CHAPTER – 1
KOUTILLAYA, RAW AND INDIAN FOREIGN POLICY
The main sources of inspiration for the Indian Intelligence agencies and its foreign policy are ancient Hindu pundit and politician Koutillaya and his book ‘Arthshastra’ (Economy). Koutillaya is also known as Chanakya and Vishnugupta. He was the Prime Minister of Chandra Gupta. He had written his’ book ‘Arthshastra’ between the era 321 and 300 before the birth of Christ.’ The book is divided into 15 parts and has 180 chapters. Koutillaya had applied his treacherous diplomacy to subdue and annex other states. As a result the Mourya Empire vastly expanded under his advice and supervision.
For occupation of other states Koutillaya laid down the following guidelines:
a. When your country is weak, pursue the policy of peace.
b. When your country becomes militarily strong, follow the policy of war.
c. When another state seeks your help, apply double standards.
In his book Koutillaya has recommended six principles as the basis for foreign policy.
These are: peace, war, neutrality, military preparedness, formation of alliance and duel policy. He recommends:
a. Peace should be’ established with other states through agreements.
b . War should be pursued through relentless attacks on the enemy.
c. Neutrality means complacence and indifference.
d. The ‘power of the state should be enhanced by expanding military preparedness.
e. Other states should be lured and forced into formation of alliance or friendship to seek common shelter and security.
f. Duel policy means to make peace (friendship) with one and enmity with the other (The Daily AI Mujadded : November 3, 1994).
Even two thousand three hundred years after theMoyura rule the Indian rulers of today continue to follow the Koutillaya’s policy. Koutillaya’s dictum ‘power is the ultimate truth and the main aim of an organised state should be to obtain power’, has been followed by all Indian rulers. Since Koutillaya era till today all Hindu states have been relying mainly on muscle power. In the entire history of the Hindus it is difficult, to find a single Hindu king who had followed the policy of non-violence.
Present day India has also adopted the same policy, though in pursuance of principle of dual policy, Indian rulers keep propagating about following policy of non-violence. This is done with lot of gusto to deceive the outside world about their true motives.
Indira Ghandhi was an ardent follower of ‘Koutll1aya doctrine’. She subscribed fully to Koutillaya’s policy of waging ‘battles of intrigues’ and ‘secret wars’ to achieve her unholy objectives. She created RAW, a secret intelligence agency functioning directly under the Prime Minister, to pursue her ambitious but nefarious agenda particularly in South Asian region.
The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) was raised in September 1968 from the skeleton of Foreign Intelligence Desk of Intelligence Bureau (IB). Mr. Rameshwar Nath Kao was appointed as its first head. The new agency(RAW) was assigned the task of collection, collation and analysis of ‘intelligence from beyond India’s national frontiers. A ‘Special Operations Branch’ was also included in its organization for conducting secret and covert operations. RAW started its journey with an annual budget of two crore rupees and a staff of 250 persons: The organization grew rapidly and by 1990 its strength of officers ‘and staff had exceeded 8 thousand persons while its annual visible budget was above 500 crore rupees. RAW’s present budget is estimated to be around Rs 1500 crores. It has its own aircrafts and helicopters. RAW’s headquarters is located’ in an eleven story building in Lodhi Estate, New Delhi. Mr. A. S. Siyali, a Sikh is its current head (Director as he is officially known).
RAW is not accountable to the Indian parliament i.e. Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have no legal right to question its activities. Neither the Public Service Commission nor the Staff Commission has any role in appointing the officers and staff of RAW. As a matter of fact RAW is one of the few organisations in
India which is absolutely sovereign. It also has the power to carry out supervisory functions on othey organisations. Theoretically RAW is accountable to the Prime Minister, but in practice, it is free from any supervisory influence. As a result RAW is known to be following its own agenda particularly concerning neighboring countries.
RAW also has great influence in formulation of external policy of India. Since the last few years RAW has become so powerful and influential that it has emerged as a major player in the internal politics as well. Besides usual functions as intelligence agency, RAW is relentlessly working for attainment of following objectives :
a. To extend Indian sovereignty over unprotected and vulnerable smaller neighbours.
b. To enhance Indian. influence particularly in the Indian Ocean region militarily, politically and culturally, so as to project and develop India as a future super power.
c. To implement the Brahmanic dream of establishment of ‘Akhand Bharat’.
RAW’s popularity, acceptability and influence increased manifold after its success in disintegration of Pakistan in 1971 and annexation of Sikkim in 1975. However, its image suffered some set backs due to debacle in Sri Lanka during 1987 and failure to enlist Pakistan as a terrorist state. Nevertheless, it has retained its image as the country’s premier intelligence agency and still wields lot of influence in policy formulation, particularly in matters relating to foreign affairs and internal security. Some observers believe that in actual fact, the foreign policy ofIndia is conceived and planned by RAW, while Ministry of External Affairs is merely an implementing body. The cardinal principles of RAW inspired foreign policy are:
a. To exert influence on other countries under the cover of friendship and co-operation.
b. To play fake role of friendship while secretly pursuing enmity .
c. To resort to threat and coercion to achieve desired objective if necessity arises.
d. To insist on the policy of bilateralism.
e. To delay resolution of problems when own moral and legal position is weak.
f. To work as a lackey of a powerful country but present itself as a super power to the weaker countries.
g. To keep the South Asian – region free from foreign influence and interference.
