UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Maulana Bhashani’s Haq Kotha : post-independence Bangladesh through the lens of radical media Saleheen, Mir Rifat Us


Bangladesh got its independence from Pakistan after nine months of the war in December 1971. After the war, a new government was established and started the formation of the new sovereign state. Shortly after independence, the nonagenarian leftist leader Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani started a weekly newspaper called Haq Kotha in February 1972. Haq Kotha focused on the condition of the subaltern groups. The newspaper also played the role of a watchdog for the new government and became me a strong critic. The government arrested the editor of the newspaper and banned the newspaper after its thirtieth issue. This thesis argues that Haq Kotha played the role of a radical media that represented the disempowered people like the working class and ethnic minorities. This thesis explores the published contents of Haq Kotha and letters sent to the newspaper to find out the experience of the subaltern groups in the newly independent Bangladesh that were largely led by Maulana Bhashani and/ or were represented by Haq Kotha. The research reveals a critical understanding of national and political issues like the liberation war, the new constitution, socialism, religion, the role of powerful countries, and post-war crises like famine and corruption. Letters and reports of Haq Kotha uncover persecution of disempowered people including the working class, political opponents of the government, and minority groups like the Hindus and the Biharis and indigenous communities. The research also shows the influence of Maulana Bhashani in Haq Kotha which ideologically emphasized socialism and communal harmony.

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