|Birth Day:||November 7, 1922|
|Death Date:||Oct 23, 2014 (age 91)|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
As per our current Database, Ghulam Azam died on Oct 23, 2014 (age 91).
He earned an MA in political science from Dhaka University.
Azam was born on 7 November 1922 in Bengal, former province of British India. He was the eldest son of Maulana Ghulam Kabir and Sayeda Ashrafunnisa. He attended a Madrasa in his village Birgaon, Nabinagar in Comilla and completed his secondary school education in Dhaka. He then joined Dhaka University where he completed BA and MA degrees in Political science.
While studying at the University of Dhaka, Azam became active in student's politics and was elected as the General Secretary of the Dhaka University Central Students' Union (DUCSU) for the two consecutive years between 1947 and 1949. As a General Secretary of the DUCSU, Azam in 1947 submitted a memorandum on the union's behalf to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Liaquat Ali Khan, demanding that Bengali be made a state language along with Urdu. At that time, Bangladesh was administered by the Pakistan. "Bangla was a wrong decision with regard to the establishment of Pakistan since Urdu was widely used and all Muslims of the Indian subcontinent were Urdu speakers."
In 1950, Azam left Dhaka to teach political science at the Government Carmichael College in Rangpur. During this time, he was influenced by the writings of Abul Ala Maududi and he joined Maududi's party Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan in 1954, and was later elected as the Secretary General of Jamaat-e-Islami's East Pakistan branch.
In 1964, the government of Ayub Khan banned Jamaat-e-Islami and its leaders, including Azam, and imprisoned them for eight months without trials. He played a prominent role as the general secretary of the Pakistan Democratic Movement formed in 1967 and later, he was elected as the member of Democratic Action Committee in 1969 to transform the anti-Ayub movement into a popular uprising. In 1969, he became the Ameer of the Jamaat in East Pakistan. He and other opposition leaders including future President of Bangladesh Sheikh Mujibur Rahman took part in the Round Table Conference held in Rawalpindi in 1969 to solve the prevailing political impasse in Pakistan. On 13 March 1969, Khan announced his acceptance of their two fundamental demands of parliamentary government and direct elections.
During the Bangladesh Liberation War, Azam took a political stance in support of unified Pakistan, and repeatedly denounced Awami League and Mukti Bahini secessionists, whose declared aim after 26 March 1971 became the establishment of an independent state of Bangladesh in place of East Pakistan. Excerpts from Azam's speeches after 25 March 1971 used to be published in the spokespaper of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami named The Daily Sangram. On 20 June 1971, Azam reaffirmed his support for the Pakistani army by citing that 'the army has eradicated nearly all criminals of East Pakistan'.
During the war of 1971, it was alleged that Azam played a central role in the formation of East Pakistan Central Peace Committee on 11 April 1971, which declared the independence movement a conspiracy planned by India. It was also alleged that Azam was one of the founding members of this organization. The Peace Committee members were drawn from Azam's Jamaat-e-Islami, the Muslim League and Biharis. The Peace Committee served as a front for the army, informing on the civil administration as well as the general public. They were also in charge of confiscating and redistribution of shops and lands from Hindu and pro-independence Bengali activists, mainly relatives and friends of Mukti Bahini fighters. The Shanti Committee has also been alleged to have recruited Razakars. The first recruits included 96 Jamaat party members, who started training in an Ansar camp at Shahjahan Ali Road, Khulna. During Azam's leadership of Jamaat-e-Islami, Ashraf Hossain, a leader of Jamaat's student wing Islami Chhatra Sangha, created the Al-Badr militia in Jamalpur district on 22 April 1971. On 12 April 1971, Azam and Matiur Rahman Nizami led demonstrations denouncing the independence movement as an Indian conspiracy.
On 12 August 1971, Azam declared in a statement published in the Daily Sangram that "the supporters of the so-called Bangladesh Movement are the enemies of Islam, Pakistan, and Muslims". He also called for an all out war against India. He called for the annexation of Assam.
Azam was also alleged as the prime standard-bearer who presented the blueprint of the killing of the intellectuals during a meeting with Rao Farman Ali in early September 1971. According to this blue print, Pakistani Army and the local collaborators executed the killing of the Bengali intellectuals on 14 December 1971.
On 20 June 1971, Azam declared in Lahore that the Hindu minority in East Pakistan, under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, are conspiring to secede from Pakistan. On 12 August 1971, Azam declared in a statement published in the Daily Sangram that "the supporters of the Bangladesh Movement are the enemies of Islam, Pakistan, and Muslims". On his side, Azam denied all such accusations and challenged by giving reasons to justify them. However, he later admitted that he was on the list of collaborators of the Pakistani army, but denied he was a war criminal.
