Maulana Abdur Rashid Tarkabagish

Maulana Abdur Rashid Tarkabagish

Maulana Khondokar Abdur Rashid Tarkabagish (Bengali: মওলানা খোন্দকার আব্দুর রশীদ তর্কবাগীশ) (1900–1986) was a Bangladeshi politician and parliamentarian. He strongly opposed the repressive mentality of the Nurul Amin government towards the Bengali Language Movement despite being a member of the treasury bench.


Early life

He was born in Tarulia village of Sirajganj district. Tarkabagish took part in the Khilafat and Non-Cooperation Movement during his student life. He helped to gain public support and was arrested for six months. Later he got admitted to the Deoband Madrasa of North India. Once he performed extremely well in debating competition and got the award 'Tarkabagish' meaning the master debater.

Political carrier

Tarkabagish joined the Muslim League in 1936. From the party he participated in the election and earned his place in the Bengal Legislative Assembly in 1937 and in 1946. At the budget session of the East Bengal Legislative Assembly on February 21, Tarkabagish was vocal and heavily criticized the killing of several protestors near Dhaka Medical College. Tarkabagish asked the leader of the house Nurul Amin to formulate an inquiry and to visit to the wounded students before proceeding the session. But as Amin refused the proposal, he walked out of the assembly[1] and subsequently retired from Muslim League Parliamentary Party on February 23, 1952.[2]. In a statement after his retirement, Tarkabagish described the incident of police firing as a rare example in history saying, To protest against this nrishongsho murder of Dhaka, I feel ashamed to be a part of Muslim League and decided to resign from it. He also criticized for not considering his motion in the assembly. He also expressed gratitude to the dead and wounded activists of the movement.[3][1]

Abdur Rashid Tarkabagish protested the police firing on and killing of students on 21 February 1952, in the assembly. He also made his speech in Bangla to respect his mother tongue and martyrs of the language movement. He was arrested on February 23 and kept in jail until July 1. Then he joined Awami Muslim League (currently Awami League and was again elected a member of the assembly in 1954 from United Front. He was also elected as the member of the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan in 1956.

Tarkabagish presided over at the first session of the Jatiya Sangshad of Bangladesh in 1972. He was again elected a member from Awami League in 1973. After the incidents in 1975, Tarkabagish himself formed a party named Gano Azadi League in 1976. During the autocratic regime of Ershad he formed a 15 party alliance that took part in the movement against him. Tarkabagish died in Dhaka on August 20, 1986. He was honored with Independence Day award in 2000.


  1. ^ a b (Al Helal 2003, pp. 373–393)
  2. ^ (in Bengali)The Azad (a daily newspaper) (Abul Kalam Shamsuddin, Dhaka), December 11, 1948 
  3. ^ (in Bengali)Daily Insaf (a daily newspaper) (Dhaka), February 24, 1952 


  • Al Helal, B (2003), Bhasha Andoloner Itihas (History of the Language Movement), Agamee Prakashani, Dhaka, ISBN 984-401-523-5  (Bengali)

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