A look back at the partition

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Re: Discussion on Jaswant Singh's book on Jinnah

Postby RayC » 22 Aug 2009 13:26

shiv wrote:
samuel wrote:How about right here, threads
"The Punjab Memex"
"The Sindh Memex"
etc.
S


Bengal memex too - lest RayC's contention that nobody gives a damn about what happened in the East is proven right


Shiv,

Here is some stuff for liven the debate since none have bought or read the book!

This maybe interesting:


Unlike the refugees from the west, moreover, Bengal's refugees were to be ... To the last I would try to check migration even if there is war': Nehru to Dr BC Roy
Fact 1




Nehru first referred to the Bengal refugees in his fortnightly letters to Chief ... India was against relief, let alone rehabilitation, of the Bengali ... of Minorities Boards and Evacuee Property Management Boards in East and West ...
Fact 2




Even Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, confessed in a press conference at Nagpur on January 1, 1950 that, “West Bengal has suffered more from Partition and its after-effects than any province or any part of the country. The Punjab also suffered, but it suffered more in the sense of mass killing of the people, while economically West Bengal has suffered more…”4 The evacuee property left by the Muslims, who migrated to West Pakistan, helped the displaced persons from the West Pakistan to settle down in Punjab and the adjacent areas. Moreover, a large number of
displaced people were absorbed in the government jobs and in the jobs in the armed forces. The Government of India not only looked into the compensation claims for immovable properties of the displaced, but also made an assessment of all other assets in detail to compensate the refugees arriving from West Pakistan.5 The situation in the East was definitely not so. The displaced in the East had neither adequate compensation nor rehabilitation to reconstruct their lives.
Fact 3


Posted without comments.

Während ich stolz bin, zu sein Bengali. Ich bin stolzer, ein Inder zu sein.

Ich werde gesegnet, dem ich nicht die Arroganz habe, zum dass zu glauben wir allein erlitten!

Forgive my Urdu!

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Re: Discussion on Jaswant Singh's book on Jinnah

Postby shiv » 22 Aug 2009 13:39

RayC wrote:
shiv wrote:
Bengal memex too - lest RayC's contention that nobody gives a damn about what happened in the East is proven right


Shiv,

Here is some stuff for liven the debate since none have bought or read the book!

This maybe interesting:


Unlike the refugees from the west, moreover, Bengal's refugees were to be ... To the last I would try to check migration even if there is war': Nehru to Dr BC Roy
Fact 1


Fact 3


[/quote]

From a link off the first link:
Image

And from the second
The displaced in the East had neither adequate compensation
nor rehabilitation to reconstruct their lives.
If the better-off people from East Pakistan could reconstruct their lives with
relative ease in West Bengal, for those belonging to the middle class and lower middle
class, it was almost impossible. Many of them had to spend ten, fifteen or twenty years in
refugee camps before they could imagine a better life. Those who did not go to the
camps and settled in the jabar dakhal colonies on the margins of Calcutta also continued
with a hand-to-mouth existence for many years. Many of them could never return to their
traditional family occupations and, therefore, felt a sense of alienation and irreparable
occupational loss even after partial rehabilitation. In other words, the partition of Bengal
had a long-term impact on the economy and culture of the region.

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Re: Discussion on Jaswant Singh's book on Jinnah

Postby RayC » 22 Aug 2009 13:42

Herr Shiv

Vielen Dank!

Since it is fashionable to use German I used it!

At this rate I will forget English!!

:rotfl:

One could also see the powerful movie 'Subharnorekha' by the internationally famed director, Ritwick Ghatak.

Subhornorekha

Also read about the Dandakaranya Project with waste and infertile land that came in very very belated and of no use to man or beast!

Dandakaranya Project

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Re: Discussion on Jaswant Singh's book on Jinnah

Postby Rahul M » 22 Aug 2009 14:20

do we really need to discuss these things in this thread ??

better to split into a new thread on rehabilitation topics ? views of BRFites on this ??

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Re: Discussion on Jaswant Singh's book on Jinnah

Postby Rishi » 22 Aug 2009 14:22

Split

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Re: Discussion on Jaswant Singh's book on Jinnah

Postby RayC » 22 Aug 2009 14:28

Rahul M wrote:do we really need to discuss these things in this thread ??

better to split into a new thread on rehabilitation topics ? views of BRFites on this ??


