Monday, August 31, 2009

Bangladesh, Famine-1943 (contd-1)

A "scorched earth" policy was implemented in the Chittagong region, nearest the Burmese border ,while large amount of rice were exported to the Middle East to feed British and Indian troops there, and to Ceylon, which have been heavily dependent on Burmese rice before the war, and where large military establishments were being created as it was feared that the Japanese might invade the Island.

Winston Churchill was the Prime Minister of the time, his involvement in the disaster and indeed his knowledge of it remains a mystery.When in response to an urgent request by by the secretary of state for India ., Leo Amery, and Wavel to release food stocks for india in a telegram saying Bengal famine was one of the greatest disasterthat had befallen any people under British rule and damage to our reputation here both among Indians and foreigners in India was incalculable. Churchil responded with telegram to Wavel asking , if food was so scarce, "why Gandhi hadn't died yet." Initially during the famine he was more cxoncerned with the civilians of the Greece (who was also suffering from famine)compared with the Bengalis. In the end Churchil did ask for US assisstance, writing to Roosevelt that he was "no longer justified in not asking for aid" but American reponse was negative.

The Bengal Govt. failed to prevent rice exports, and made little attempt to import surpluses from elsewhere in India, or to buy up stocks fromspeculators to redistribute to the starving. In a recent book "Liberty or death, India's Journey to Independence and Division " by Patrik French, one finds that though there was no grain going for India, food supplies and the transport to carry them had been made available for Holland. British politicians like Churchil seemed content to let India starve, while still wanting to use it as a base for military operations.

The role of the Bengal Government

Not only the press and public but the Govt. of India did not spare the provincial ministry for its inefficiency and lack of will to act. The Statesman , the leading Calcutta News paper, consistently pilloried Surawardy and the Bengal Ministryin mismanaging the food situation. The attack against Govt. was launched two counts ineptitude and Indifferent attitude of the Ministry and all pervasive maladministration.

Bangladesh, Famine, 1943

Bengal witnessed several famines during British rule in India. Amongst them two were of serious nature. One in 1770 (known as Chiattarer Manwantar) and the other in 1943, Great famine. The first one was at the initial stage of British rule but the latter, known as great famine of 1943, looked like the terminal disease of British Imperial rule. Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, the prophet of Indian Nationalism, wrote his famous novel , "Anandamath" with the battle cry of "Bandemataram" in the context of the agony evoked by the ravages of the famine of 1770.

Bankim Chandra Chatterjee
Bengal had 30 to 40 famines during 182 years of British rule . The last big famine in Bengal occurred during WW II ( 1939-1945). During 1942-1943 at least 4 million people of Bengal lost their lives due to hunger or malnutrition. Nobel laureate Amartya Sen had demonstrated quite convincingly that the famine was man-made.People died not of shortage of food but of drastic slump in food production. Dr. sen was of opinion that there was no overall shotage of rice in Bengal in143-availability was actually slightly higher than in 1941,when there was no famine.
Food Availability Decline or Man Made;
Food shortages were worsened by the second World War,with British administration of Indiaexporting foods to Allied soldiers. The table would give actual information,
Year............Rice Production in Million Tons
1938. .......... 8,474
Amartya Sen had cast doubt on the idea that the rice shortage was due to a fall of production. He quotedofficial records for rice production in Bengal in the years leading upto 1943 as reported in the table above.
Amartya Sen had recently estimated that three million might be be slightly too high an estimate and that two to two and a half million might more accurate loss of lives.He also said that famines do not occur in functioning democracies.
Another Nobel Laureate Kenneth Arrow provided a discussion of this argument. It should be noted that during 1950 to 1984, in the days of Green Revolution round the Globe, grain production increased by 250 %.

Amartya Sen

The root of this famine had been demarcated as the situation caused by sudden turn of WW II since 1942 in the eastern part of Asia. 1. Burma fell under Japan in 1942 and the flow of rice from Burma was disrupted. 2. INA led by Netaji Subhas Bose with the assisstance of Japanese soldiers was proceeding towards India with the slogan "Dilli Chalo", food shortage was artificially created so that INA and other soldiers would face trouble. 3. By Dec 1942, the price of rice was made to increase double of the previous price.

The coming of the famine by the middle of 1943 was preceded by a political crisis in bengal. Sir John Herbert the governor dislodged Huq ministry by devious means. A new ministry under Nazimuddin was installed on 24 April 1943with the support of European legislators. On assuming charge Surawardy redirected the strategy of the civil supply department . He launched a de-hoarding drive in the rural areas. the coercive method of the Govt. became counter productiveand the situation ran out of control.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bangladesh, Quit India Movement

In an article, published in Harijan on 19 April, !942, Gandhiji, for the first time, suggested that in orderly and timely British withdrawal from India would be better for the safety and interest of both . He openly declared that there was an end of all ideas of co-operation and friendly understanding between Britain and India, which Subhas Bose had persistently tried to make the congress adopt this policy, but failed.

Jawaharlal Nehru

Now, it was the general view of the Congress except J.Nehru who held very strongly that in any case India must fight with Britain against Fascism. But Gandhiji was firm in his present attitude and told Azad in unqualified terms that if the Japanese Army ever came into India, it would come not as enemy of India but enemy of British. He also told Azad about the "Quit India Movement " for the first time on 5th july, !942. and actually on 14th July,1942, at Wardha Congress Working Committee took the resolution of Quit India Movement.

Abul Kalam Azad

Quit India resolution :

On 14 July 1942, the Working Committee passed a long resolution, generally referred t held at Haripurao as the Quit India resolution. It renewed the demand that British rule in India must end immediately and reiterated the view that the freedom of India was necessary not only in the interest of India but also for the safety of of the world and for the ending of Nazism, Fascism, Militarism and other forms of Imperialism, and the agression of one nation over another.

Let us recall the last sentence of the lecture delivered by Subhas Chandra Bose in his Presidentioal address at Haripura Congress held at Haripurain Feb 1938.

We are, thetrefore, fighting not for the cause of India alone but of humanity as well. India freed means humanity saved.

