Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee, a great historical figure still remains unknown to the masses. Most of us know Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee as the man who demanded the full integration of Kashmir with India and who vehemently opposed Article 370 and 35A. We also know him as the Founder of erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sangh (now Bharatiya Janata Party) but his biggest contribution is that he ensured that a part of Bengal remains with India. Bengal is the state which has given stalwarts like Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Swami Vivekananda, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Rabindranath Tagore to India. Therefore, Bengal holds a alot of cultural importance to India. Kolkata is also the Cultural Capital of India. Thus, it was very important to ensure that Bengal, the pride of India stays with India.
The province of Bengal consisted of today’s West Bengal and Bangladesh. The Bengal Province (Presidency) was headed by the Muslim League. In 1940, Muslim League passed a resolution that all the Muslim majority provinces in the North, West and Eastern India should be declared as a separate province. Moreover,in 1946 when the Cabinet Mission came in India with the proposal to divide India into a Hindu majority India and Muslim majority Pakistan, the Muslim League Government wanted to merge the whole of Bengal with Pakistan. In order to achieve this and annihilate Bengali Hindus, the Muslim League ushered a massacre of Bemgali Hindus. This is also known as the Direct Action Day, which was an attempt by the Muslim League to annihilate Bengali Hindus so that Bengal can easily merge with Pakistan.
But on the contrary and after the riots, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee started the Bengali Hindu Homeland Movement and he refused to the proposal of Bengal merging with Pakistan. He started a campaign to ensure that a part of Bengal remains in India which will be safe for Hindus as if the entire Bengal was allowed to be merged with Pakistan, it would only mean that Hindus would became slave of the Muslims in a Islamic nation. Seeing this, Suhrawardy, the then Prime Minister or Bengal decided that it’s better if Bengal is left as a separate state and not divided. Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee opposed this proposal too as he knew that Suhrawardy,the Prime Minister of Bengal who belonged to Muslim League wanted to divide India by doing so.
Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee traveled all acorss Bengal and explained it to the Bengali Hindu masses that why was it necessary for them to be part of India and neither be with Pakistan or a Muslim majority United Bengal as if the don’t choose India their identity would be at stake. The then West Bengal Congress Committee lead by Sarat Chandra Bose agreed with the proposal of United Bengal and met Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Gandhi too agreed with the proposal of Bengal remaining united and neither going with India or Pakistan. However, Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee spoke to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and explained him the situation, Sardar Patel agreed that the Hindu majority areas of Bengal should be a part of India.
Partition of Bengal was the only way out to ensure that Bengali Hindus remain safe. Dr.Syama Prasad Mookerjee spearheaded the Bengali Hindu Homeland campaign and ensured that the Bengal Legislative Assembly votes for the partition of Bengal. On 20 June 1947, the Bengal Legislative Assembly voted in favour of Partition of Bengal. West Bengal, which had Hindus in majority became a part of India while East Bengal or erstwhile East Pakistan became a part of Pakistan and this East Pakistan later became Bangladesh.
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