It was 16th August 1946 in Kolkata (then Calcutta). Tens of thousands of Muslims started gathering with arms in the Maidan (a vast ground in central Calcutta) to attend the meeting called by Indian Muslim League.
The meeting was held at the behest of Muhammad Ali Jinnah to compel the British government and Indian National Congress to accept the creation of Pakistan. The day was named as “Direct Action Day”. The very name suggested that they were ready to take action directly and violently at the community level in Kolkata.
At that Time Bengal was under the rule of Muslim League headed by its Prime Minister Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy. The British government knew about the scheme of Suhrawardy but remained silent. Bengali Hindus of Kolkata were as usually delusional.
In the meeting, Suhrawardy gave highly provocative and communally charged speech and asked them to take action directly for the cause of Pakistan. The communal frenzy went at its peak. The General Secretary of Muslim League distributed booklets with an open call for war against others native.
In next 48 hours, Kolkata went on rioting in the Hindu localities of the city through killing, raping, looting and destruction when Suhrawardy and his Muslim League leaders were enjoying the Hindu bloodbath in Kolkata. After two days, Bihari Hindu and Sikh community of Kolkata organized themselves and started to retaliate violently.
When Suhrawardy saw that his people were also being killed by Bihari Hindus and Sikhs, he called for army help after 2 more days and the riot was put under control. Meanwhile, about ten thousand, mostly Hindus, were killed in Kolkata. The common Bengali Hindus were simply trembling within houses with fear and praying for help. Had Bihari Hindus and Sikh would not have responded, Bengali Hindus would have been wiped out from Kolkata then.
Thereafter on 10th October in the same year, Noakhali district (now in Bangladesh) started a massive communal riot against Hindus. The killing, raping, looting, burning and destroying of Hindus and their properties went unabated for days. Mahatma Gandhi went to Noakhali and riot ended after 15 days in the natural process.
In the public meeting at Noakhali, attended by local Muslims, Mahatma Gandhi told that what happened had happened and requested Muslims to allow their Hindu brothers live peacefully without fear. But there was no response from the gathering. Gandhi knew that he had failed and came back. Indian history speaks with great care about Gandhi’s visit to Noakhali, but does not mention about his failure. After two months Gandhi, from Delhi, asked Hindus to leave Noakhali or get killed there.
Bengali Muslims would have taken the whole of Bengal to East Pakistan through these riots and with help from Communist Jyoti Basu and Sarat Chandra Bose of Congress. But it was the great Shyama Prasad Mukherjee who almost single-handedly convinced the British for partition of Bengal and creation of West Bengal where Hindu Bengalis could live as the majority in India.
Bengali Hindus are so shameless that they could cunningly extract virtue out of their cowardice. After partition, millions of Bengali Hindus left East Pakistan and migrated to West Bengal. Bengali Hindus never learned anything from history. They remained as delusional as they were. In West Bengal, they became ‘secular’ and supported Jyoti Basu, who refused to condemn Calcutta killing at that time and allowed Communists to rule the state for 34 years.
Through sustained Minority appeasement during Congress, Communist and present TMC rule in the state, encouraging millions of illegal Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh during last 70 years, and infiltration by many Islamists groups from Bangladesh, the whole of West Bengal and Kolkata have come full circle and are ready once again for repetition of Great Kolkata Killing and district level massive riots against Bengali Hindus.
Bengali Hindus of West Bengal have no understanding of the saying,
“If you forget history you are doomed to repeat it.”
- Wikipedia- Direct Action Day
- Tanika Sarkar, Sekhar Bandyopadhyay. Calcutta: The Stormy Decades. Taylor & Francis. p. 441. ISBN 1-351-58172-4.
- Tsugitaka, Sato (2000). Muslim Societies: Historical and Comparative Aspects. Routledge. p. 112. ISBN 0-415-33254-0.
- Programme for Direct Action Day, Star of India, Published: 13 August 1946.
- Das, Suranjan (2012). “Calcutta Riot, 1946”. In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh(Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
- Chakrabarty, Bidyut (2004). The Partition of Bengal and Assam, 1932–1947: Contour of Freedom
- The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League and the Demand for Pakistan.
- The Calcutta Riots of 1946 The Encyclopedia of Mass Violence
Views expressed above are the author’s own.