We say that what Subhas thought in 1938, Congress took four years more to conclude. Hence we could have earned our freedom at least four years earlier.

Bangladesh, Subhas Chandra Bose

Subhas Chandra entered the Freedom Struggle for Indian in July,1921 and was arrested in a mass movement on 10 Dec 1921. He was arrested, for short and long period including his stay in Europe from 1933 to 1936,11 times till he was in India. He left India with a mission, to make India free by revolutionary means, on 17 Jan 1941, at 1,15 A.M.
Before his departure he was arrested, for the last time in India, on 2 July 1940, as he was looked by the British Govt. as a dangerous revolutionary , under section 129 Of the Defence of India Rules. He decided to go on hunger strike on 26 Nov 1940 and wrote a letter to the Governor of Bengal and His Ministries (Huq Ministry) in the following lines,
The individual must die, so that the nation may live. Today I must die so that India may win Freedom and glory.
He started his fast on 29 Nov 1940. But as he was developing alarming symptoms, Govt. released him and kept him at his house at Elgin Road under strict surveillanceby the Police.
Tokyo Military Training

INA parade on 5 July 1943

Subhas Bose laying foundation stone at Singapore on 8 July 1945

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Bangladesh, Reactions of WWII (contd-1)

Declaration of war by Britain against Germany automatically made India a belligerent , as in 1914 excepting the popular ministries in the provinces at present, in 1939. The non-Congress ministries, in Punjab, Bengal ( Huq Ministry) and Sindh pledged their full support to Britain. The indian States were sloidly behind the Govt. The National Liberal Federation and Hindu Mahasabha were also offered their support to Govt. But the Congress refused to cooperate with it in any way.Though Gandhi and Nehru had some softness towards Great Britain, but following the decision of Forward Bjoc led by Subhas Chandra Bose, Congress in the Working Committee resolved that it was an unequivocal reiteration of the old Imperialist policy. Accordingly all the Congress Ministry resigned between 27 Oct and 15 Nov, 1939.

German troops in France

Japanese Forces

Bangladesh, Reactions of WW II

At the end of 30s (1 Sep 1939), German invaded Poland and two days later England and France declared war against Germany. Thus began WW II. Hitler turning to the west successively overran Norway and Denmark in April 1940, Holland, Bilgium and Luxembourg in May 1940. Then came the turn of France. Within few days France came under the foot of Hitler. Though Britain was not directly attacked, she suffered a great deal from air bombing.
German Troops, 1935

German plane bombing Warsaw in 1939

Clockwise from top left: 1. Commonwealth troops,2. Japanese buries Chinese,3. Soviet soldiers,4. Japanese,5. Soviet troops, 6. German Submarine

Both sides gained new allies. First Italy (11 Jine,1940)and Japan (7 Dec !941) joined Germany to form axis against France and Britain. The USA joined the Allies onMarch 1941, as a result of Japan's action. Italy invaded Somaliland to move the war to Northern africa, , germany invaded Greece, Yugoslavia and Crete. Axis powers initially wason the offensive. Hitler suddenly invaded Russiaon 22 June, 1941 and the whole scenario was completely changed.

Imperialist war turned into Peoples' war.

Bangladesh, Bengal Pact

After the suspension of the non-cooperation movement following the incident of Chauri Chaura on 5th Feb. 1922, Congress was divided in two Camps, 1. Known as Pro-changer followers of C.R.Das and Motilal Nehru, 2. No-changer follower of Gandhi. Pro-Changers were of opinion to utilise the Legislative Council as the forum for non-cooperation movement and the No-Changers wanted to the temptations of holding ministerial office. The leaders with the former opinion formed a new party within th e Congress known as Swarajya Party to utilise the Legislative Assembly.Within a very small span of time C.R.Das was to assemble the stalwarts of Bengal on to his side, such as, J.M.Sengupts, an able lawyer of Chittagong, Naliniranjan Sarker, a self-made businessman from Mymensingh, B.N.Sasmal, a lawyer from Midnapore, Nirmal Chandra Chunder, a wealthy Calcutta barrister, Tulsi Goswami, a talented Speaker, Bose brothers.
In the 1923 election of the Bengal Legislative Council, Swarajya Party supported an independent candidate, Dr. B.C.Roy, who defeated the most famous Bengal Moderate, Surendranath Banerjee, in the 24-Parganas north Municipal constituency.Thus Sarker, Goswami, Chunder, Sarat Bose, and Dr. Roy (big five)were dubbed into Das's Party. Kiran Sankar Roy, Anil Baran Roy, Pratap chadra Guha roy, Maulana Akram Khan, and Satya ranjan Baksi were also included in Swarajya Party.
Das not only included some important persons, but he tried to give each one them responsible job suited to them.
Bengal Pact:
After finishing the organisational part he adopted another strategy for success of his programme. He felt that Muslim support was crucial in the battle between Swarajists and No-changers. Muslims were majority in Bengal and about 2o % of India's population, so the nationalists could not ignoresuch a substantial segment of the community.
Even at the time when Bengal and other parts of India weredisturbed with communal riots, he forged the Bengal Pact in 1923 with the muslim Leaders of Bengal, such as, A.K.fazlul Huq, H.S. Surawardy and others. He agreed that Muslims-who lagged in Govt. employment -would get 60 % of all new appointments in political arenaswhere the Swarajists wetre elected to power. This would continue till they hild the office. He promised even a greater share of appointments in the Calcutta Corporation if the Swarajists were successful there. an analysis of the Bengal Provincial Congress Committee revealed that only 13 % of the membership were Muslim. But Das' influencewas sufficient for the Pact to secure passage. Many politically active Muslims thought it was a sign of Das' good faith and non-communal spiritduring his lifetime.Dasraised the proposal in the same ine in the Cocananda session of the congress in Dec 1923.
Under the 1919 Govt. of India Act (Montagu-Chelmsford reform), a system of dyarchy together with the expanded legislative Councils was instituted . In Bengal , the new Council was to have 140 members.114 electedand 26 nominated. Of the elected seats, 39 were for Muslims, 57 were general or Hindu Constituencies. There were also elected seats for Europeans, Anglo-Indians, Commercial Bodies, and nominated seats (not more than twenty) ina variety of categories. Dyarchy meant that there were some dept. where there would be some minister in charge of them, such finance, security etc. Swarajists contested but Congress boycotted though moderates and liberals paticipated.
In the election of 1923 Swarajists won 47 seats and many independents sympathetic to them also won. They formed a powerful Party in the Council. C.R.Das led the Swarajists in the council of chamber to block the activities of the Govt when posible.Though the Govt. tried to break the bengal Pact but their effort failed due to the Muslim backers including H.s.Surawardy.