Should we not if nothing on the book is said and it is made out that only some people suffered?

You are a Moderator and is it not within your beat to have things fair?

Have I mentioned anything wrong? Please go through the thread and see.

I do agree that I am in the minority and even you think I should lay off. But is this a forum that who has the numbers can have the say and be the correct voice of India?

It is those who have some inkling regarding the passions of Partition whose passions are inflamed by ridiculous claims. It is Bengal, Punjab, Tripura, Assam who have shared the pangs and tribulations. All of us. It is not the sole birthright of sufferance of any of us individually!

You are not aware what we have lost!

Read history of the Partition or lock the thread!

I won't lock since I am an aggrieved party.

It should be locked since nothing substantial is being added.

Only big talk without any regard to the title of the thread and why Ramana started it.

He is a history buff and wanted to allow all to look at Jinnah in the historical perspective!

This whole thread has been made into a bogus exercise and should be in the trash can and Ramana's first post started to get only the issues that he desires! That would be education!

I don't think there is a requirement to have a rehabilitation thread. It will only inflame people!

Let us keep to the topic and that is all and all will be well!

if you all wish to do a Jaswant Singh on me, so be it!

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A look back at the Partition

Postby Rahul M » 22 Aug 2009 14:33

please continue here.

@ Mods, if possible please move posts on this topic from the JS threads. I'll do what I can.

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Re: Discussion on Jaswant Singh's book on Jinnah

Postby RajeshA » 22 Aug 2009 14:37

RayC wrote:Während ich stolz bin, zu sein Bengali. Ich bin stolzer, ein Inder zu sein.

Ich werde gesegnet, dem ich nicht die Arroganz habe, zum dass zu glauben wir allein erlitten!

Forgive my Urdu!


Obwohl ich stolz bin, ein Bengali zu sein, bin ich stolzer, ein Inder zu sein.
Ich bin gesegnet, da ich nicht die Arroganz besitze, zu glauben, dass nur wir erlitten haben!

Now your Urdu sounds even better! :wink:

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Re: Discussion on Jaswant Singh's book on Jinnah

Postby RayC » 22 Aug 2009 14:40

RajeshA wrote:
RayC wrote:Während ich stolz bin, zu sein Bengali. Ich bin stolzer, ein Inder zu sein.

Ich werde gesegnet, dem ich nicht die Arroganz habe, zum dass zu glauben wir allein erlitten!

Forgive my Urdu!


Obwohl ich stolz bin, ein Bengali zu sein, bin ich stolzer, ein Inder zu sein.
Ich bin gesegnet, da ich nicht die Arroganz besitze, zu glauben, dass nur wir erlitten haben!

Now your Urdu sounds even better! :wink:


My mistake, it was not Urdu. It was Persian! :rotfl:

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby ShauryaT » 22 Aug 2009 17:41

RayC: I am someone, who comes from a family directly affected by partition. This issue has been a life long study for me, starting at a very early and tender age. I think my first lessons on it were imparted to me, when I was about eight or so. As such, I care and study about the issue deeply.

However, India it seems wants to move on.

- Most Indians today do not care about the lost lands
- Most Indians look at the partitioned lands and say good riddance
- Most Indians do not understand the geo-political significance of the loss and how it impacts their daily lives

I will not dwell too much into why this is the case but wanted to mention the above. India's political answer to deal with her past has been to have its military guard its frontiers, to maintain the status quo - and forget about it! So, as you move on this thread and if there are such arguments please be patient with them as to where they are coming from.

I hope this thread can take a serious look at the partition, the players and their decisions - and most importantly - the consequences of those decisions the we have had to live with.

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby samuel » 22 Aug 2009 17:46

India's Survivors of Partition Begin to Break Long Silence
Projects Document Anguish of 1947 Split

By Rama Lakshmi
Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, March 12, 2008; A01

NEW DELHI -- Every year in March, Bir Bahadur Singh goes to the local Sikh shrine and narrates the grim events of the long night six decades ago when 26 women in his family offered their necks to the sword for the sake of honor.

At the time, sectarian riots were raging over the partition of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan, and the men of Singh's family decided it was better to kill the women than have them fall into the hands of Muslim mobs.

