Syed Nazrul Islam

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Syed Nazrul Islam
সৈয়দ নজরুল ইসলাম
Sayed nazrul islam.jpg
Sculpture of Syed Nazrul Islam
2nd Minister of Industries of Bangladesh
In office
13 January 1972 – 26 January 1975
Prime MinisterSheikh Mujibur Rahman
Preceded byMuhammad Mansur Ali
Succeeded byAbul Hasnat Muhammad Qamaruzzaman
1st Vice President of Bangladesh
In office
17 April 1971 – 12 January 1972
PresidentSheikh Mujibur Rahman
Prime MinisterTajuddin Ahmad
Preceded byPost created
In office
25 January 1975 – 15 August 1975
PresidentSheikh Mujibur Rahman
Prime MinisterMuhammad Mansur Ali
Succeeded byRevived in 1977 with Justice Abdus Sattar
President of Bangladesh
In office
17 April 1971 – 12 January 1972
Prime MinisterTajuddin Ahmad
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byAbu Sayeed Chowdhury
Personal details
Dampara, Jashodal, Kishoreganj, Bengal Presidency, British India
(now in Bangladesh)
Died3 November 1975 (aged 49–50)
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Political partyBangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League (1975)
Other political
All-India Muslim League (Before 1949)
Awami League (1949–1975)
ChildrenSayed Ashraful Islam
Syeda Zakia Noor Lipi
Syed Manzurul Islam Manju
Syed Shariful Islam
Syed Shafayetul Islam
Syeda Rafia Noor
Alma materUniversity of Dhaka

Syed Nazrul Islam (Bengali: সৈয়দ নজরুল ইসলাম, romanizedSoiyod Nozrul Islam; 1925 – 3 November 1975) was a Bangladeshi politician and a senior leader of the Awami League. During the Bangladesh Liberation War, he was declared as the Vice President of Bangladesh by the Provisional Government. He served as the Acting President in the absence of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.[1]

Early life[edit]

Syed Nazrul Islam was born in 1925, into a Bengali Muslim family of Syeds in the village of Bir Dampara, Jashodal Union in Kishoreganj (then Mymensingh District) of the Bengal Presidency.[2] He obtained degrees in history and law from the University of Dhaka and was an active student political leader in the Muslim League. Syed captained his college's cricket and hockey teams and participated in the Pakistan movement. He entered the civil service of Pakistan in 1949 but resigned in 1951 to work as a professor of history at the Anandmohan College in Mymensingh, where he also practised law.[3]

Political career[edit]

Syed Nazrul's political career began when he joined the Awami Muslim League and participated in the Language Movement in 1952, for which he was arrested by Pakistani police. He would rise to various provincial and central party leadership positions, becoming a close confidante of the party's leader Sheikh Mujib. He was jailed during the Six Point Demand movement.[4] He was elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan in 1970, where he served briefly as deputy leader of the majority. Following the arrest of Mujib on 25 March 1971 by Pakistani forces, Syed escaped to Mujibnagar with other party leaders and proclaimed the independence of Bangladesh.[5] Mujib was elected president of Bangladesh but Syed would serve as acting president, with Tajuddin Ahmed as prime minister. Syed played a key role in leading the nationalist cause, co-ordinating the Mukti Bahini guerrilla force and winning support from India and other nations.[3]

After the independence of Bangladesh, Syed was appointed minister of industries, the deputy leader in parliament and a member of the constitution committee. When Mujib banned other political parties and assumed sweeping powers as president in 1975, Syed was appointed vice-Chairman of the BAKSAL, the renamed Awami League.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Islam married Syeda Nafisa Islam and had 4 sons and 2 daughters. His four sons were Sayed Ashraful Islam, Syed Manzurul Islam Manju, Syed Shariful Islam and Syed Shafayetul Islam, and his two daughters were Syeda Zakia Noor Lipi ad Syeda Rafia Noor.


Following the assassination of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 15 August 1975 Syed fled underground with other Mujib loyalists such as Tajuddin Ahmad, A. H. M. Qamaruzzaman and Muhammad Mansur Ali, but was ultimately arrested by the regime of the new president Khondaker Mostaq Ahmad. The four leaders were imprisoned in the Dhaka Central Jail and assassinated on 3 November under controversial and mysterious circumstances known as the Jail Killing. This day is commemorated every year in Bangladesh Jail Killing Day.[6] Captain (relieved) Kismat Hashem was sentenced to life in prison for the killings. He died due to cardiac arrest in Canada.[7]


Government-run Shahid Syed Nazrul Islam Medical College in Kishoreganj is named in his memory.[8] Sayed Ashraful Islam is son of Sayed Nazrul Islam.[9]


  1. ^ "Documents between India and Bangladesh". The Daily Star. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Remembering the Four Leaders". The Daily Star. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Islam, Sirajul; Miah, Sajahan; Khanam, Mahfuza; Ahmed, Sabbir, eds. (2012). "Islam, Syed Nazrul". Banglapedia: the National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Online ed.). Dhaka, Bangladesh: Banglapedia Trust, Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. ISBN 984-32-0576-6. OCLC 52727562. Retrieved 3 December 2022.
  4. ^ Ahsan, Syed Badrul. "Recalling Six Points". The Daily Star. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  5. ^ Palma, Porimol. "On the road to freedom of Bangladesh". The Daily Star. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  6. ^ "Remembering the four national leaders on Jail Killing Day". Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Jail killing convict Kismat Hashem dies in Canada". The Daily Star. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Medical college after Syed Nazrul Islam to be set up at Kishoreganj". The Financial Express. Dhaka. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  9. ^ "Sheikh Hasina fires trusted Syed Ashraful as LGRD minister". Retrieved 14 April 2016.
Political offices
Preceded by President of Bangladesh

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Vice President of Bangladesh
Succeeded by