Motilal Nehru

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bangladesh, Sarat Chandra Bose

Another important person who atleast thought of the problem of Hindu- Muslim relation of Bengal was Sarat Chandra Bose, fourth child and second son of his parents, Janaki Nath Bose and Prabhabati Devi. Sarat Chandra was born in Cuttack in 1889. He was eight years old than Subhas Chandra Bose.

Sarat Chandra Bose

Sarat became and remained a devout Hindu throughout his life and did his puja to the mother Goddess every morning . He was most respectful of his parents.He was also affected by the religious revivalism of the late ninteenth century as preached by Swami Vivekananda. With these traditional Hindu elements he was admitted in the Protestant European School in Cuttack to learn perfect English in reading, writting and speaking. He became a superb orator in English , particularly in the chambers of Bengal Legislative Council and the Calcutta High Court. He was proud of his deep resonant voice. He often went with his brothers and friends , when young, to the banks of Mahanadi and used to recite Shakespeare or famous speaches of British leaders, projecting their voices across the wide river.

He studied in Ravenshaw Collegiate School, Cuttack and Presidency College, Calcutta. While studying in Presidency College, the locus of Bose was shifted to Calcutta. From 1773 to 1912 Calcutta was the Capital of British India as well as a commercial, industrial, financial,political and cultural center of eastern India or rather whole of India. Sarat entered Presidency College at the age of 16 in the momentous year 1905. Sarat chandra later mentioned that he used to sing Swadeshi song in the streets at that time and became connected with Congress. But no political record of his participation was available till 1920. He marche at that time with thousands of young boys- sometimes led by Rabindra nath Tagore. He was avid buyer and reader of literature, history, religion and politics. Sarat after passing BL from Calcutta University enrolled himself as a vakil in Cuttack where he started his legal apprenticeship. Sarat left for London for higher studies in 1912. At his time going to England for higher studies was not rare as it was in the time of M.K. Gandhi who went there in 1888.

After finishing his course and sight seeing Sarat returned to Calcutta in the summer of 1914.

Bangladesh, C.R.Das

Many bright sons were born in Bengal but very few of them, probably one or two, offered due importance in improving the communal relations between Hindus and Muslims, the ultimate cause partition of Bengal. Deshabandhu Chittaranjan Das was one among the two

Chittaranjan Das was born in Calcutta on 5th Nov. 1870. He was one year junior to M.K.Gandhi.
He was a staunch non-believer of non-violent and non-cooperation movement advocated by M.K.Gandhi. He believed in constitutional methods to attain India's Freedom. Though he was an important personality during the time of non-coopereation movement from 1919 to 1922. It was He who started the boycott of British or Western dresses.He was apointed the Mayor of Calcutta Corporation after it was formed . He attended Gaya round of conference of India National Congress. His career in law kicked off in the year 1909 when he successfully defended Aurobindo Ghosh in Alipore bomb blast case. He was calle d Deshabandhu by his countrymen.
During non-cooperation movement he set many examples, such as, burning his own western clothes, sending his wife and son to jail and others. He, along with Motilal Nehru and Srinivas Ayyangar, founded "Swarajya Dal" in 1922 and came out successfully in the Election of 1923. He published a daily paper, FORWARD, to narrate and explain his edeals in 1923. In that year he formed a pact known as BENGAL PACT with Bengal Muslim Leaders depicting "unity from the top", which he aimed at "a strange marriage" to uplift the religio-communal consciousness among the two communities. But bad luck for Bengal he died on 16th june 1925 and the Bengal Pact died a premature death.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bangladesh, Khwaja Najimuddin

Khwaja Nazimuddin (1894-1964), a politician, Prim Minister ( chief minister was then termed as Prime Minister)of undivided Bengaland and later Governor General and Prlme Minister of Pakistan. He received his education from a house tutor in his adolescenceand then at Aligarh College and Danston Grammer School in London.He completed MA from Trinity hall in Cambridge and Bar at law from Middle Temple.
He became Cairman of the Dhaka Municipality from 1922 to 1929 when he introduced compulsory primary education in the Municipality. He was also a member of the executive Council of Dhaka University.He was elected member of Bengal Legislative Assembly from Barisal costituency in 1923,1926,and 1929 and was education Minister of bengal from 1929 to June 1934. He took active part in passing the compulsory primary education bill in 1930. From 1934-1936 he was a member of the Executive Council of the Govt. of Bengal. He took initiaive for the enactment of 'Bangiya Rin Salisi Board' Bill 1935 and 'Bangiya Palli Unnayan' Bill 1936.
In the election of 1937, he, contesting from MuslimLeague, was defeated by A.K.Fazlul Huq of
KPP leader in the Patuakhali constituency. but later on he won from the north calcutta constituency vacated by H.S. Surawardy. he assisted M.A.Jinnah in reorganising the Muslim League and became known as a high ranking party leader. In 1937 he was appointed as a Home Ministerin Huq's coalition Ministry.On 1 Dec., 1941 he resigned from the cabinet because of dissension between Huq and Jinnah. During Shyama-Huq coalition from 1941-1943, he acted as the leader of opposition party.On 24 April 1943 Muslim formed the Ministry of Bengal and He became the Prime minister. The cabinet was dissolved on 28 march, 1945. He was a member of Indian delegation to the food conference held in United States in 1945 and represented India at the united nations meeting held in Geneva in 1946. He was a member of AIML from 1937 to 1947.

