14 June, 2021

Justice Kemaluddin Hossain

A refugee from Calcutta's legal street, he was sensitised to the minority predicament.

Justice Kemaluddin Hossain

AFTER a brilliant academic stint at St Xavier's College in 1945, I aspired to be a judge of the Calcutta High Court. But the 1946 riots made me scared, and for the first time, insecure. It had never occurred to me that I was a Muslim, on the wrong side of the border. This was partly due to the fact that I grew up with Hindu friends. And also because my father, Rafiquddin Hossain, Lal Babu to his friends, was an associate of Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das and Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.

Strangely, things began to improve after the '46 riots and we were excited about Independence. On the night of August 15, 1947, the wall of suspicion crumbled, giving way to an unprecedented feeling of Hindu-Mussalmaan bhai-bhaiism. I enrolled in Calcutta University's Law college and took the Bachelor of Law degree. I passed the Chamber's examination from the Calcutta High Court, topping the list, and was awarded the Sir Rashbehary Ghosh Memorial medal. But all of a sudden, everyone started refering to me as that Muslim boy, who would now become an advocate. Another riot...

In this article:

Latest Magazine

June 21, 2021

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section