Bengali Hindus

published on October 21, 2010
Visharad Sharma

Kanchan Gupta’s article on the Hindus of Deganaga ( really calls for some study about the Hindus of Bengal, and their untold suffering through ages right from the times of the Pathans; the Muslim rule: through the raj of the goras. Most of us seem to have forgotten these, the people who live in West Bengal appear not to know these, and the Communists who had been in rule of Bengal play ignorance and now Mamta, who is out only to defeat the Communists and revenge the Congress is not bothered of the Hindus like her parent party the Congress, who still go on in their desperate attempt to please the minority.

Utkala Banga Bhumi

In the past, the areas of Bihar, Orissa, Assam (composite) and entire Bengal used to be as one block: they had different kings; but they used to be one block for many reasons. The Mayurbhanj king had his holiday capital in Shillong with an impressive palace which had been used as the main library by the North-Eastern Hill University at Nongthymmai, before they shifted to their Mawlai campus. The Hindus of Bengal first suffered from caste distinctions, then from many unhealthy practices, which were all subsequently eliminated by the Hindu leaders and reformators of Bengal. But then, Hindus of Bengal hardly received their due from the national mainstream, first from the Congress and now from Trinamul, needless to say anything about the Communists.

Calcutta Communists

Unlike Communists of Kerala, the Calcutta Communists (this includes Tripura, which is a Bengali majority area) are unique and distinct.  For Bengal, Communism does not have much to do with internationalism and commune itself; quite on the contrary, Communism in Bengal is a narrow parochial grouping, which is essentially communal. They call it in Bangla language as “amra party” to mean that ‘our party’, juxtaposing Delhi and the Congress. That is the reason why no national leaders like Namboodiripad and caucus used to get their access denied there, even during elections. Bengal disliked the Congress, and Nehru for some very good and valid reasons, and this dislike had gone into the lookout for something unique and different for them, which subsequently resulted in the so called Calcutta Communism. Actually, the Bengalis as a community is far from being materialistic and mundane, they are well into the inescapable Indian culture as a matter of normal course, and materialistic dialectics had not even gone near the river Hubli. It is the Congress betrayal to the Hindus of Bengal that made them choose the Communists just as an alternative, and certainly not for the day dreaming fantasies of Marx.

The Congress betrayal of the Bengali Hindus

With the visit of the Simon Commission and the irresponsibility of the Congress, the Hindus of Bengal were already taken for a ride when Bengal was divided as Hindu Bengal and Muslim Bengal in 1905. The Hindu cause was not taken care of, and Muslims were given the priority. It must be noted that it is in the very next year, i.e., in 1906, the Muslims formed their own party for the Muslim cause alone from Dhaka, the divided Muslim Bengal, as the All India Muslim League, to prepare and spread separatism and hatred against the Hindus in the Muslim minds. From then on, the Hindus of Bengal remained alienated, and those Hindus in the Muslim Bengal continued suffering on a day to day basis.

The worst betrayal of the Hindus

The worst Hindu betrayal came at the time of partition for the Hindus of East Bengal when it was made East Pakistan in 1947. This must be read and understood carefully: and one has to see the geography of East Bengal and Assam to understand this clearly. Once Assam is created as separate state (composite Assam then), East Bengal becomes adjacent to it on the right side in the map. One can see two districts, touching Assam in East Bengal, the districts of Sylhet and Mymensing. These two districts were essentially Hindu districts, and many Hindus from other parts of East Bengal had already migrated to these two districts in the belief that these two districts shall naturally be a part of India after partition, since they are Hindu districts, as per the plan and programme of partition by Nehru and others. But then, something else had happened, which shall always be a pain that no Bengali Hindu can ever forget.

Given the geography of that area, if Sylhet and Mymensing becomes a part of India, then they will have to be a part of Assam, and not Bengal. Assam then had a Congress leader, Lokmanya Bardole, whose statue can be seen in Guwahati. Bardole thought that this two Bengali district annexed to Assam shall create problems to Assamese, since Assamese are less educated and less advanced than the Bengalis; but Bengalis from both the districts are very well educated and advanced. Naturally, all the jobs and other things shall go to the Bengalis instead of Assamese, and the people of Assam shall be side lined. Bardole did not want these two districts to be a part of Assam and he advised Nehru that these two districts should not come to Assam for the sake of the people of Assam. Nehru could have made these two districts as yet another small state, but he was not thinking for the Hindu cause, and left these two Hindu districts to East Pakistan. This, came as a thunderbolt out the blue to the Hindus of both Mymensingh and Sylhet, and they had to run leaving everything over night to nearest Indian point. The unexpected announcement came just at the eve of partition, and the Hindus of both these districts did not have time even to look for their kith and kin, who might be living nearby. They simply ran to the nearest Indian border through the darkness of the night, with nothing in their hands.