Bangladesh, Bengal Muslim League

Two wings of Muslim League were formed with the intrduction of the partition of Bengal in 1905. In the new province of Eastern Bengal and Assam known as EBAML (East Bengal and Assam Muslim League) and in West Bengal WBML (West Bengal Muslim League). To help forming the EBAML a provisional committee was formed with Choudhuri KazemuddinAhmed Siddiki as president and Nawab Salimullah as Secretary. EBAML was given a concrete shape on 17 march, 1911at a meeting at Ahsan Manjil . Eleven noted MuslimS of East Bengal were elected as vice-presidents while Khalilur Rahman and Maulavi AmeeruddinAhmed were elected Joint Secretaries.The leadership of the EBAML worked hard to gain support from the AIML in favour of sustaining the new province of East Bengal and Assam in the face of strong opposition from the Congress. Sub-divisional branches were gradually formed and petitions and deputations to British Govt. were arranged for demanding separate electorate.
Calautta based WBML (West Bengal Muslim League) was formed on 21 Jan 1909 with Prince Jehander Mirza as president and Syed Shamsul Huda as Secretary.
Following the annulment of the partition ob Bengal both the league were amalgamated into one on 2 March,1912 with Nawab Salimullah as elected President while Nawab Ali Choudhury and Zahid Surawardy as Secretaries, BarristerAbdur Rasul as elected treasurerand Abul Kasem as Joint Secretary. By 1946, BPML suceeded in building itself up the most effective organisation of the Muslims of Bengal . In the election of 1946, it captured 110 seats among117 reserved seats in Muslim Constituencies of Bengal.
This was possible in the course of the office hold of Bengal Ministry, after the submission of resignation of Fazlul Huq to John Herbert who himself drafted the resignation letter, in 1943. The leadership was taken by Khwaja Nazimuddin of BPML as cheif Minister.

Khwaja Nazimuddin

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bangladesh, A. K. Fazlul Huq (contd-4)

Benifits of Huq Ministry
A.K.fazlul Huq took the charge of the Bengal ministry twice during 1 April,1937 to 28th March, 1943 with different set of partners. In the First Ministry ( 1 April,1937 to 2nd Dec, 1941) he formed the Ministry with Muslim League , some other small Prties and some individuals. In the Second Ministry ( 12 Dec. 1941- 28 March, 1941) he formed alliances with Congress, Forward Bloc, Hindumahasabha, krishak Praja Party (Shamsuddin), and KPP (Huq), 8 members and 1 parliamentary Secretary (Khwaja Habibulla, Khan Bahadur Abdul Karim, Khan Bahadur Hasem Ali Khan, Shamsuddin Ahmed, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Santosh Kumar Bose, Pramathnath Banerjee, and Upendra Nath Barman. It was actually all party Ministry without League
It was seen that in the formation of the first Ministry he was willing to form an alliance with Congress. But it was due to Congress that such thing did not materialise.
Huq was popularly known as Sher-e-Bangla or Huq-Saheb .
During the first Ministry (1937-1941) Huq did some laudable workfor the amelioration of the sufferings of the poor peasants. He prtected the poor agriculturists from the clutches of the usurious creditorsby enforcing the Bengal Agricultural Debtors' Act (1938). He also set up the Debt Settlement Boards in all parts of Bengal. The Money Lenders' Act (1938)and the Bengal Tenancy (Amendment) Act, 1938, improved the lot of the peasants.The land Revenue Commission appointed by the Govt. of Bengal, on 5th Nov. 1938, with Sir Francis Flout as chairman, submitted the final report on 21 March 1940. This was the most valuable document related to the land system of the country. The tenancy act of 1885 was amended by the act 1938 and thereby enhancement of rent was suspended for 10 years. It also abolished all kinds of taxes imposed , time to time, by the Zamindars to its raiyats.The raiyats got the rights of transfer their land without paying any taxes to the Zamindars. The law also reduced the interest of the loan from 12.5 % to 6.25 %. Though Huq was not able to provide with Dal-Bhat to all as announced inhis election menifesto still he was able to give some relief to the peasants.
Huq introduced reservation 0f 50% of govt. services to the Muslims and implemented it. He also introduced 15 % reservation for Schduled Castes. As education minister he acceleratedthe speed of Muslim education. He was associated with many institution and established Islamia College (Maulana Azad college) , Lady Brabourne College and Wazid Memorial high school in Calcutta and Chakkar College.
The second ministrhy (1941-1943) he turned out essentially into a front against Muslim League and made the influence of the league from the minds of Bengali Muslims to a Minimum.
From the 1942 Huq opposed the two nation theory and devoted his entire energy to reduce the influence of the Muslim League. During 1943 to 1946 he continuously opposed the League.

Bangladesh, A.K. Fazlul Huq (contd-3)

Fazlul Huq drafted the election manifesto of KPP in 1936 and he vehemently opposed the Muslim League led by Jinnah. He wanted to build up a new Bengal with all round development of all sections of people. He defeated Sir Khwaja Nazimuddin at the Patuakhali Constituency.

Khwaza Nazimuddin

BoldIn the 1937 election KPP secured third largest position in Bengal, Congress stood first and muslim got second position. As Congress was unwilling to form a coaltion Govt. KPP and Muslim League with some other groups and persons, formed the coalition Govt. in Bengal in 1937,when Fazlul Huq became the Chief Minister and leader of his parliamentary group of 35 MLAs. On 1 April,1937 he took oath as the leader of the coalition Govt. Sir Anderson (1932-1937), consisted of , Besides Huq as Chief Minister holding the portfolio of Education, 5 Hindus and 5 Muslim ministers. Nalini Ranjan Sarker, Finance, Bijoy Prasad Singha Roy, revenue, Maharaja Siris Chandra Nandy, communication and public works, Prasanta deb Raikut, forest and exercise, Mukunda behari Mallik, cooperative credit and rural indebtedness, Sir Khwaja nazimuddin, home, Nawab Khwaja Habibullah, agriculture and industry, H.S, Surawardy, commerce and labor, Nawab Musharaf Hussain , judicial and legilative, Syed Nausher Ali, public heaith and local self govt.

