Abdus Salam (Editor)

Abdus Salam (Editor)

Abdus Salam, born on 2 August 1910 in the village South Dharmapur in the Chhagalnaiya Upazila (subdistrict) of Feni District in Bangladesh, was one of the most well-known newspaper editors of Pakistan, editing the Pakistan Observer (renamed The Bangladesh Observer [http://www.bangladeshobserveronline.com/] after the liberation of Bangladesh) from 1949 to 1972, except for a discontinuity from 1952 to 1954, when the newspaper was banned by the government, already irked by its pro-Bengali stance, and finding an excuse to get rid of it when Salam wrote an editorial comparing the nepotism of one of the early caliphs with that of Prime Minister Nazimuddin, which was interpreted as blasphemous. In 1954 the balance of political power changed and the ban was lifted, after Salam won a seat in the Provincial Parliament in the general elections.

Earlier Salam had earned reputation as one of the best students of the country with top scholarships all the way from Matriculation to MA of Calcutta University. He won the Tony Memorial Gold Medal for securing the first position in the BA in English Examination at Presidency College%2C Kolkata. After a brief period as a Professor of English at Feni College, he served in many government departments during the British period, including Income Tax, Civil Supplies and Audit. In Pakistan he became the Deputy Accountant General, but left government service because of its anti-Bengali policies, and joined the Observer.

He was jailed twice - first for the editorial on Nazimuddin, and then again when the press of The Morning News, a newspaper catering to the interests of non-Bengalis, was destroyed in a fire. Apart from editorials Salam wrote two popular columns - The Political Scene, and The Idle Thoughts. His criticism of General Ayub Khan brought down the wrath of the dictator, and the Observer lost all its government advertisements. Salam, however, became a very respected figure nationally and even became the President of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors.

After liberation , when Salam wrote an editorial headed The Supreme Test, giving some constructive criticism to the new government of Bangladesh, he was removed from the Observer. He continued to write for the Bangladesh Times. Later, after the political change of 1975, he became the founder-Director-General of the Press Institute of Bangladesh [http://www.pib.gov.bd] . He was awarded an EkusheyPadak when it was first introduced in 1976.

He died of a massive heart attack on 13 February 1977.


* Banglapedia, ed. Sirajul Islam (Asiatic Society of Bangladesh, Dhaka: 2006)
* Bangla Academy Biographical Dictionary (Charitabhidhan), eds. Selina Hossain and Nurul Islam (Bangla Academy, Dhaka: 2003)

External links

1. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh Online: Abdus Salam [http://banglapedia.org/HT/S_0658.htm]

2. Banglapedia : National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh Online: Bangladesh Observer [http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/B_0228.htm]

3. Boi-Mela: Salam, Abdus [http://www.boi-mela.com/banglapedia/ViewArticle.asp?TopicRef=5792]

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