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Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee a Nationalist leader



  This article is written on the to remembrance of THE GREAT CALCUTTA KILLING : NOKHALI RIOT  which took place in 16 August 1946 ,  in which  Hindu population of Bengal faced communal riots. This inspired Dr. Mukherjee to think about the Indian majority population, the neglect in hands of different political parties and promoted him to fight for Hindu Cause. The failure of the Cabinet Mission to solve the problem relating to transfer of power to Indian leaders, the Muslim League under the instruction of Jinnah and guidance of Mr. H.S.Suhrawardy, launched "direct action" against the Hindus in Calcutta on 16th August,1946.Rampant looting, killing & arson went on for 4 days,  Dr. Shyama Prasad stood firmly behind the people during the widespread communal riots, killing and raping organised by the Muslim League in Nookhali district under the leadership of Suhrawardy.  He formed the Hindusthan National Guard to save the affected people during the communal disturbances of Bengal. In 1943 famine struck Bengal and about 50 lakhs. people died of hunger. In those days Bengal was a state which included states of Bihar, Orissa, Jharkhanda and Bangladesh. During the famine Dr. Mukherejee organized large scale relief work for masses; his humanitarian work saved a lot of lives.

Soon after the rigorous famine the shadow of partition began to threaten the stability of life. Shayma Prasad Mukherjee was a strong opponent of the Partition of India. Even after the partition  he believed that one day the two counties will be united and one.

            Dr. Mukherjee is today considered the godfather of modern Hindutava and Hindu Nationalism, which is wrong notion. He was an Indian Nationalist leader who was imbued with deep love to the nation and its people, and bestowed highest regards to the traditions of Indian culture and civilization. He was not a leader of one religion or caste but of masses as his speech and writing will reveal herein.

 On 17th August 1937  Dr Mukherjee delivered this Speech at Bombay University Convocation  - It has often been asserted that the polytheistic Hindu failed to establish a spiritual kinship with the monotheistic Muslim who held much that is Indian in scorn and still seeks his spiritual inspiration abroad. How can we say that India ignored the teachings of Islam when we find saints like Nanak and Chaitanya, Namdev and Tukaram, preaching the brotherhood of man and the futility of caste in matters spiritual? Although attempts on Hindu culture and institutions fill the pages of Indian history, how can we assert that Muslims ignored the appeal of Hindu culture when we find Muhammad Jayasi weaving a beautiful romance to illustrate the teachings of Hindu philosophy, when we read the simple devotional hymns of Kabir and Sheikh Farid, who refused to recognise the barriers of caste and creed on the high road to God’s kingdom? “Utter not one disagreeable word,” said Farid, “since the true lord is in all men. Distress no one’s heart for every heart is a precious jewel.” In the same strain did Kabir proclaim, “There is the same God for the Hindu as for the Muslim.” A rejuvenated India found an Akbar to put an end to political chaos and social disharmony and a Shah Jahan to dream a dream in marble the like of which is not to be met in the world.

On the invitation of Mahatma Gandhi, Shyama Prasad joined the first National Government in August 1947. Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in the Interim Central Government inducted Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee as a Minister for Industry and Supply. He disagreed with the policy of the Government towards Pakistan.  Mookerjee resigned from the Cabinet on 6th April 1950 on the issue of the 1949 Delhi Pact with Pakistani Prime Minister Liaqat Ali Khan.  Dr. Mukherjee was firmly against Nehru`s invitation to the Pakistani PM, and their joint pact to establish minority commissions and guarantee minority rights in both countries. He wanted to hold Pakistan directly responsible for the terrible influx of millions of Hindu refugees from East Pakistan, who had left the state fearing religious suppression and violence aided by the state. Nearly 40 to 50 Lakhs of Hindus have been already pushed out of East Bengal.  He considered Nehru`s actions as appeasement, and was hailed as a hero by the people of West Bengal.  It was these factors of Hindu oppression, which promoted him to take the cause of Hindus, the less privileged ones in Congress rule due to their vote bank commitments. With Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, leader of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Mukerjee founded the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (Political Party) on October 21, 1951 and became its first President. He spent the rest of his life in actively building up this party. The Bharatiya Jana Sangh strongly criticized the favoritism & appeasement of Indian Muslims by the Nehru administration Jan Sangh is currently known as Bharatiya Janata Party and follows the principles of Dr. Mukherjee.

