Date: 03 Oct 2012


In a message dated 03/10/2012 22:49:18 GMT Daylight Time, XXXXXXXXXXXXXwrites:\\\\\\\\\\ Readers are requested to also read the book 'Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee~a pure & manly life' by Manoj Das Gupta, published by Pondicherry Aurobindo Ashram to discover the truths abt this great humanist, patriot, scholar, non-communal leader, much maligned most unjustly. He was one leader who kept J Nehru red-faced with his just opposition in Parliament. Once Nehru accused him saying,"You divided Bengal" ~ Syamaprasad stood up to reply with sarcasm,"because you divided India". Nehru, the saboteur of India's freedom struggle for his personal ambition, became silent. \\\\\\\\\\\\\ It was a tragic day for Bengal when the Congress declined to support the non-communal Haq's Govt. thereby ushering in Communalism of Jinnah (another cynically ambitious man) to triumph in Bengal and elsewhere, gleefully promoted by the British colonial power. Sad that Subhas Bose was not around to be able to stop this triumph of evil over the good. Earlier, Gandhi's blind sense of rivalry against Subhas when they fought upon principle ~ whether India shd have Dominion Status or to have SOVEREIGN INDEPENDENCE, had led him to support the Nehru, forcing Subhas to leave India for Germany via Russia. The rest is history ~ 2 phenomenally ambitious 'leaders' compromised with nation's freedom struggle coming into secret contract with the British under which the 'Transfer of Power' (colonial Dominion Status ~ not to be confused with 'Independence') was preponed to forestall triumphant imminent re-entry in 1946-47 of Subhas' rejuvenated INA to force British to be defeated politically and militarily and to quit India giving us true independence. Partition on communal lines was thrust upon 2 of the most freedom-fighter producing states ~ Bengal & Punjab so that they were occupied with communal riots with no energy left for continuing with freedom movement. So it was due to the folly of Gandhi that these 2 ambitious leaders Nehru & Jinnah were allowed to ascend to the thrones of the 2 new countries respectively, promising the colonial power that their economical, political, social and other interests would continue to be protected under this pseudo-independence. The result is for all of us to see ~ a dynastic (virtual) monarchy steeped with phenomenal corruption and misgovernance is ruling India on behalf of the Western Capitalist-Imperialists, with Indians feeling unrest but are yet to dislodge them from power to usher in a leader with Netaji's selfless idealism and vision. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\------------------------------------------------------ \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Fazlul Huq and Partition \\\\\\\\\\\\\ 8 September 2012 \\\\\\\\\\\\\ The book adds another tile to the mixed mosaic on Partition and communal violence. Huq does not deserve to be chided for what he could not achieve... A review by chhanda chatterjee \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Fazlul Huq (1873-1962) epitomised the aspirations of Bengal for a united, harmonised and non-communal existence. The defeat of his hopes meant the collapse of all Bengali efforts for a united entity. He represented one of those forces who could identify the evils of landlord oppression, rack-renting of peasantry, usury and sub-infeudation as the bane of Bengali peasant life and would rather concentrate on those issues than dividing the energy and strength of the people on religious politics. Born of a modest talukdar family of Barisal sub-division of Bakharganj district, he had a first-hand experience of the sufferings of the peasantry in the hands of the zamindars and would prefer to address those problems as his first priority. The present work takes us once again into that lost world of united peasant aspirations for dal bhat, which became the slogan of Huq’s Krishak Praja Party during the 1937 provincial assembly elections. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Samindra Mohan Biswas and his doctoral supervisor, Prof. Sushil Chaudhuri, must get the credit for reviving all those questions before us and compelling us to think once again of our priorities. Religion, at least in the case of the unfortunate and fractured province of Bengal, seemed to have acted as ‘the opiate of the poor’ as Karl Marx had pointed out long ago and embroiled its people in an internecine fratricidal struggle which irrevocably sowed the seeds of Partition in the long run and allowed economic reforms to take a back seat for the benefit of the landed and business magnates. \\\\\\\\\\\\ Huq made his early debut into the domain of the public as the editor of the Bengali weekly, Balak, from 1901 to 1906 and the joint editor of the monthly journal, Bharat Suhrid, known for their non-communal views. He made his way into the Bengal Council as an independent candidate, winning a by-election from the Hindu-dominated constituency of Dacca in 1913. In 1916, he took a very prominent part in working out the details of the Lucknow Pact in which the Congress conceded a large weightage to the Muslims. Like some other Muslim politicians of those days he maintained a dual membership of both the Congress and the Muslim League and rose to the position of President in the Bengal Provincial League between 1916 and 1921. He was also elected to the Working Committee of the All-India Muslim League. \\\\\\\\\\\\\ He was closely involved in the Home Rule agitation of 1917 and became a General Secretary of the Congress in the following year. From 1920 to 1923 he remained an elected member to the Bengal Council and in 1924 secured the portfolio of the minister for education. He was instrumental in the formation of the Nikhil Banga Krishak Praja Samiti and was made its President by dint of his ardent championship of peasant interests. His Krishak Praja Party grew as a political wing of the peasant organisation and had the abolition of the zamindari system as its ultimate goal. \\\\\\\\\\\\ Several members of the Hindu intelligentsia were made its members to combat the influence of zamindars and the organisation became quite popular among the jotedars. It was from about this time that Huq began to develop certain differences with Jinnah, who had been relying on the rich non-Bengali businessmen and large zamindars in Bengal, who were organised in the United Muslim Party and were also inducted into the Bengal League Parliamentary Board. This compelled Huq to look for support from the Congress as a counterweight to the League and he became the Mayor of Calcutta Corporation in 1935 with Congress support. But the intolerance of some members who opposed a 25 per cent job reservation for Muslims in the Corporation compelled him to resign his post in protest. