@Evening: 🙏 Far From Shunning Bengal's 'Foundation Day', Bengali Hindus Must Celebrate It As ‘Deliverance Day’

Karan Kamble

Jun 21, 2023, 07:13 PM | Updated 07:13 PM IST

📅 20 June 1947 — a momentous day

Bodies of Hindus massacred by Muslims in Calcutta in August 1946. (MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE)
Bodies of Hindus massacred by Muslims in Calcutta in August 1946. (MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE)

A row broke out between Bengal Governor C V Ananda Bose and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over Raj Bhavan's celebration of 20 June as the state's Foundation Day.

  • CM Banerjee called the Governor’s decision an attempt to "defame Bengal."

  • She said that ever since Independence, no one had ever celebrated 20 June as the state’s Foundation Day.

  • The date holds immense significance, but the reason Banerjee and others in Bengal are unaware is because of the distortion of history by Marxists who have written school and college textbooks.

  • Add to that the misplaced notion of Hindu-Muslim unity that continues to blindly guide the pseudo-secular lobby in Bengal.

Significance of the date. On 20 June 1947, a majority of the Hindu members of the Bengal Provincial Assembly voted for the partition of Bengal, which led to the formation of West Bengal as part of an independent India.

  • Had the Hindu members of the assembly not voted for partition, West Bengal would have become part of East Pakistan, where Hindus would have been persecuted, killed, forcibly converted to Islam, and forced to seek refuge in other countries, Jaideep Mazumdar writes in Swarajya.

  • Had it not been for that vote to partition Bengal, Bengali Hindus would have been without a homeland of their own today and would definitely have been the largest refugee group in the world, he adds.

  • The credit for avoiding this catastrophe, of course, goes to Syama Prasad Mookerjee (read this), who convinced viceroy Lord Mountbatten to roll out what is known as the Mountbatten Plan.

Mookerjee saved Hindus. Had he not mobilised Hindus in Bengal and top leaders of the Congress party to vote for the partition of Bengal, and had he not convinced Mountbatten to come up with the plan to respect the opinions of the minority communities (Hindus and Sikhs) in Bengal and Punjab provinces, Bengali Hindus would surely have been become ‘stateless’ refugees.

  • Mookerjee launched the Bengali Hindu Homeland Movement to create a homeland for Bengali Hindus within the Indian Union. 

  • This was in response to the Muslim League’s demand for inclusion of the whole of Bengal in the proposed separate country of Pakistan.

  • The Hindu Mahasabha, led by Mookerjee, organised meetings all over Bengal and built up the movement for partition.

  • Mookerjee also got the Indian National Congress to join in.

  • Ultimately, Bengal was partitioned, and Bengali Hindus were saved.

  • Bengali Hindus in West Bengal need to know this, and appreciate that 20 June is actually their day of deliverance.

Bottom line: Not just Governor Bose, all of Bengal needs to celebrate 20 June as a day on which a momentous decision, which led to millions of Hindus being saved, was taken.

Read Jaideep Mazumdar's article in full.

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