Not understanding the weaknesses of a coalition Govt. with varying ideologies, The KPP pressed for some radical changes in agriculture and social systems. Moreover a number of LPP party members voted against the budget along with the congress on 29 July, 1937, After some days 21 left wing members from KPP left the coalition and Huq became dependent on League.

Due to constant stress and strain, ultimately, Huq resigned on 2 Dec. 1941 and again formed another govt. known as Shyama-Huq ministry on 12 Dec. 1941. Huq's second ministry got the support of Congress, Forword Bloc, Hindu Mahasabha, KPP(shyansuddin), KPP(Huq), Independents. It was an all party ministry except League.

Being out of the office of the Ministry , The Muslim League got its only duty to find fault in Mukherjee-huq ministry. the second ministry also did not last long and a league dominated third ministry with Nazimuddin as chief Minister took the office.

Bangladesh, A.K.Fazlul Huq (contd-2)

Huq joined the Khilafat Movement in 1919. But But he had differences with the Congress leaders on the question of Non-Cooperation. He supported the boycott of British goods and titles related to the programme of the Non-cooperation Movement adopted by the Congress in 1920. But he was opposed to the idea of boycotting of schools and colleges, particularly considering the backward condition of the Muslim community. He felt that the boycott resolution would hamper the progress of the Muslim boys and girls. He, therefore, left the Congress.
In 1920 Huq brought out a daily paper Nabajug edited by Kazi Nazrul Islam and Muzzaffar Ahmed. The deposit of this paper was confiscated several timesdue to the anti-Govt. policy. So he could not run this paper for long period. He devoted his time to the cause of Muslim education and became leading figure of the Muslim Educationa Conference. In 1924 he became the Education Minister for about six months dyarchy in Bengal. As education Minister he had undertaken several measures to create educational infrastructure inthe country.He assisted the deserving Muslim students by creating a muslim Educational Fund. He also made reservation of seats for Muslim students in all the Govt. educational Institutions affiliated to the Calcutta University.
His political strategy was to make the rural elite. He founded a sort lived Cacutta Agricultural Institution in 1917 and another Praja Party in 1929 which was transformed into Nekhil Banga Praja Samitywith Sir Abdur Rahman as president, himself and Khan Bahadur Abdul Momin as vice-presidents. Due to differences he renamed the samity as Krisak Praja Party (KPP) in 1935. Under his leadership the KPP started a mass movement to protect the rights of the peasants against the money-lenders and Zamindars. Thus LPP became popular and captured 35 seats in the state election of 1937 winning third highest position in the assembly and could form the first Bengal ministry of which Huq was the cheif-minister.

A. K. Fazlul Huq

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Bangladesh, A.K.Fazlul Huq (contd-1)

Sir Ashutosh mukherjee
Being advised by Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee he joined the Calcutta High Court and started legal practice.
In 1913 Huq became the Secretary of the Bengal Provincial Muslim Leagueand continued in this post till 1916. Previously, he took an active part in forming the All India Muslim Leagueat Daccaon 30 Dec. 1906. Huq was the President of All India Muslim Leaguefrom 1916 to 1921. As a member of the Indian National Congress he was also actively connected with this organisation.Huq was one of those who were instrumental of formulating the Lucknow pact of 1916 between the Congress and the Muslim League. In 1917 Huq was a joint secretary of the Indian National Congress and in 1918-1919 he served this organisation as a General Secretary.In 1918 Huq Presided over the Delhi session of the of the All India Muslim League . In 1919 Fazlul was chosen as a member of the Punjab enquiry committeealong with Motilal Nehru, Chittaranjan Dasa nd other prominent leaders set up by the Indian National Congress to go into the Jalianwalah Bagh Massacre. Huq was the President of the Midnapore session of the Provincial Conference in 1920.
Motilal Nehru

Chittaranjan Das

Bangladesh, A. K. Fazlul Huq

A.K.Fazlul Huq(1873-1962) was born in his mother, Saidunnisa's town of Saturia in Jhalokati District, Bangladesh, on 26 Feb 1873. His Father Muhammad Wazid was a renowned lawyer in Barisal court. Fazlul Huq passed entrance Exam. in 1890 from Barisal Zilla School. Obtained BA (with triple honours in Physics, Chemistry and Mathemaics) from Presidency College and MA in Mathematics from Calcutta University. He completed his formal education by passing BL from University Law College in 1897.

Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy

Aswini Kumar Dutta
He started his careeras an apprentice under Ashutosh Mukherjee. He was loved by Aswini Kumar Dutta, Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy and others. After the death of his father he began his Practice in Barisal Court.From 1908-1912 he was Assistant Registrar of Co-operatives. He resigned from public service and started legal practice in Calcutta High Court. Under the influence of Sir Khwaza Salimullahand Nawab Ali Choudhury he got into politics and was elected as a member in the Bengal Legislative Council in 1913, defeating his powerful rival Rai Bahadur Kumar Mahendra Nath Mitra.