"None of the women protested, nobody wept," Singh, 78, recalled as he stroked his long, flowing white beard, his voice slipping into a whisper. "All I could hear was the sound of prayer and the swing of the sword going down on their necks. My story can fill a book."

Although the political history of the 1947 partition has featured prominently in Indian classrooms, personal stories such as Singh's have gone unrecorded. Hundreds of thousands of Indians have remained trapped in their private pain, many ashamed of the acts they committed, others simply wary of confronting ghosts from so long ago.

Now, however, the aging survivors of partition are beginning to talk, and historians and psychologists are increasingly acknowledging the need to study the human dimensions of one of the most cataclysmic events of the 20th century.

About 1,300 survivors of partition, including Singh, have been interviewed as part of an ambitious, 10-year research project that examines the experiences of people across India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. And since late last year, a number of new books, research papers and cultural events have attempted to lift the shroud of silence surrounding partition.

Following the creation of the East India Company in the 17th century, the British established control over the subcontinent. It wasn't until 1885 that a nationalist movement began to blossom with the formation of the Indian National Congress. Later, as sectarian tensions grew, the subcontinent's Muslims pressed for an independent state.

By the time the British left in 1947, they had divided the colony into a predominantly Hindu India and a Muslim East and West Pakistan. The borders were drawn hurriedly -- in a way that critics say ignored social realities -- and the result was bloody.

According to conservative estimates, about half a million Hindus and Muslims were slaughtered and 14 million displaced, and about 70,000 women were abducted and raped, leaving both countries with deep psychological and political scars. Riots convulsed the newly independent nations for months as centuries-old communities split apart.

Government documents unearthed by researchers provide chilling details of what happened during partition, as well as alphabetical lists of the names of women who were abducted. Historians and witnesses have said that trains crossing the new border were filled with corpses from either side. People were "cut down like carrots and radishes," an expression heard in many Indian family stories.

"Partition is the unwritten epic of our times," said Ashis Nandy, a social psychologist at India's Center for the Study of Developing Societies. "Now there is an urgency to capture the stories of a generation whose voices will fade away soon."

Nandy heads the decade-long project to document the experiences of partition survivors, an undertaking funded in part by the Ford Foundation. Witnesses interviewed for the project have recounted horrible stories, but there have also been accounts of Hindus and Muslims helping one another. Nandy said it's important that all stories be recorded.

"We have to recognize the kind of scars we are living with and work through these experiences so that they don't haunt us," he said, noting that one-fourth of the subjects in his project had never shared their stories before, not even with their children.

The interviews represent a radical step for a country where mainstream academics have tended to neglect oral histories. India has no public memorial to partition that would help survivors share their stories.

"Silence has been a way of coping that enabled the people to survive and carry on with the business of life," said Shobna Sonpar, a clinical psychologist who conducted 15 exhaustive interviews with survivors. "Many of my interviews began with people questioning the need to rake up the past."

Still, Sonpar said, "the silence around partition is breaking." A recent editorial in the Times of India newspaper said the country needed a museum on the subject, citing the American novelist William Faulkner's famous aphorism: "The past is never dead. It's not even past." In a project called "Partition: The Long Shadow," playwrights, historians and storytellers from India and Pakistan have come together to find stories about the era and how it shaped communities. A film festival featuring six partition movies was screened to packed houses last month.

Last August, about 50 heart-rending partition photographs taken by the American photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White were exhibited throughout a shopping district in New Delhi.

"We used every bit of public space available -- the walls, shop shutters and parapets. The gruesome images were there for everybody to see," said Pramod Kapoor, the organizer. "Sixty years have passed. We now have a generation that wants to look at partition dispassionately."

Discussion of partition is not completely new. Ten years ago, Urvashi Butalia, an Indian author, said she began listening to her parents' partition stories once more. She recorded them and eventually produced a book called "The Other Side of Silence." She now speaks to schoolchildren about the importance of such stories and is managing "The Long Shadow."

"Partition is a difficult subject to talk about because you do not have clear categories of victims and aggressors. The lines are blurred," said Butalia, who is popularly known as "the partition lady." "Everybody was implicated in the violence. In order to forget, you have to remember."

