urdu the official language. He then talks about obtaining a passport at a time when moving without the permission of the president of one’s district was prohibited. He then talks about Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s Six Point Movement, which petitioned for greater autonomy for East Pakistan.

Keywords: Aligarh Muslim University; Bangladesh; Bangladesh Awami League; Bengalis; Fathers; India; Iran; Khan, Abu Muhammad; London (England); Pakistan; Pakistan movement; Rahman, Sheikh Mujibur; Six Point demand; Six point movement; Suhrawardy, Huseyn Shaheed; Sylhet (Bangladesh)

Subjects: Aligarh Muslim University; Bangladesh; Bangladesh--History.; Fathers; India; India--History; Iran; London (England); Pakistan; Pakistan movement; Pakistan--History; Suhrawardy, Huseyn Shaheed, 1892-1963.; Sylhet (Bangladesh)

00:37:56 - Indo-Pakistan War of 1971

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, tell me one thing, so, was it--um, in the nineteen sixties, in East Pakistan, when you began to be active in Awami league, was it difficult, uh, to make the decision to give up on Pakistan?

Segment Synopsis: Rahman talks about East Pakistan’s desire for independence from West Pakistan. He then discusses Bengalis’ reactions to the military takeover of Ayub Khan. Rahman also talks about his experiences during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971, which forced him to flee to Kolkata (India).

Keywords: Arabic language; Bangladesh; Bangladesh Awami League; Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali; East Pakistan; Economics; Elections; Independence; Indo-Pakistan War of 1971; Karachi (Pakistan); Khān, Ayub; Kolkata (India); Pakistan Army; Six Point Demand; Six Point Movement; Urdu language; War of Liberation; Wars; West Pakistan

Subjects: Arabic language; Bangladesh; Bangladesh--History.; Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali, 1928-1979.; Economics; Elections; Independence; India--History; Karachi (Pakistan); Kolkata (India); Pakistan; Pakistan--History; Pakistan--Military relations--India.; Pakistan. Army.; Urdu language; Wars

GPS: Kolkata (India)
Map Coordinates: 22.566667, 88.366667
00:58:51 - Religion and Aligarh Muslim University

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Well, so, when you--and especially when you had to leave, um, in seventy-one because your house was being attacked--

Segment Synopsis: Rahman talks about people who he knew who came to East Pakistan (later Bangladesh) after 1947. He then talks about Aligarh Muslim University’s goal to educate people from a variety of faith backgrounds.

Keywords: Aligarh Muslim University; Aligarh Old Boys Association; Bangladesh; East Pakistan; Education; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali; Urdu language

Subjects: Aligarh Muslim University; Bangladesh; Bangladesh--History.; India--History; Jinnah, Mahomed Ali, 1876-1948.; Pakistan; Pakistan--History; Urdu language

GPS: Aligarh Muslim University
Map Coordinates: 27.915009, 78.078793
01:03:12 - East Bengal and India

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Yeah, um, and so, when--if you have any friends in nineteen--two questions, one, you found when you were in Kolkata that the Indian people were very sympathetic to you.

Segment Synopsis: Rahman talks about whether or not he feels that East Bengal should join India instead of being its own independent nation.

Keywords: Bangladesh; Bengali language; Bengalis; Christians; East Pakistan; English language; Hindus; India; Islam; Muslims; United States of America; Urdu language

Subjects: Bangladesh; Bangladesh--History.; Christians; English language; Hindus; India; India--History; Islam; Muslims; Pakistan; Pakistan--History; United States; Urdu language

GPS: East Bengal
Map Coordinates: 25.2192, 90.9889
01:09:41 - Religious education and Aligarh Muslim University

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Did you, did you also have any Muslim religious education as a child?

Segment Synopsis: Rahman discusses the religious education he received as a child in Dhaka (Bangladesh). He then talks about why his father wanted him to go to Aligarh Muslim University. Rahman also talks about feeling at home at Aligarh Muslim University.

Keywords: Aligarh Muslim University; Dhaka (Bangladesh); Fathers; Grandfathers; Islam; Mothers; Police officers; Religious education

Subjects: Aligarh Muslim University; Bangladesh--History.; Dhaka (Bangladesh); Fathers; Grandfathers; India--History; Islam; Mothers; Pakistan--History; Religious education

GPS: Dhaka (Bangladesh)
Map Coordinates: 23.7, 90.366667
01:14:54 - Family

Play segment

Partial Transcript: Unfortunately, during the Liberation war, my brothers had been killed.

Segment Synopsis: Rahman talks about his brothers who died in the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971, as well as several of his sisters who died in childbirth. He then talks about the death of his mother.

Keywords: Brothers; Childbirth; Death; Families; Indo-Pakistan War of 1971; Mothers; Sisters; War of Liberation; West Pakistan

Subjects: Bangladesh--History.; Brothers; Childbirth.; Death; Families; India--History; Mothers; Pakistan; Pakistan--History; Sisters; Wars