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\ However, Jinnah’s continued reliance on Ispahani, Abdur Rahman Siddique and Noor-ud-din prevented a seat adjustment between the Muslim League and the Krishak Praja Party, which were the two most important Muslim parties in Bengal. The members of the United Muslim Party group found Huq’s demand for zamindari abolition and free compulsory primary education to be totally unacceptable. Thus the negotiations for a pre-election seat adjustment collapsed. \\\\\\\\\\\\ Huq had no option but to turn to his erstwhile ally, Congress and could have an electoral understanding for the 1937 elections. This frustrated Jinnah’s claim to be ‘the sole spokesman’ for the Muslims in Bengal and was a welcome shot in the arm for the Congress as it involved the representatives of the Muslim League and the Krishak Praja Party in a direct encounter. The upshot was the emergence of the Congress as the single largest party, with the League and the KPP with quite a number of seats. The KPP was now on the threshold of realising its dreams for a peasant regeneration and the abolition of the zamindari system. An alliance with the Congress would also have weakened the communal elements of the League and reversed the tide of religious struggle to a tide of class struggle. The usual confusion and dilemmas within the Congress now blocked the path. The High Command began to gear up for a fresh bout of confrontation with the government for the huge powers given to the Governor for vetoing the decisions of the ministry. \\\\\\\\\\\\ They attached greater importance to the question of the release of the deportees in the Andamans than to Huq’s agenda for zamindari abolition. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Some contemporary observers say that Huq’s insistence on including his friend Nalini Ranjan Sarkar in the forthcoming cabinet was not to the liking of Sarat Bose, who had sabotaged the negotiations. Apparently the negotiations broke over this question of release of prisoners. \\\\\\\\\\\\ Huq’s political existence now became a pawn in the hands of Jinnah and his toadies of the Ispahani group. The question of zamindari abolition was shelved. The new League KPP government could with great difficulty see the Bengal Tenancy Amendment Bill of 1937 through the assembly. It abolished the transfer fee (salami) and the practice of collecting rent through certificate procedure. \\\\\\\\\\ Although the KPP was facing great internal strain on the question of zamindari abolition and the more radical section composed of Shamsuddin Ahmad, Tamizuddin Khan and Nausher Ali broke away from the government soon after, the credit for even the small doses of agrarian reforms accrued as much to the League as to the KPP who had been its sole architect. \\\\\\\\\\\\ The secession of the radical KPP leaders left Huq totally at the mercy of the League and he was left with no option but to join the League. The necessity of political survival now compelled him to stomach many of the League programmes which were obviously not to his liking. Huq was compelled to make communal speeches at Muhammad Ali Park in Calcutta and at Satana in Lucknow in 1938 and had to observe the ‘Deliverance Day’ when the Congress ministries all over the country resigned in protest against Britain’s declaration of war against Germany in 1939. The climax was the Lahore Resolution (1940), also known as the Pakistan Resolution, asking for a grouping of the Muslim Provinces on two different parts of India. \\\\\\\\\\\\\ But even the worst concessions could not mollify the League and finally in September 1941, Huq had to leave the National Defence Council to get rid of Jinnah’s high-handedness. Jinnah’s answer was the expulsion of Huq from the League in 1941. The fall of the Praja-League ministry followed. Huq established his Progressive Muslim League and pursued the impossible by working out a Progressive Coalition Ministry with the Hindu Mahasabha, Forward Bloc and the Sarat Bose faction of the Congress. The British now contributed their share of woe for Huq. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Sarat Bose was arrested on the charge of having links with the Japanese army, the man-made Bengal famine of 1943 fell with its full blast due to the government’s misguided policy of wartime hoarding of foodgrain and the Huq ministry being in office had to suffer the onus. The Finance Minister Shyama Prasad resigned on the plea of government atrocities on the Midnapore Quit India satyagrahis. To fish in troubled waters, Governor Herbert now started intriguing with the Muslim League driving Haque once again towards resignation. The prospect of a united non-communal Bengal was thus sealed. \\\\\\\\\\\ Historians pondering over the Partition or lamenting the orgies of communal violence which followed, repeatedly walk the labyrinth of the intrigues and negotiations to find out the reasons for the tragedy. Samindra Mohan’s work adds another tile to the mixed mosaic. Huq does not deserve to be chided for what he could not achieve. Rather he deserves our admiration for being one of the few sane voices that tried to stem the tide of communal conflict and direct popular attention to the anomalies of class oppression wherein lies the real cause of anxiety. \\\\\\\\\\\ The writer is Professor, Department of History, Visva-Bharati University \\\\\\\\\\\\ __._,_.___ 000000000