IN MEMORY OF MARTYRED JOURNALIST SERAJUDDIN HOSSAIN

Serajuddin Hossain was a prominent martyred Bengali journalist. He was born on 1 March 1929 in the village Sharushuna under Magura district. His father was Maulana Mazharul Haque and his mother was Mst. Ashrafunnessa. He lost his father when he was three years old. He had to struggle all through his life since his childhood. After his father died, the family moved to Jessore City to the home of his uncle, who was the headmaster of Jessore Zilla School. Serajuddin passed the matriculation examination from Jhikor Gacha High School in 1943, and received his I.A. from Jessore Madhusudan College in 1945, and received his B.A. from Kolkata's Islamia College (now Maulana Azad College). He was very close friend to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman since his days in Islamia College that remained until his unfortunate demise in 1971.  

When he was a B.A. student, he became an apprentice journalist at the Daily Azad, a Bengali newspaper published from Kolkata. After a short time, he was promoted to sub-editor, and soon after the Daily Azad moved from Kolkata to Dhaka, he was appointed as the assistant news editor, and eventually was promoted to be a news editor. As a news editor of Daily Azad, he played significant role during the Language Movement in 1952. In 1954, Moulana Akram Khan, the Editor of Azad sacked him as Serajuddin Hossain published a news supporting Jukto front defying instruction given by the Editor. On 14 December 1954, he was hired as a news editor of the Daily Ittefaq. Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Tofazzal Hossain Manik Mia (the editor of the daily Ittefaq), and Serajuddin Hossain – all of them relied on the constructive politics practiced by Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy. Having complete liberty from Manik Mia, the political journalist Serajuddin Hossain utilized the daily to support and campaign for Bengali nationalistic movements, particularly highlighting Mujib’s leadership. Besides, Serajuddin Hossain was known as the father of investigative journalism. His investigative journalism on missing children saved 64 kidnapped children that gave him worldwide recognition. International Press Institute published a special bulletin on his meaningful contribution against the kidnappers, and he was also nominated for the prestigious Magsaysay award. Hossain was a trade unionist as well, and was elected as the president of the East Pakistan Journalism Union for two terms. In 1966, Ittefaq was banned by president Ayub Khan. Hossain then joined the news organisation, P.P.I, as the bureau chief. When Ittefaq was restarted in 1969, he returned to his old post as Ittefaq's news editor. From 1969 to 1971, he wrote political propaganda against Ayub Khan, thereby playing an important role in the 1969 uprising in East Pakistan through his newspaper. In 1970, he was appointed as the executive editor of the Daily Ittefaq.

Through the daily Ittefaq, Serajuddin Hossain strongly supported and campaigned for Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his six points that helped motivating people all over the territory to cast their votes in favor of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman resulting in an overwhelming victory of Mujib and his party in the 1970 election. During the liberation war in 1971, Serajuddin Hossain, the executive editor of the Ittefaq, continued his courageous journalism exposing all odds of the Pakistan government and allies. In presence of stringent censorship, directly or indirectly he was supporting Mujib leadership and the demands of the liberation aspirant Bengalis. As a part of systematic intellectual killing, he was abducted from his Dhaka residence by the Al Badr and Al Shams, the killer squads of the occupant Pakistan Army on 10 December 1971. He neither returned nor was his body found. This financial support is provided by Tawheed Reza Noor, PhD, the youngest son of martyred journalist Serajuddin Hossain.