The military junta of General Yahya Khan decided to call an election in an effort to legitimize themselves. On 12 October 1971, Yahya Khan declared that an election will be held from 25 November to 9 December. Azam decided to take part in this election. On 15 October, the Pakistani government suddenly declared that 15 candidates were elected without any competition. According to the declaration of 2 November, as many as 53 candidates were elected without any competition. In this election Jamaat won 14 of the uncontested seats.
Former advisor to the Caretaker government of Bangladesh, human rights activist and witness for the prosecution Sultana Kamal said- "In brutality, Ghulam Azam is synonymous with German ruler Hitler who had influential role in implementation and execution of genocide and ethnic cleansing". In response to this statement, the defense counsel pointed out that the comparison was a fallacy and "fake with malicious intention" as Hitler held state power, which Azam did not and that in 1971 General Tikka Khan and Yahya Khan held state power. Prosecutor of ICT Zead-Al-Malum said- “He was the one making all the decisions, why would he need to be on any committee? Being Hitler was enough for Hitler in World War II.”
Jamaat's rehabilitation began when Ziaur Rahman became president after a coup in 1975 and lifted the previous ban on religious parties. In 1977, Zia removed secularism in the constitution, replacing it with Islamic ideals, further clearing the way for Jamaat-e-Islami to return to political participation. In 1978, Azam returned to Bangladesh on a Pakistani passport with a temporary visa, and stayed as a Pakistani national even after his visa expired, he refused to leave the country and continued to live in Bangladesh. His stay was however unwelcome in Bangladesh, and he was beaten by an angry mob at the footsteps of the Baitul Mukarram mosque while attending a funeral in 1981.
Government of newly independent Bangladesh, banned Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and cancelled Azam's citizenship for playing alleged role during the Bangladesh Liberation War. Azam lived in exile in London until he was allowed to return home in 1978.
In the 1980s, Azam was particularly critical of the military rule of General Ershad after he seized power in a bloodless coup in 1982 and Jamaat-e-Islami took part in demonstrations and strikes as well as other opposition parties such as the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). He proposed a caretaker government system to facilitate free and fair elections, which was adopted in 1990. In the 1991 Bangladeshi general election, Jamaat-e-Islami won 18 seats and its support allowed the BNP to form a government.
During this time, he acted unofficially as the Ameer (leader) of Jamaat-e-Islami until 1991, when he was officially elected to the post. This led the government arresting him and an unofficial court called "The People's Court" was established by the civilians such as Jahanara Imam to try alleged war criminals and anti-independence activists. Imam held a symbolic trial of Azam where thousands of people gathered and gave the verdict that Azam's offences committed during the Liberation War deserve capital punishment. In 1994, he fought a lengthy legal battle which resulted in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh ruling in his favor and restoring his nationality.
In the 1996 election, Jamaat won only three seats, and most of their candidates lost their deposits. Azam announced his retirement from active politics in late 2000. He was succeeded by Motiur Rahman Nizami.
On 11 January 2012, Azam was arrested on charges of committing crimes against humanity and peace, genocide and war crimes in 1971 by the International Crimes Tribunal. His petition for bail was rejected by the ICT, and he was sent to Dhaka Central Jail. However, three hours later he was taken to the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) hospital for a medical check-up because of his aging. According to The Daily Star, Azam was allowed to remain in a hospital prison cell despite being declared fit for trial by a medical team on 15 January. The same paper later acknowledged that he had been placed there because to his "ailing condition".
Azam's wife complained that he had been denied proper family visits and access to books, saying that this amounted to "mental torture". The Daily Star reported that Azam's wife and his counsels were allowed to meet him on 18 February. On 25 February 2012, The Daily Star further reported that Azam's nephew was denied a visit shortly before he was about to enter hospital prison. This was despite the application for the visit being first approved.
Ghulam Azam died after he suffered a stroke on 23 October 2014 at 10:10 PM at BSMMU while serving jail sentences for crimes against humanity during Bangladesh Liberation War. His death was reported by Abdul Majid Bhuiyan, director of BSMMU. Ghulam was put on life support system at 8 PM. He was also suffering from kidney ailments. Azam was buried at his family graveyard at Moghbazar, Dhaka on 25 October. His namaz-e-janaza (Islamic funeral prayer) was held at Bangladesh's national mosque Baitul Mokarram. The funeral was attended by hundreds of thousands of mourners. Different quarters of the country protested against taking Azam's body to the national mosque because of his war crimes conviction and his opposition role to the independence of the country.
Ghulam and his wife Afifa Azam had six children.
Currently, Ghulam Azam is 98 years, 10 months and 16 days old. Ghulam Azam will celebrate 99th birthday on a Sunday 7th of November 2021. Below we countdown to Ghulam Azam upcoming birthday.