Som Datta Mohan, an 84-year-old retiree who took part in the research study, recalled in an interview how he had once thrown a bomb at a Muslim village to guard his Hindu neighborhood, which is located in what is now Pakistan. His father was stabbed in reprisal killings, and Mohan had to make the perilous journey across the newly drawn border to the Indian side.

"Those pictures are still very, very vivid in my eyes," Mohan said. "Such events should never happen again. It has taken a long time, but the wounds are healing now. India is prospering. I am no longer a refugee, I am home. And I would like to tell my story to the young."

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby faraz » 22 Aug 2009 20:56

What language do I really need to know to post over here ? Urdu ? Persian ? German ? :rotfl:

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby brihaspati » 22 Aug 2009 21:39

Typically all Partition discussions get narrowed down only to Punjab. Please consider the three other areas of major conflict based on ML or Jihadi separatism at the same period - Bengal, Hyderabad and Kashmir. Please look at the reactions by the then Congress, the differences between regional leaders of the Congress and the coterie around JLN, the different reactions to the four areas showed by the Congress central leadership.

The Partitions discussion can have the following categories:
(a) Time: Pre-partition, Partition, Post-Partition
(b) Agents : British, Congress, ML, Army and the demobilized soldiers, Transitional Civil and military administration,
(c) Methodology : ideological campaigns, Political preparations on all sides, civil admin preparation, military response,
(d) Individuals : Wavell, Mountbatten, Churchill, Attlee, Jinnah, MKG, JLN, Sardar and others around them
(e) Affected : people, women, Punjab, Bengal, Kashmir, Hyderabad,
(f) Economic : impact and effect

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby surinder » 22 Aug 2009 21:49

Brihaspati Boss, you have to do the heavy lifting in this thread. Your constant presence is a must, otherwise this is another comatose thread.

Admisn: There some great posts on the 2nd JS thread (on his expulsion) that have some outstanding posts from B Boss. Can we move them here.

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby ramana » 22 Aug 2009 21:55

Please help by x-posting them.

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby RayC » 22 Aug 2009 22:15

I have only one statement to make - the trauma is not the birthright of only one State and let's us not over do the nonsense!!

Let's keep to facts and our agony.

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby samuel » 22 Aug 2009 22:22

whereas it is very useful to analyze the past observations to deduce causality, I am hoping to merely compile narratives on a large if not massive scale.
What projects exist, how are they funded, what are they saying and whose voice is being represented are about the only interpretive aspects I feel we need to overlay.

We do an amazing job of analysing with flimsy evidence, it can be a hallucination. But the only hallucination worth recording is from the people who lived it and need to speak of it. They are dying.

And it is 200% RELEVANT to ACCUMULATE data from the east and north east and north. Where are the narratives, our narratives, that need to be told Over and over and remembered? Some among us will turn wkk's after hearing them. Others will pour money to do something else. But analysis without a repository of raw data...i suppose there is value to that, but what?

S

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby RayC » 22 Aug 2009 22:38

Typically all Partition discussions get narrowed down only to Punjab. Please consider the three other areas of major conflict based on ML or Jihadi separatism at the same period - Bengal, Hyderabad and Kashmir. Please look at the reactions by the then Congress, the differences between regional leaders of the Congress and the coterie around JLN, the different reactions to the four areas showed by the Congress central leadership.


Well said.

Likewise of the sacrifices of Freedom Fighters.

Little is publicised of the Bengal Freedom Fighters! None counts the numbers!

Not only Bengal. Tripura, Assam and even Manipur!

And JLN!

or the big talk - Partition over my dead body!!

We all suffered, But I detest the way some people publicise that they are the only ones who suffered and worse, is that canard becomes the truth and even some Bengalis are brainwashed to believe so!

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby ramana » 22 Aug 2009 22:49

Did this slight/hurt lead to the Commies getting elected time and again in West Bengal?

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby Rahul M » 22 Aug 2009 22:53

^^^
more than anything else probably. the urbane naxalite movements had origins feeding on this discontent. the second wave of displaced people in '71 and govt inability to do anything swung the pendulum even more to that side.

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby RayC » 22 Aug 2009 22:58

ramana wrote:Did this slight/hurt lead to the Commies getting elected time and again in West Bengal?


We have overcome all this.

Now, no one cares. We are moving on!

The squatter colonies have become booming townships.

