Plight of East Bengali Hindus in the post 1950 period


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to understand the situation of Bengali Hindus in the 1930-1950 period. Sri Mandal’s foolish support for Pakistan resulted in Sylhet , an area of 10,000 sq km, going to Pakistan  and additional 2 million Hindu (including SC Hindus) refugees.

So what happened to East Bengali Hindu refugees after 1950?

In 1950 India and Pakistan signed a treaty of treatment of minorities. It allowed refugees to return to dispose of their property, to allow for return of abducted women, to derecognize forced conversions and in general guarantee minority rights. This treaty proved absolutely disastrous for Bengali Hindu refugees. This is because while in the Punjab there was complete exchange of population that was not the case in Bengal. For every Bengali Muslim who went to East Pakistan ten Bengali Hindus arrived in West Bengal. So while in the Punjab, Punjabi Hindu/Sikh refugees got access to abandoned Muslim properties, the vast majority of Bengali Hindus became destitute. Moreover the Bengali Hindu refugees got no central help since they were told that they could always return to East Pakistan and take advantage of the India-Pakistan treaty that guaranteed minority rights in both countries! Of course we know how Pakistan treated its minorities. This has left behind a bitterness against Nehru and Gandhi in Bengal.

The Bengal situation since 1950 has seen a steady migration of Bengali Hindus into Assam and West Bengal. This has resulted in disturbances in Meghalaya and Assam and mistreatment of Bengali Hindu refugees there. From 1971 there has also been a steady migration of Bengali Muslims into India. In the mean time the Bengali Hindu refugees became political football in West Bengal. They were used by the Communists to make inroads in West Bengal. Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, the second CM of West Bengal, devised plans to settle the Bengali Hindu refugees in Bastar (currently a Maoist stronghold in Chattisgarh) and in the Andaman Nicobar islands.  The Communists launched violent protests to stop this resettlement process. In 1982, however, when a group of Bengali Hindus left Bastar and settled in Marichjhapi in the Sundarbans, they were violently expelled by the Jyoti Basu government. Probably hundreds were killed.

The treatment of Bengali Hindus in East Pakistan and currently in Bangladesh is a taboo subject in West Bengal. People demonstrate for the distressed people in Vietnam, Cuba, Palestine etc while ignoring the plight of Hindus in neighbouring country.  The leftist ideology and secularism are the main reasons for this taboo. Very few books have been written on this subject. The current Meghalaya Governor Sri Tathagatha Roy has recently written a book the treats seriously the plight of Bengali Hindus. Of course the secularists are mum on this subject.

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3 Replies to “Plight of East Bengali Hindus in the post 1950 period”

  1. Have all non leftist, non pseudo secular intellectuals left Bengal?It is great to know about Governor Shri Tathagata Roy’s book. Is there a glimmer of hope now?

    1. I hope that non-leftist and non pseudo secular intellectuals are still there in Bengal.

      Bengal press is behaving in a hilarious manner. Today’s ‘EI Samay’ (the Bengali arm of Times of India) had a big item right on the first page that says that many seculars are renouncing Hindu Dharma and declaring themselves as humanists. Reading the article would give one an impression that the number of such super secular people is becoming a tidal wave. The current Megahalaya Governor Tathagata Roy has twitted that the number of such people is around 20 !!!

      1. It is shocking to see how deeply deracinated many “bhadralok” are. I think it is most stark in West Bengal. The height of deracination is so intense that the BJP win is being equated to “Sadhus and Sants” (as though it is some derogatory and backward thing) controlling politics and government in the country by some otherwise perfectly sane and intelligent people.

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