 Dr. Mukherejee Speech at First All-lndia Session of Bharatiya Jana Sangh at Kanpur December 29th, 1952 speaks his aspiration and his thinking towards the Nation:-  “Equality of rights of Indian citizens, irrespective any consideration, forms the basis of the Constitution of India as indeed it must be a primary characteristic of any democratic country. Pakistan's recent proposals for basing her constitution, including minority rights, on Islamic law and principles of communal separatism flagrantly expose the reactionary character of that State.” India has been for centuries past the homeland of diverse people pursuing different faiths and religions. The need to preserve and respect the personal laws of such people specially in matters of religion and fundamental social obligations, is undoubted. In all matters concerning the rights and duties of citizenship as such, there must be complete equality for all. We must be able to carry all sections of the people with us by creating in their minds a healthy and progressive attitude of co-operation based on true equality of opportunity and mutual tolerance and understanding. Our party's door remains open to all who believe in our program and ideology irrespective of considerations of caste and religion. Our party believes that the future progress of India must be based on a natural synthesis between its full economic advance and the development of mind and character of the people in accordance with the highest traditions of Indian culture and civilisation. A nation that fails to take pride in its past achievements or take inspiration there-from, can never build up the present or plan for the future. Our party realises that there is no hope for India until and unless her people living in remote areas, mostly illiterate, speaking diverse languages, following differentiates of life, habits, customs and manners, are welded together into one harmonious pattern in which they can retain their healthy features without sacrificing the organic unity of our nation.”

 Dr. Shyama Prasad believed in the unity of people and believed that the both India and Pakistan will unit one day on the basis of its civilisation & cultural bonding between its people. In his own words:-
“Our party believes that partition has done no good to the masses of people, either in India or in Pakistan. It has weakened the country in every way and the very problems that it was intended mainly to solve have become far acuter and are baffling a peaceful settlement. To us, therefore, reunited India is not an idle dreamer a mere slogan. It is an article of faith with us, and is a goal we confidently believe would be achieved sooner than later with the co-operation and understanding of the people themselves.”
     Indian culture is commonly known as Hinduism, Bharatiata or Hindutava and has been defined by the Indian Supreme court as a way of life. The Gazetteer of India clearly mentions Hinduism or Hindutava as having the same meaning and is reflected by the Art, taste, living style, manners and culture of the Indian people. ^olq?kSo dqVqEcde~* Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam is a philosophy which has emerged out of Indian civilization. Accordingly in India every religion has equal right and status.
   The secular character of India and the nationalist movement called Hinduism is more evident in the lower class of the society were people of both the section of society, depend upon each other for observing, celebrating and performing their festivals and rituals. Muslims artisans help in making cloths decorative and temple for Hindus, and similarly Hindus provide edible items sweets, cloths, Clay, wooden and iron Articles etc to the Muslims. A Festival of one became a bread earner to another, and both sections await and celebrate the festival with equal vigour and pleasure. This reflected the true secular face of Hinduism, and represented the mass feelings and sentiments. The Muslims of India have adopted the Hindu way of life, and the combined their custom and movement and thus is formed Hinduism the way of life. The true secular face of India and the Indians living therein including Muslims is reflected by the religions, rich cultural, artistic character of this great nation and the bonds prevailing between both the communities. Disturbing these centuries old friendship and cultural bond for Political gain is a crime against Humanity, which Bharata Matta (Mother land) this nation will never forgive.


The views expressed by the author are personal.