Sir Khwaza Salimullah

Nawab Ali Choudhury

Bangladesh, Coalition Ministry, !937

Under the provincial Constitution imposed on Bengal by Govt. of India Act 1935,Bengali Hindus were permanently debarred from excercising any political Power in their province.
250 seats in Bengal Legislative Assembly were apportioned as follows,
1. 117 for Muslims of Bengal elected by only Muslim electorate,
2. 48 for any resident of Bengal elected by general frnchise,
3. 30 for persons belonging to Hindu "Scheduled" castes-certain castes regarded as "depressed" elected by general franchise,
4. 19 seats for reprentatives of industries, commmerce, elected by their electorate,
5. 11 seats for Europeans,persons of British origintemporarily residing in Bengal , elected by their electorate,
6. 8 for labor, chosen by their special electorate,
7. 5 for land owners , chosen by their special electorate,
8. 3 for Anglo Indians, chosen by their special electorates,
9. 2 for Indian Christians, chosen by their special electorate,
10. 2 for universities
11. 2 for woman,
12. 2 for Muslim woman,
13. 1 for Anglo-Indian woman.
As a result of this act, Bengal Hindus were eligible to compete in 117 (250-117-11-2 -2-1= 117 ), seats at most, to be elected by general franchise. Even among these 117 seats, 30 were reserved for scheduled castes,quite arbitrary picked. On the other hand,
Muslims could contest 203 seats (117+48+19+8+5+2+2+2= 2o3), 117 to be elected by a Muslim electorate. Based on 1931 census numbers of Muslim population in Bengal were
52-54 %, which clearly did not justify the numerical distribution of 203-117, even if one wwas to accept the underlying premise of communal and castiest electorate . British community of Bengal was given 4 % of seats in Assembly when there population was not above 0.0004 %. In reality the position of Hindus was even worse than what this unfair statute implies.They did not win 117 seats they were eligible for . Besides some of the winners, from both high as well as scheduled castes joined with Muslims against general Hindu group, including Nalini Ranjan Sarker, finance minister in Huq-league ministry formed in 1937, whose resignation or lack thereof , was the subject of Gandhi.
In such a condition Congress emerged as the largest party in the legislative assembly, followed by Muslim League and Krishak Praja party. Bengal Muslim votes were almost evenly split between all -india Muslim league , which in Bengal was the party of upper class Muslims, and Fazlul Huq's Krishak Praja party (KPP),which was the party of peasants and tenants. Because ofthe electoral system described above, a coalition system was inevitable. Huq first approached the Congress, but AICCwas unwilling to co-operate with any other party in provinces where they did not have absolute majority.That forced Huq to join with the league to form the Ministry and eventually the focus of KPP-League coalition shifted from socio-economic reforms to communal issues.
Congress refusal was a mistake. Because of the numerical distribution, coalition ministry was inevitable. In assam Congress did decide to share a power in a coalition Govt. A.K. Fazlul Huq (1873-1962)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bangladesh, Result after the result of the election,1935

Dr. Ramesh majumdar in his history book, History of Freedom Movement, mentioned it appeared that not only Nehru, president of the Congress, other Congress leaders also thought that the Muslim League had no great hold over the country..... Jawaharlal Nehru announed in March 31, 1937, that a separate dept. would be started to organise the Muslims outside the Congress which already been started in UP where Muslim League had strong hold.
The appeal to the upper classes was rather sordid in character, and its term were implicit rather than explicit. In effect, though not in actual words, it amounted to aninsiduous propaganda of the following type :
"Political power with all its patronage and influence it implied was now exclusively in the hands of the Congress and there it would remain. True to its principles, Congress would not deny a fair share of its appoinments from Ministers office downwards to the Moslem minority , but it could not be expected to bestow them on any but congress Moslems. For a Moslem to stay in the League , therefore, was to condemn himself to a lifetime in the wilderness.
Jinnah took up the challenge. In his presidential address at the Lakhnau session of the Muslim League he said that the present leadership of the Congress , specially during the last ten years, had been responsible for alienating the Musalmans of India more and more by pursuing a policy which is exclusively Hindu, and since they had formed the Govt. in six provinces where they are in a majority , they had by their words,deeds and proggramme shown more and more that the Musalmans could not expect any justice or fair play at their hands.
The before the Musalmans was therefore clear.Immediately after Jinnah's address the muslims outside the League began to join Muslim League and within two or three months after the Lakhnau conference 170 new branches of the league had been established , 90 of them were in UP. No less than 1,00,000 new members enlisted their names. Three successive bye-elections in UP were all won by Muslim league.

Choudhuri rahmat Ali, a cambridge student, after the annoncement of an All-india federation at the Round Table Conference, distributed a four-page leaflets headed by "now or never " explaining the term Pakistan as;

P for Punjab, A for Afghan, K for Kashmir, S for Sindh, (four initials of the words) and TAN (last part of) Baluchistan.

Bangladesh, The New Legislative Assembly (1935)

The Govt. had decided to summon a new Legislative Assembly under the provisions of India Act 1935. The elections of the legislative Assembly took place in 1937.The follower of Malaviya and Aney stood from the Congress Nationalist party as distinguished from the mere Congress Party.They secured all the general seats in Bengal. The Congress got only one seat in Punjab, but swept the polls in other provinces.
Madan Mohan Malaviya


The strength of the different parties, as they emerged from the polls was as follows :

1. Congress...............................................44

2.Congress Nationalist............................11

3. Europeans............................................11

4. Nominated Officials..........................26

5. Nominated non-officials.................13

6. Independents.................................22

It would thus be seen while the govt.could normally command no more than 50 votes (3,4,5), the Congress had a majority of five over them. The independents (6), all but three of whom were Muslims, led by M.A.Jinnah,thus held the balance. The liberal party was eleminated.

The Govt. suffered several defits and the Budget was thrown away twice.

The Congress had absolute majority in the legislature of Madras, UP,CP, Bihar and Orissa. It was the biggest single party in 4 provinces, namely, Bombay, Bengal, Assam and the NWFP.the total number of Muslim seats in all the assemblies were 482. Out of this number Congress contested 58 seats and won 26i.e. 46 % of the seats contested. The total number of Labour seats in the 11 provinces was 38. Congress contested 20, won 18,i.e. 90 %, The number of seats of the landowners in the 11 provinces was 37, Congress contested 8, won 4, i.e. 50 % , the number of commerce and industries was 56, Congress contested8, won 3.

