Maulvi Tamizuddin Khan (1889-1963) was a champion of democracy. He was born in a poor farm family of Faridpur, Bangladesh, had early schooling in Faridpur and Cooch Behar and B.A. (Honours) in English, M.A. in Law in Calcutta.
As a student, he was mostly staying in Jaigir—free board and lodge with a family, in exchange for tutoring its children. On completion of education, he had to seek a job to help his family; he worked as a teacher in Faridpur Zilla School, and also in Calcutta. He joined the Faridpur District Bar in 1915, was elected Vice-Chairman of the Municipality, and became secretary of the Anjuman-i-Islamia. He hoined the Muslim League in 1915, and also Khilafat and Non-Cooperation movements. At this time, he was elected secretary of the Faridpur Congress Committee, and Khilafat Committee. The Congress was then making all efforts to ‘Corner’ Deshbandhu C.R. Das, a national leader with vision, imagination and sense of realism; Mr. Jinnah protested in strong terms, but to no avail. All-India politics has always been anti-Bengal and the exit of C.R. Das from Congress was confirmed. About this time, Maulvi Khan developed an allergy for legal practice, started Khaddar and Lungi shops for an income, and participated in orgnaised ‘Bon-Fires’ of foreign clothes. He was arrested in 1921, and imprisoned in Faridpur and Dhaka Central Jails. In Jail, he organised `anti-Sarkker-Salam’ Campaign, which practice had to be abolished. Treatment to new political prisoners improved.
Maulvi Khan left the Congress in 1926, protesting its ‘Suddhi’ movement and anti-Muslim feelings. he contested the Council election, and won by a big majority against Lal Main an influential landlord. Sir Abdur Rahim was elected President of the Council, defeating Sir A.K. Ghuznavi, this Council was dissolved in 1929 due to a ‘No Confidence’ passed against a Minister Nawab Mosharraf Hossain; fresh elections were ordered, Maulvi Khan was elected from a Constituent other than Faridpur. In the Council, he organised the Proja Party, and Muslim League Parliamentary Party, became Members of the Educational Committee, and actively contributed to the abolition of the landlord’s right of preemption on transfer of land. He was offered the title of Khan Bahadur, which he refused, then came the Government of India Act. 1935, granting nearly full provincial autonomy with a Federal Center, which was not accepted then. Preparations were afoot for Elections.
Maulvi Khan contested from Faridpur against Prof. Humayun Kabir, and won by a big margin; there was a merger of UMP and Muslim League, and Fazlul Huq formed a Coalition Government of KPP and Muslim League, with the Congress in Opposition. Maulvi Khan was taken in as Minister for Medical & Public Health. he also held the portfolio of Agriculture.
Maulvi Khan joined the Nazimuddin cabinet, but during the Budget session of 1945 the Government lost in a vote on a cut motion; a few days later, the Assembly was dissolved.
In the meantime, decision was taken to hold elections to the National Assembly of India, and the Muslim League agreed to participate making Pakistan their main issue. Maulvi Khan contested and won against Sir Ghuznavi. Maulvi Khan started functioning as a Member of the Indian National Assembly; as per arrangements made, this Assembly elected two Constituent Assemblies for India and Pakistan. Maulvi Khan was elected a member of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly; he was elected Deputy President and later President of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on the death of Mr. Jinnah, in which capacity he worked till its dissolution on October 24, 1954.
In 1955 the Federal Court okayed the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly by the Governor-General; Maulvi Khan stayed for sometime in Karachi; and moved to Dhaka in early 1956, and began living a quiet retired life.
This was when he planned to write his Memoirs.
The Test of Time - my life and days
Biography book that Maulvi Tamizuddin Khan had himself written his life stories and experiences covering the period upto 1926, and later completed by Mirza Nurul Huda using Maulvi Tamizuddin Khan's notes as well as by drawing upon other informations, documents and his own experience of close association with him.
Mirza Nurul Huda, August 19, 1989.
Completing the memoirs of Maulvi Khan has proved to be an inherently difficult task for someone who has seen the developments from a distance, obviously with his own eyes and understanding of these matters.
Many friends and relatives have inspired and actively helped in the compilation of this volume and its publication. The prime movers in this effort have been Maulvi Khan’s three daughters – Fatema, Kulsum and Razia. My son Najmu and daughters Simeen and Zareen have also helped in various ways.
Finally, I must acknowledge with deep gratitude the financial support provided by the Tamizuddin Khan Trust for the publication of this volume.