An adage is haunting me before penning this article – He who fails to learn from history is tend to repeat it and in the most brutal manner. Even if the person who coined this adage first in history is shrouded in history, indisputably there is no second to this. And this is not being said by any wandering individual in the alleys of metropolis of Kolkata but by the octogenarians even who were witness to the most macabre period of modern India – the Bloody Partition stemming from the jingoistic notion of Muslim League – Pakistan for Muslims in the Indian subcontinent. They did also witness how a bunch of Islamists led a huge mass of people and let them go on with bloodthirsty yells against Hindus; the day was August 16, 1946 – Direct Action Day. The Statesman, then best-known English daily in the Indian subcontinent then having its head office in the metropolis of Calcutta, termed the conflicts on that day as no ordinary riots but as fury – a word borrowed from mediaeval dictionary.
The proposal of Pakistan or a separate Islamic homeland for Muslims in the Indian subcontinent had been heard first in 1933. However, despite earning support of educated Muslim intellectuals, it remained within the four walls of a room or in a few discourses at best. Gradually, it turned out to be a movement of Nababzada s (aristocratic Muslim landlords). But the year 1940 proved to be a watershed as with the association of Bengali Muslims into the movement in throngs, the minuscule desire changed to a public demand with an incredible speed. And it pernicious effects were found in (then undivided) Bengal most having 55% Muslim population while remaining 44% belonged to Hindus. What followed in the next years was a deliberate plan to murder the amiability between these two communities going on for centuries despite many ups and downs and by 1946 it was a success. The religiously polarized state perceived an array of changes and the culmination was the Direct Action Day when impregnable onslaughts on Hindus and Sikhs in the city loomed invincibly. Even if the onslaught was checked by the violent retribution of Hindus and Sikhs subsequently, the disaster got a most unfaltering basis and ended with a civil war causing the formation of multi-religious India and an Islamic Pakistan.
All these are said since the Muslim League-styled politics (then) is being smelled out yet again in the Indian state of Bengal currently and almost a score of radical Muslim organizations are being found to generate ominous rumblings of discontent almost daily. The mounting saga of Islamic appeasement with almost no exception now has feared both septuagenarians and octogenarians extremely making them recollect their horrific youths. And the similarity between the two ages is also striking. Abdur Rezzaq Mollah (firebrand CPIM leader till a few days back but banished now from the party) has propounded the notion of Dalit-Muslim axis in Bengal through his own “Social Justice Forum.” Btu this is nothing new if the role and acts of Jogen Mandal is viewed. Jogen Mandal had advanced a similar theory against upper caste Hindus in the 1940s that made him confidant of Muslim League but was casted out once he protested against the Barisal genocide of Hindus in 1950 in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). His ideological fellows were also either kicked out or lynched in public.
And all these horrendous acts were termed as justified by Islamic clerics who occupied center stage similar to many now in Kolkata. Maulana Nurur Rahman Barkati, Shahi Imam of the Tipu Sultan Masjid, has become the mentor of Mamata Banerjee or the Chief Minister of Bengal while others are found to flex their muscles time and again.
Hindu Samhati regularly monitors and reports violations against Hindus in West Bengal. We also work with both governmental and NGO agencies for proper education on protection and ensure remedies to the Hindu populace as per prevailing law of the land.