Since you have a penchant and love for history, please see Ritwick Ghatak's Subhornorekha. It was an eyeopener for me.

Can't say about Dabdakaranya, but the Naxals there I believe are led by Bengali refugees. I forget the name, but there was a famous Bengali or infamous if you wish who were leading a movement against an industrial house in MP.

But yes, poverty in Bengal even now is exploited by the Commies

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby ramana » 22 Aug 2009 23:00

Rahul M wrote:^^^
more than anything else probably. the urbane naxalite movements had origins feeding on this discontent. the second wave of displaced people in '71 and govt inability to do anything swung the pendulum even more to that side.


So combating the fire in the West led to ashes in the East.

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby RayC » 22 Aug 2009 23:03

ramana wrote:
Rahul M wrote:^^^
more than anything else probably. the urbane naxalite movements had origins feeding on this discontent. the second wave of displaced people in '71 and govt inability to do anything swung the pendulum even more to that side.


So combating the fire in the West led to ashes in the East.


But that is life.

We accept Fate and not breast beat. Maybe because we know none will care!

Analyse the NE discontent. Nothing to do with Partition. Modern and emancipated India. They are treated as 'foreign' aliens in Delhi. I saw an interview of a Naga lady on TV.

What did JLN say in 1962? My heart bleeds for people of Assam. As if his bleeding overcame the way he abandoned them! Should they not have anger at feeling that they are abandoned?

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby Abhi_G » 22 Aug 2009 23:05

The communist connection can be traced back to the days of M.N.Roy. Bhagat Singh also had socialist ideology. A huge impoverished mass of people suffering from the famine and subsequent partition offers ideal ground for "class" struggles. At least, I can testify to that from the grass-roots activities of one of my acquaintances who was one among the numerous "agni yug" revolutionaries. He did everything possible to rehabilitate refugees post 47 and in 71 and his own family was a victim of partition.

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby RayC » 22 Aug 2009 23:09

True individuals have risen to the occasion and not the govt!

My grandfather's two storied house was filled with 100 refugee relatives. He fed them and rehabilitated them!

I still remember those times!!

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby RayC » 22 Aug 2009 23:10

MN ROY was a Bengali Indian revolutionary, internationally known political theorist and activist, founder of the Communist parties in Mexico and India. He later denounced communism, as exponent of the philosophy of Radical Humanism.

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby samuel » 22 Aug 2009 23:18

abhi_G
Can you say a little more about the activism and agni yug? are there any narratives from that you could share?
S

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby Rahul M » 22 Aug 2009 23:22

abhi_g, not denying the origins but we have to keep in mind that the situation precipitated only by late 60's although the conditions you mention were present since early 40's.

do you think the commies would have had a 30 year run in WB if '71 had not happened ?
or, IOW
would there have been widespread naxalite violence in urban bengal if the widespread suffering of people in '71 was not there to motivate naxals ?
would the SS Roy govt have gone ballistic if naxalism was restricted to rural bengal ?
would the people have had rejected the congress if the SS Roy days weren't there ?

IMHO, while bengal was already left-leaning due to the widespread suffering of the last days of the british rule (which brought about a rejection of the prevalent system of governance), the 'betrayal' of the congress leadership in the aftermath of '47 convinced a significant section of the people of the futility of the democratic-feudalistic set-up (most congress leaders were land owning gentry) since the congress and the prevalent political system were considered equivalent.

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby Rahul M » 22 Aug 2009 23:29

a link to a discussion related to this issue.

viewtopic.php?p=549773#p549773

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby RayC » 22 Aug 2009 23:31

Rahul M

I dislike the Communists and even the current politics in Bengal, but your analysis strikes a true arrow in the heart of the sad state in Bengal.

Well analysed!

God save Bengal!

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby Abhi_G » 22 Aug 2009 23:42

Samuel-ji,

A book written in Bengali about the concerned person's revolutionary activities and times in the Cellular Jail was published in the 70s. That book is out of print and I am searching that book. I will have a better idea if I get hold of the book. But from the very limited conversations that I had with the wife of the concerned person, he used to do volunteer work in rehabilitating displaced refugees post 47. Very basic things like building mud huts to provide shelter, cutting drains for sewage removal, bringing food and building and cleaning toilets that were being used by the refugees were performed by him and his peers.

