Since inception, Awami League has been a secular democratic party. The term ‘Muslim’ was appended to the name of the party at the time of its foundation
only as part of its political tactics as it was almost unthinkable to launch a political party with secularist agenda in a country which was born as a result of communal bifurcation. Through the cataclysmic events of the Language Movement, the United Front election of 1954 and the defeat of Muslim League in the elections created a secular political atmosphere in East Bengal. Against this backdrop, the party convened a 3-day council with the initiative of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the then General Secretary of the Party. In the council held between 21 and 23 October, 1953, a resolution regarding the change in the name of the party was adopted: the word ‘Muslim’ was dropped and the party was renamed East Pakistan Awami League. It was a historical and bold political decision, as a result of which the party became open to all irrespective of their castes and creeds. The secular democratic character of the party was thus institutionalized and perfected.