The result of the Muslims constituencies, the being 228, only 26 won by Muslim League.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Bangladesh, Bose-Jinnah Correspondence

Last attempt for improving the relation between the Congress and The League was made by the Congreess President Subhas Chandra Bose during May-December,1938. He had several correspondence Mr. M.A.Jinnah, President of the AIML. The first letter was written by Bose to Mr. Jinnah on May14, 1938. In the course of the talks between the Congress President and the President of AIML, Mr. Jinnah suggested that any agreement that might be arrived at should be based on a clear understanding of the position of the Congress and of the Muslim League. He proposed that the conversation should proceed on the following lines :
The All India Muslim League as the authoritative and representative organisation of the Indian Musilms and the Congress as the authoritative and representative organisation of the solid body of Hindu opinion have hereby agreed to the following terms by way of a pact between the two major communities and as a settlement of the Hindu-Muslim questions.
After further consideration a somewhat different wording was suggested by him as follows :
The Congress and the All India Muslim League as the authoritative and representative organisation of the Mussalmans of India have hereby agreed to the following terms of a Hindu-Muslim settlement by way of a pact

In a letter written on 6 June, !938, to Mr. Bose, Jinnah sent three resolutions of the Executive Council of AIML with a forwarding note signed by him :

1. That it is not possible for the AIML to treat or negotiate with the Congress the question of Hindu-Muslim settlement except on the basis that the Muslim League the authoritative anf representative organisation of the Mussalmans in India.

2. The Council have also considered the letter of Mr. Gandhi dated the 22nd May,1938

and are of opinion that it is not desirable to include any Muslim in the personnel of the proposed committee that may be appointed by Congress.

3. The executive Council wish to make it clear that it is the declared policy of the AIML that all other minorities should have their rights and interests safeguarded so as to create a sense of security amongst themand win their confidence and the AIML will consult representative of such minorities and any other interest as may be invoved when necessary.

In reply to the above letter , Mr. Bose strongly mentioned in 25 July,1938 :

...The first resolution of the League Council.....that there are Muslim organisations which have been functioning independently of the Muslim League. Some of them are staunch supporters of the Congress. Moreover, there are individual Muslims who are Congressmen, some of whom exercise no inconsiderable influence in the country. Then there is the Frontier Province which is overwhemingly Muslim and is solidly with thje Congress. You will see that in the face of these known facts, it is not only impossible but improper for the Congress to make the admission , which the first resolution of the League Council apparently desires the Congress to make. It is suggested that the status of organisation does not accrue to them by any definning of it. It comes through the service to which the particular organisation has dedicated itself.The working Committee of the Congress, therefore, hopes that the League Council will not ask the Congress to do the impossible..... From its inception it has often had distinguished Muslims as Presidents as General Secretaries who enjoyed the confidence of the Congress and of the country. The Congress, therefore, is in no sense a communal organisation.....

As to the second resolution of the council, I am afraid that it is not possible for the Working Committee to conform to the desire expressed therein.

The third resolution, the working committee is unable to understand. So far as the Workimg Committee is concerned the Muslim League is a purely communal organisation, in the sense that it seems to serve the Muslim interests only and its membership too is open only to muslims......

Some more letters were exchanged with no positive outcome.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Nation-Marx to Mao (contd-2)

The Theory of Minorities in Classical Marxism :Mr. J. Hales, was the Council's Secretary of the International Working Men's Association. In the first International and in the Hague Congress, !872, He proposed a resolution about nationality of Irish on which Mr. F. Engels said that the real purpose of the motion, was to bring the Irish sections intosubjection to the British Federal Council, a thing which the Irish people would never consent, and which the council had neither the right nor the power to impose upon them.....The Irish formed a distinct nationality of their own, and the fact that they used the English language could not deprive them of their rights. Citizen, Hales had spoken of the relations of England and Ireland being ofthe most dyllic nature ..... But the case was quite different. There was the fact of seven centuries of Englishconquest and oppression of Ireland, and so long as the oppression existed, it would be an insult to Irish working men to ask them to submit to a British Federal Council.The motion was asling the conquered people to forget their nationality and submit to their conqurers. It was not internationalism, but simply prating submission. If the promoters of the motion were so brimful of the truly international spirit, let them prove it by removing the seat of the British Federal Council to Dublin and submit to a Council of Irishmen. In a case like that of the Irish, true Internalism must necessarily be based upon a distinct national organisation, and they were under te necessity to state in ...their rules that their first and most pressing duty as Irishmen was to establish their own 5 national Independence.
Thus we have Engels' concerning opinion about the nationalism of two million Irish men and women like Puerto Ricansof US.

A Nation-Marx to Mao (contd-1)

This Essay is an extract from "The Theory of National Minorities" by J.M.Blaut, published by London: Zed Books. First published in Monthly Review in 1977 with the Title "are Puerto Ricans a National Minority?"
Real Nation had the potential to become Independent States, and deserved the right of self-determenation.National minorities had no such potentential, and were fated to dissolve, in political terms, through assimilation. Moreover, National forms of political struggle were justifiable for nations, but not for national minorities. One of Stalin's crucial critaria for nationhood was the possession of undivided national territory. They had come to India only after 13th century. Ethnic communities which were fragmented or dispersed were not real nations.They were national minorities. Puerto Ricans living in the United States must be, by this criterian, a national minority. The same judgement must apply to many other communities around the world, including, for instance, West Indies, Africans and Asians in Europe, and koreans in Japan.
So the Muslims in India were not a nation. They were, simply, a national minority and were not elligible to have a state.
There are two Marxist Theories dealing with minorities and there are two different kinds of minoroties, each succumbing to their own distinctive analysis. Puerto Ricans do not fall within the purview of Stalin's Theory, but within another theory which was prefigured in Marx's and Engales'analysis of the Irish community in England and was then developed into a general theory by Lenin in the period of 1915-1923.The fundamental difference between the two theories has to do with the facts of colonialism and Imperialism.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Nation- Marx to Mao

