Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bangladesh, Migration and Its Impact

In fact It was B.R.Ambedkar who categorically stated , longt before partition, in 1940 that:
"That the transfer of minorities is the only lasting remedy for communal peace is beyond doubt." The Muslim population which stood at 29.5 % in 1941 in West Bengal got reduced to 19.5 % in 1951, had shot back to 25.5 %in 2001. We should later with these figures in a greater detail and its significance for West Bengal. Going back to the advice of Dr B.R.Ambedkar on the issue of numbers :
"What do these figures indicate ?.....This distribution of the Muslim Population, in terms of communal problems, means that while without pakistan the communal problem in india involves 6.5 crores of Muslims, with the creation of Pakistan it will invollve only 2 crores of Muslims. Is this to be no consideration for Hindus who want communal peace ? To me it seems that if Pakistan does not solve the communal probleb within Hindusthan, it substantially reduces its proportion..."
Nehru-Liaquat treaty
After the partition of India in 1947, within a yearthe situation started to settle down in Wstern Border . It was generally expressed that Eastern part was relatively calm , and initial migration on both sides of Bengal were expected to stop in the coming years. But the situation in East Pakistan always remained as a status of "gentle Push" even when ther was no major pogrom.A simple method was to harass the Hindu neighbours , teasew their woman, violate the sanctity of theirhousehold by polluting their worshipping areas. Many a vivid accounts were available in Bengali writings.
On 8 April 1950, Jawaharlal Nehru , Prime Minister of India, and Liaquat Ali Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, signed an agreement between two countries 'to ensure to the minorities throughout its territory complete equality', which included freedom of movement. Shyamaprasad Mukherjee, the minister of Industries and Supply in Nehru's cabinet, resigned over this issue. In his statement in the parliament on 14 April, 1950, he said,
The fact thus remains that inspite of two inter-dominion agreements as many as 16 to 20 lakhs of Hindus were sent away to India from East Bengal.About a million of uprooted Hindus had also to come away from Sind. During this period a large number of Muslims also come away from Pakistan mainly influenced by economc consideration. The economy of West Bengal received a rude shock and we continued as helpless spectators of a grim tragedy."
Like Ambedkar's prophetic comment , Shyamprsad's comment is true for today.