Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bangladesh, Communalism (contd-5)

Bengal was witnessing the last effort by the landed Hindu Bhadralok to protect as a class their economic, social and political dominance and the Swarajists and the Congress became the willing partners in this move. The resuscitation of communal feeling among Hindus from the first month of 1927 further strengthened Muslim communal cosciousness . An anti-Muslim tirade in the Hindu press followed the murder of Arya samaj leader Swami Shradhananda in north India .MUslim political opinion naturally reacted sharply to this attempt to elevate a "rank communalist " to a nationalist stature. When Hinsdu councilors of thed Calcutta Corporation resolved to name a park after Shradhananda the Muslim press condemned the move as another instance of the trampling of Muslim sentiment by rampant Hindu communalism.
Thecommunal divide within the realm of organised politics in Bengal, which had now become apparent, was reflected in both Hindu and Muslim press. The 1935 the Govt. of India Act providing for provincial autonomy based on separate electorates, was yet another turning point in the evolution of communal politics in Bengal.The act reserved for the Muslims nearly half of the total seats in the proposed Bengal legislature, which made Hindu politicians feel that they would be unable to influence legislation proportionately to theit interests in the provinces. this psychological blow was soon transformed into a material setback for the Hindu elite when the Krisak Praja Party -muslim league coalition ministry initiated a number of legislative and executive measures to improve the condition of the subordinate social groups who mostly belonged to the Muslim Community. A growing notion amongst the Hindu elite of being reduced to subservience due to these measures was perhaps far-fetched. But unemployment among the educated Hindus increased significantly in the post-1937 period, largely the result of the Muslim League Ministry's rigid enforcement of the communal ratio in public offices.The Muslim Community had responded in the 19th century reformist movement by intiating a process of self-definition , self=classification and self-identification.Pakistan movement was the culmination of a pan-indian attempt by the Muslim eliteto use the assertion of this identity at the popular level toestablish for political ends, a vertical solidarity within the Muslim community.