In the late 1940s, the British were itching to leave. And their ‘managers’ in India were itching to inherit the country. World War 2 had left Britain devastated, rationing bread, meat and petrol among its citizens. They weren’t willing to pay a paisa more to keep up the Empire in India. In fact, the British insisted that the scheduled date for Indian independence should be advanced to June 1948 from Aug 1947.
The British had taken already everything they could from India. And their managers had served them well, advocating on their behalf for India to pour out its wealth and young men into two World Wars for the British. Did you know that the British Indian Army was the largest military to serve in both World Wars?
The only sticking point was the Hindu-Muslim issue. The managers quickly agreed to carve up and divide the country and signed the dotted line. Everyone who mattered got something. The British were happy. The ‘managers’ on both sides of the new border were happy.
Meanwhile 30 lakh common Indians perished in the riots. And along with that, the managers signed away the lives of lakhs of common Hindus who were caught on the wrong side of the border. Their lives and the lives of their children and their children.
Among the biggest victims of this were the unfortunate Bengali Hindus.
As soon as the managers of Indian secularism signed that dotted line, it was only a question of when.
Today’s managers of Indian secularism are no different. As the old secular establishment is tottering on the verge of collapse, the ruling party in West Bengal is propping itself up on Bengaliyat. Their supporters flood the internet with messages dripping with regional hatred, chauvinism and racism. And their Chief Minister leads from the front, getting out of her car to personally direct the arrest of three people for saying “Jai Shri Ram”.
Dividing our gods and our people in one single statement. Only an Indian secularist could be so entitled, so ignorant and so vicious.
The greatest festival in West Bengal is Durga Puja, also known as “Akal Bodhan” (literally “worshiping out of season”) When Ram set out to vanquish Ravan, he needed the blessings of Durga. For this, he had to invoke the goddess “out of season”, whence the origin of the term Akal Bodhan. That’s what Durga Puja celebrates.
Notice how those who talk about Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb are always the most willing to take Hindu society apart strand by strand. Ram and Durga and are woven together through thousands of years of Hindu tradition. Who are you, Sagarika, to tell us to take it all apart?
With what face have India’s elite liberals come to talk about Bengali identity today? Where were you when Bengal was torn apart for the political greed of the managers of Indian ‘secularism’?
It is the Hindu character of West Bengal that makes it Indian. That is why the Hindu identity of West Bengal is so under attack. They want to sever that bridge and cut off our cultural roots.
Remember that India’s elite liberals were the biggest beneficiaries of the first Partition. It allowed them to dominate and strip mine this country for almost seventy years.
That run has come to an end. Unlike the British, India’s liberals have nowhere to flee. So now they want a second partition in the name of Ram and Durga.
Ha! Fool me once.
Behind the propaganda smokescreen of elite liberalism, the Ram vs Durga rhetoric, do we not hear the drumbeat of “Bengaliyat”? You want to cut us Hindu Bengalis off from our fellow Hindus all over India and leave us at the mercy of…?
In 1979, thousands of helpless Bengali Hindus made a mad dash across the border from Bangladesh, seeking refuge in West Bengal. Your secular ‘Bengaliyat’ did not give them a needlepoint of land to stand on.
Desperate, hungry and abandoned, those Bengali Hindus took refuge on the tiny island of Marichjhapi in the Sunderbans. The Communist government of West Bengal sent the police to surround the island and massacre all 10,000 of them in General Dyer style.
So, Indian secularists, please save your concern for Bengali identity. Thank you very much but I reject the Trojan horse of ‘Bengaliyat’. Fool me once.