The only nearest Indian point was different parts of Assam, and all the Hindus ran to many points in Assam composite. And, the others, started calling them “refugees’ in a most callous manner. They were highly educated, once well placed, a good amount of them had Jagirs, they were Jagirdars and Jamindars, and suddenly they all became victims with no roof above their heads and no food to eat.  They all got just one name, ‘refugee’.

Their present condition

Subsequently, over a good period of time, these Hindus got into jobs, teachings and so on through constant and continuous struggle. Then came another thunderbolt out of the blue, Assam got further divided into the present ‘seven sisters’ state of the North-East. Special article of the constitution, 680 was enforced for the protection of the tribes of these states, and the Hindus again became further humiliated. Then came states like Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura. They are given special status as per the constitution to protect the tribes; and as a result, one has to obtain an ‘inner line permit’ to travel into these areas which is like a sort of ‘visa’, all jobs are exclusively reserved for the locals, no one except the locals can do a business, no one except the locals can either buy or sell land and the like.

Now the Christian Missionaries became active in these tribes states, and started spreading hatred against the Hindus, and to the Indian nation indirectly. The Bengalis became completely alienated and sidelined, and no one is there for their rescue. “Kill the Bengali before you kill a snake” and such writings started appearing on the walls. To do some small business, they have to take the license in the name of a tribe, and pay him annual ransom for the license; and what is more, at any point in time the tribesman shall simply throw him out of his shop. Till such time the tribes were educated, the Hindus kept getting teaching jobs, and of late, that too is gone. Over and above, the Christian Missionaries, primarily from the state of Kerala, also started enjoying themselves in spreading the hatred against the Hindus in the disguise of hating Bengalis to become ‘brothers’ to the tribes people. The Bengalis live in India, free India, but as alienated Hindus, helpless and hapless.

And the Calcutta Bhadralok do not know all these things: the Babus of Communism, Congress and Trinamool remain Bhadralok doing nothing. Many times these hapless Hindu Bengalis spoke as well made representations to everyone, and they all fell in deaf ears alike. No one except the BJP attended to their cause, and the fact that the BJP could produce some MLAs in NER is only from this fact. The Hindus voted enbloc to BJP producing some members, where ever they could be in marginal majority. The Hajong tribe was one of the very few who had been resisting Christian Missionaries, but of late, they are also getting subjected to Christian invasion through the Missionaries of Kerala, and in spite of Swami Vivekananda’s direct admonition to the Kerala Missionaries they still enthusiastically go on. One ought to carefully read what Swamiji said while calling Kerala a lunatic asylum. He was accusing the caste Hindus of Kerala who accept a ‘pariah’ (his spelling) when he becomes a Christian, and at the same time not accepting another ‘pariah’ who remains a Hindu. He was accusing the Hindus of permitting the Christian Missionaries to convert helpless and hapless Hindus into Christianity by all kinds of enchantments.

The plight of the Bengali Hindus in North-East continues to be miserable even after these many years of ‘home rule’ of India. All Bengalis of NER wish to go away, and those who retire, go and settle somewhere else. They have to run, on and on, even in these present times.

With partition, people who came to Punjab and other places were treated reasonably well. Many people came and settled in my own village in Gurudaspur and they are never called refugees. Many went to cities, and thrived in their business. But the Hindus who came from East Pakistan, today’s Bangladesh, still continue to be refugees and are still on the run. No one cares for them, and no one cares for the Hindu cause. Next time when you meet a Bengali from NER, have sympathy for him, and learn more from him directly. He had kept his religion, through all these things, and he cannot be lured and converted by a missionary; and that is the reason why the missionaries are so much against the Bengali Hindus, with their presence in NER, the Christian Missionaries of Kerala will have to work more and harder. Let us respect the Bengali Hindu, who had forsaken everything for Hindu religion, he could have simply become a Muslim and kept his property and lived comfortably in Bangladesh, in his own village. But he did not. Respect and learn from him.

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