Here is an interesting link to some of his inmates at the Cellular Jail. This would give you a glimpse of agni yug
http://www.andamancellularjail.org/B1.htm


Rahul M-ji, I never disagreed with you on this subject. :) What I was pointing out to the continuity of history in the sense that revolutionary activities before independence were certainly inspired by Bolshevik propaganda. But bolshevik or non bolshevik, they are our nationalists, at least those who fought !

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby ShauryaT » 22 Aug 2009 23:45

RayC wrote:Analyse the NE discontent. Nothing to do with Partition. Modern and emancipated India. They are treated as 'foreign' aliens in Delhi. I saw an interview of a Naga lady on TV.

What did JLN say in 1962? My heart bleeds for people of Assam. As if his bleeding overcame the way he abandoned them! Should they not have anger at feeling that they are abandoned?
Two fundamental reasons.

1. The lack of foresight among leaders at the time to use the only glue the Indian nation has to bind it together with the slogan of "diversity in unity" as opposed to "unity in diversity". The emphasis in the former is on the unity, with diversity as one attribute of the underlying unity. Even the underlying unity needs to be worked upon, nurtured and strengthened and not taken for granted.
2. A fundamental flaw in our federal model, where the NE states, being comparatively low in population/geography ratio lose out to the hindi belt. (this specific aspect is not unique to the NE state alone).

A specific issue stemming from the partition era was the trade off that the INC accepted for chittagong hill tracts against the Kishanganj area, to create the infamous chicken neck area. In this the people of the the NE, lost access to the sea and the non muslim majority Buddhist population of Chittagong was transferred to BD.

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby ShauryaT » 22 Aug 2009 23:51

Rahul M wrote:IMHO, while bengal was already left-leaning due to the widespread suffering of the last days of the british rule (which brought about a rejection of the prevalent system of governance), the 'betrayal' of the congress leadership in the aftermath of '47 convinced a significant section of the people of the futility of the democratic-feudalistic set-up (most congress leaders were land owning gentry) since the congress and the prevalent political system were considered equivalent.
A result of a system unable to deliver to a people, who as a group were the most educated and advanced in India perhaps?

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby samuel » 23 Aug 2009 00:19

abhi_g,
Thanks for that amazing link. I am still going through. People were joining and becoming revolutionaries at the age of 15, 11, 10!

After such a presence and contribution, what happened to these voices as partition unfolded in Bengal? And how widespread was the will to relocate to the west? Who was the leadership in bengal and how was it connected to the nation and inc? What promises were made? What did individuals do to make it work?

what is interesting to me is, in contrast to the west where the response is towards pakis, here it turned inward. Now, many years later, we don't normally hear of islamism for example crossing the punjab border, but that we fear east and is indeed exploited. If partition itself was the holocaust west, was absence of rehsbilitation the compounding trajedy east?

What changes happened within those fighting for india's freedom as and after partition in Bengal? Are there individual stories in memory available to be shared?
Many questions.
S

svinayak
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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby svinayak » 23 Aug 2009 00:54

Abhi_G wrote:

Here is an interesting link to some of his inmates at the Cellular Jail. This would give you a glimpse of agni yug
http://www.andamancellularjail.org/B1.htm


Pictures of British are missing from these sites. This is the common theme that the pictures of the British have just vanished and only the Indians are in the paintings, photos etc.

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby ramana » 23 Aug 2009 03:38

faraz wrote:What language do I really need to know to post over here ? Urdu ? Persian ? German ? :rotfl:

Of truth.

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby munna » 23 Aug 2009 04:11

Please check the book about Khizr Hayat Khan Tiwana (Premier of joint Punjab before partition) a much forgotten figure in the history of India who stood for a united Punjab and had a third line of view different from both ML Jinnah and Nehru. Khizr Tiwana, the Punjab Unionist Party and the partition of India by Ian Talbot
Please read page 112 and I quote from it
Such British backing was not significantly evident, when Khizr Khan crossed swords with Muslim League during 1946-47. The unionist party by this stage had outlived its usefulness to New Delhi. Although Mountbatten and Wavell still found Khizr personally charming and certainly much better company than Jinnah, his views were dismissed as anachronistic and irrelevant. The British shared with Muslim League and Congress high commands, the belief that "special pleading" of regional interests as represented by unionists should not be allowed to stand in way of all India settlement. The greatest congruence of course existed between the interests of British and the Congress.


