Author: Dr. Layli Uddin

Dr. Layli Uddin is a historian of modern South Asia and is currently working on a book on the making and unmaking of Pakistan and Bangladesh. She is also the curator of the ‘Two Centuries of Indian Print’ project at the British Library.

November 22, 2020 /

Earlier this year, I was going through the hearings of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) from the 1960s. HUAC was responsible for investigating suspected Communist activities in the US, and elsewhere. One particular testimonial from New York caught my eye…
Bhashani, treated contemptuously by foes and even friends as ‘illiterate’ and a ‘rustic fool’, was on the editorial board of one the leading Afro-Asian magazines of the 1960s!…
Throughout his political career, Maulana Bhashani had been the founder and publisher of several papers and magazines, notably Ittefaq in 1949 and Haq Katha in 1972. However, this was the first time I was seeing his name on an international editorial board, and what an illustrious one it was as well.

September 20, 2018 /

Maulana Bhashani remains a much demonised figure amongst a certain section of North East India for leading the movement for immigration of Bengali land hungry peasant into colonial Assam. So who was Maulana Bhashani? A rustic pir? A vulgar peasant leader? Scourge of Colonial India and Post colonial Pakistan & Bangladesh state? Communist? Islamist? Today, socialism and Islam are often viewed as incompatible. Does the career of Maulana Bhashani, “the Red Maulana” of Bangladesh, offer a corrective to this view?