A Nation is a concept, rather, a by-product in the age of Capitalism due to the contradiction between a feudal and or a Capitalist society with another Capitalist society. The term has come to exist after the French revolution i.e. after the end of eighteenth century. From the time of Marx and Engales it was discussed at length. Mao, a pragmatic Marxian leader, explained the term national minority directly by citing several examples of his time. He said that the Mongols and Hans should co-perate closely and have faith in Marxism. All our minority nations should trust each other, no matter what nationalities they were.They must see which side truth lied.Marx himself was a Jew, Stalin belonged to a Minority nation , and Chiang Kai-shek was a Han, a bad one, whom we strongly opposed. We must not insist that only people of a given province should take charge of the administrationof that province. The place of origin of a man was irrelevant-northerner or southerner, this national minority or that minority, ( that were all the same). The questions were whether they had communism and how much.This point should be explained clearly to our minorities.
To begin with, The Han was not a big race, but a mixture of a great number of races. The Han people had conquered many minority nations in history and driven them to highlands. (We) must take a historicsal view of our nationality question and find out that we either should depend on minority nationalism or on Communism. Ofcourse, w3e should depend on Communism. We should need our regions but not regionalism.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Two-Nation Theory (Ireland)

Northern Ireland consisting of six of the nine counties of Irish Province of Ulster (north Ireland), marked orange.
Global position of North Ireland

Independent Ireland from July 1921

The two Nations theory holds that the Northern Ireland were a distinct Irish nation.
The problems facing Irish revolutionaries revolve to a large extent around the theoritical and practical attitude to the Protestant (orange) section of the working class. The most prominent and distinct of the confusing ideas is the two nations theory. It is gathering some credence among left wingers who have despaired of accomplishing the task of partitioning the north of Ireland from its mainland and wants to remain a part of the United Kingdom.

Bangladesh, Two-Nation Theory (contd-6)

Was religion the source for two -nation theory :
First, let us examine the proposition that reliigious commonality was the primary motive force behind the nationhood of the then century. If religious commonality were the essential engine for nation building, then the Europe's christian followers were divided into so many different nations.Even if we accept that it was denominational differences that divided them, we might still ask -why were not all the followers of the Roman Catholic faith in Europe nationally unified? Why were not they united in Central and South America ? Why didn't all protestants get together in one nation?
If religion alone could serve as the basis for national unity- how was it that inspite of several attempts at unity , Islam failed to unify the Arabic speaking people of north Africaand the middle east?
If Islam could not be developed as the primary basis of national identity in the Arab world where Islam originated and had virtually universal following - wasn't it peculiar that Islam should be viewed as the pre-eminent basis for defining national identity in the sub-continent?
If we were to go by the experiences of the European or other Asian nations, we would find that cultural and linguistic factors, and shared historical experiences had often been more decisive in forging the idea of nationhood.
The claim that the sub-continent comprised two-nation , Hindus and Muslims, in a stark exception to the general pattern of nation building elsewhere in the world, many western intellectuals had promoted the claim as if it were within the ambit of a generally accepted or universally valid model.
Perhaps, the legitimacy of the 2-nation claim arised from within the unique and specific experiences of the sub-continent as some Western analysts had attempted to suggest . They had argued that religion had played such a pre-eminent and overpowering role in the sub-continent, that unlike anywhere else in the world, religion was the only reasonable basis for defining nationhood in the sub-continent.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bangladesh,Two-nation Theory (contd-5)

The ideology of Pakistan stems from the instinct of the Muslim Community of South Asia to maintain their individuality by resisting all attempts by the Hindu Society to absrb it. Muslims of south Asia believed that Islam and Hinduism were not only two religions but two social orders that have given birth to two distinct cultures with no similarities. A deep study of the history of this land proves that the differences between Hindus and Muslims were not confinedto the struggle for political supremacy, but were also manifested in the clash of two social orders. Despite living together for more than a thousand years they continued to develop different cultures and traditions. Their eating habits, music,architectures and scripts, are all poles apart. Even the language they speak and the dressesthey wear are entirely different.
The ideology of pakistan took shape through an evolutionary process, Historical experience provided the base .
Some right wing Hindu leaders such as Vinayak Savarkar endorsed the two-nation Theory. However, Savarkar, the leader of the Hindu Mahasabha , believed that the new nation state of Pakistan should be formed somewhere in the Middle East as opposed to being in the lands in which the Vedic religion was founded and in which Hinduism thrived until the Islamic invasion.
In the Pakistan Times, Samina Mallahasserts that the Two-Nation theory is relevant to this day,citing factors such as lower literacy and education levels amongst Indian Muslims as compared to Indian Hindus, long-standing cultural differences, and outbreaks of religious violence.
Some historians have claimed that the theory was a creation of a few Muslim intellectuals. Prominant Pakistani Politician Altaf Hussain believes history has proved two-nation theory wrong.
Mao of British India ,1909,showing percentage of Hindus in different districts.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bangladesh, Two Nation Theory (Contd-4)

Alberuni (973-1048) born in Uzbekistan on Sept. 973 and died in Ghazni today's Afghanistan in 13 Dec. 1048. On 1973 Afghan post stamp commemorating his one thousand anniversary. He was a Persian and multidimensional scholar of the 11th century.
He was a scientist, a physicist, an anthropologist, a comparative sociologist, an astronomer, a chemist, a critic of alchemist and astrology, an encyclopedist, a historian, a geographer, a traveler, a geodesist and geologist, a mathematician,a pharmacist and pshychologist, an Islamic Philosopher and theologian, a scholar and a teacher. He was the first Muslim scholar to study India and Brahminical tradition, and has been described as the founder of Indology, the father of geodesy,,and the first anthropologist. as said by George Saarton he was one of the greates scientist if Islam

An illustration from Biruni's Persian Book

A statue of Biruni in Iran

An Iranian Painting of Biruni, Showing him writing one of his books In the Introduction to his book, INDICA, Biruni himself wrote that his intent behind the work was to engage dialogue between Islam and and the Indian religion, particularly Hiduism as well as Budhism. He said that "the book (he wrote) would be sufficient for any one willing to converse with the Hindus".According to Arthur Jeffery Biruni was an unprejudicedin his views about religion. Though his name had been mentioned as an aid to form the idea of two-nation theory but on close study it was found that he had simply mentioned the similarities and dissimilarities between the Hindu and the Muslim religion which in no case would help the formation of Pakistan.