The two provinces who had maximum support for non Congress and non Muslim League policies and were ruled by Unionists that is Bengal and Punjab got partitioned, why? The underlined section of the post is the prevailing thinking on this side of Wagah, that Congress gave away areas which it felt were not firmly within its ideological ambit! Bengal and Punjab gave the most number of challengers to the Nehru-Gandhi power complex in India and no wonder these two states were taken to cleaners on the eve of partition under the grandstanding lie of "Partition shall happen over my dead body".

Reading through RayC's posts and links I literally suffered a bout of high BP at the pathetic treatment meted out to our own ones by people who considered their personal glories to be worth more than tears of hapless and homeless compatriots (I won't dignify such people by calling them leaders). We need to study the partition more to discover hidden people like Khizr Hayat Khan who was certainly a bigger leader than Jinnah for a long while and whether we can revive his legacy to pacify and lobotomize pakjabi virulence and hatred?

Added later: Unionist party had electoral alliance with Akali Dal and Congress too I guess but was also known to have empathy for ML in late 1930s. In a way it was a Muslim dominated version of Congress ready to ally with anybody who could get it power! Too bad they could not survive for long.

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby surinder » 23 Aug 2009 04:43

Munna, Sir Khizr Hayat Khan Tiwana and his Unionist party is an excellent thing for us to study. Muslims of Punjab were not such a lost cause, they were very well integrated with the Hindus/Sikhs. The Sikh rule was fair and equitable & respectable to them. They held important postions of power in the Ranjit Singh court (His foreign minister Fakiruddin was a muslim, e.g.). The artillery units were almost all Punjabi Muslim, since Sikhs troops were not fond of arti. On a social level, Muslims went to Gurudwaras, and even to the Sikh Gurus. The Hindus/Sikhs went to Muslim peers & faqeers. The social intercourse was very reasonable up until 1930. In this background Sir Khizr Hayat Khan Tiwana and his unionist part held power in the Punjab and were opposed to partition. The British played some very dirty politics to beat the party out of power. Partitioning Punjab was absolutely ciritical to British dream of Pakistan.

Punjab had its own dynamics, which the Congress does not seem to care much. As Munna's post quotes "British shared with Muslim League and Congress high commands, the belief that "special pleading" of regional interests as represented by unionists should not be allowed to stand in way of all India settlement." Here lies the INC's pitfalls---it was not eager to see any other party rise in India. While it was against ML for claiming sole leadership of Muslims, INC was keen to be the sole part of whole of India. As Brihaspati wrote, INC failed to make these local parties as natural collobrators in the aim to get independence. (and in this case they were not even antithetical to INC, even then the INC never liked them.) It is curious that INC, its leaders like JLN, Patel, MKG etc. made few trips to Punjab before partition, they made little emphasis there, and are generellay conspicuous by their absence. Nor did they take Punjabi energy & psychological traits & natural tendencies to any use. Punjabis and more experience dealing with Muslims & had built a sharper civilizational memory (both as sufferers at their hands, and also as subsequent rulers of them). INC had simply no use for such expertise, in their arrogance they already knew the answers.

PS: By the way, "Tiwana" is a very common Punjabi Jatt last name. Many Sikhs carry that name.

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby munna » 23 Aug 2009 04:58

Adding to the Punjab story I am really perplexed by the moves on the Eastern front. Maybe someone can answer as to why did Bengal respond to Gandhi's call for peace when clearly they were being shortchanged by Nehru-Gandhi complex? Despite the shameful denial of any rehabilitation to holocaust survivors why we saw little immediate reaction? And finally after all the suffering and mayhem why did Bengalis society not adopt an iron curtain like attitude as happened in E Punjab? Hope RayC and RahulM can enlighten more on this topic.

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Re: A look back at the partition

Postby munna » 23 Aug 2009 05:04

surinder wrote:Punjab had its own dynamics, which the Congress does not seem to care much
Never was a truer word said but I would make it
surinder wrote: Bengal and Punjab had their own dynamics, which the Congress does not seem to care much

Bengal and Punjab were a big pain in the Musharraf of the British and for some reasons Congress too. We need to discover a lot more before some definitive facts are distilled.


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