Now let us see as to how RAW is working to attain its usual as well as special objectives:
a. Conducting extensive espionage ‘activities by the under cover diplomats and staff posted in the Indian Missions abroad.
b. Recruiting leaders and other important persons of enemy countries. The agents include politicians, military officers and personnel, Government officials, lawyers, litterateurs, journalists, cultural workers, trade union leaders, teachers etc. Use of well trained women agents, offering temptations, blackmailing and threatening the ‘targets’ are ‘common tactics for ensuring their allegiance.
c. Putting pressure or luring through incentives to the desired country for entering into unequal and incompatible agreements.
d. Offering training to civilian and military officers of other countries and recruit agents from amongst them..
e. Brain washing the intellectuals of foreign countries by arranging scholarships and study tours for them.
f. Spreading cultural influence through video films, TV and radio programmes, newspapers, magazines and journals etc.
g. Promoting internal clashes and violence in the target countries through tribals, aboroginals and minority communities.
h. Developing and promoting separatist movements and to arrange shelter, money: arms and training to terrorists and separatist elements in target countries.
i. Influencing the Government, members of parliament and Government officials of other countries with a view tQ make them tilt towards India. If some one resists the influence, he is made target of intense pressure exerted through diverse means.
j. Encouraging own agents to form pressure groups and through them organise hartal, strike, seige, gherao etc. to create instability and lawlessness in target countries.
k. Spreading false, baseless and distorted news through local and international news media about the target countries to hurt their economic interests as well as . their general prestige and image.
l. Arranging assassination of important personalities including head of Government or state, if he is considered to be faltering rather excessively. This is done to bring desirable changes in the Government and officials, besides serving as warning to the others.
m. Sponsoring military coups or political agitations etc. to bring down a Government which is considered hostile.
n. Waging intense propaganda warfare to further own interests.
RAW, ever since its inception has been playing a yital role in formulation and implementation of Indian foreign policies. In consonance with Koutillaya’s precepts, RAW has been waging relentless secret wars against smaller neighbouring countries. Over the years it has worked assiduously and fulfilled its tasks skillfully and ruthlessly. Nevertheless it has many weaknesses and vulnerabilities too. A detailed knowledge about its objectives, working systems and modus operandi can help in effectively countering its menacing onslaught.
ORGANISATION OF RAW
Director. of RAW,who holds the rank of a Secretary to the Government of India ,works directly under the Prime Minister. He is assisted by an Additional Director of the rank of Additional Secretary to the Government of India. Office of Special Operations (OSO) is responsible for special covert operations. The Joint Directors Areas have specified desks dealing with different regions’ (countries). Area one Pakistan, Area two China and South East Asia, Area three Middle East and Africa and Area four other countries. Another Joint Director is responsible of Electronic/Technical Section and Administration including Internal Security. The Director of Security is responsible for the Aviation Research Centre (ARC) and the Special Services Bureau (SSB) which has field detachments in border areas. Aviation Research Centre (ARC) is responsible for interception, monitoring and jamming of target communication, systems. It has the most sophisticated electronic equipment and also a substantial number of aircrafts equipped with state of the art eavesdropping devices. It was strengthened in mid 1987 by the addition of three new aircrafts, the Gulf Streams-3, at the cost of Rs 50 crores. The aircraft can reportedly fly at an altitude of 52,000 ft and has an operating range of 5000 kms. ARC also controls a number of radar stations located close to the Indo-Pakistan and Indo-China borders. Its aircrafts also carry out oblique reconnaissance along the borders with Pakistan, China and Bangladesh.
RAW’S Handlers, Agents and Operations
RAW is conducting its operations against Bangladesh from diverse places and centres. The prime centres are Indian High Commission at Dhaka and Deputy High Commissions at Chittagong and Rajshahi. A large number of under cover diplomatic and other staff are posted in these missions for pursuing RAW’s agenda of operations. Such officers and staff actually belong to RAW but on papers are shown to belong to the Ministry of External Affairs etc.
Besides, RAW has a regional office at Malibagh, Calcutta headed by a senior RAW officer, for supervising conduct of espionage and special operations. This set up works independently of High Commission and Deputy High Commissions and has separate budget stated to be over :as 20 crores annually. The set up has sub offices at Darjeeling, Shillong and Agartala which control operations within their regional domains.
These RAW operatives run and handle a large network of hard core agents. In addition they have a very vast number of supporters, sympathizers and part time agents. RAW agents can be divided into three broad categories:
a. Indian nationals who are sent to Bangladesh after proper training in espionage and. sabotage etc. They settle in Bangladesh under false and assumed identity as journalists, businessmen, students, cultural activists, litterateurs etc. for conducting their assigned tasks.
b. Bangladeshi nationals who get hooked for a variety of motives including financial rewards, business interests, ideological considerations (more so in case of Hindus).
c. Third country nationals i.e. who neither belong to India nor to Bangladesh.
These are usually the officials of multinational organisations, NGOs, business houses, corporations and international companies etc. who happen to be either posted in Bangladesh or concerned with projects of Bangladesh.Tasks assigned to RAW agents include:
a. To supply secret and sensitive information particularly about national defence and national policies.
b. To further Indian economic and other interests.
c. To mount malicious propaganda about founding principles and ideological basis of the country and create favourable public opinion for merger with India.
d. To create political unrest, promote terrorism and lawlessness and impede economic growth of the country by resorting to hartals, bandhs, blockades etc. These are done to ensure that Bangladesh remains dependent and shackled to poverty and hence unable to follow sovereign policies.
e. To spread communal and religious disharmony.
f. To create disturbances in educational institutions to encourage more Bangladeshi students to opt for admission in Indian educational institutions.
g. To encourage and promote separatist and subversive movements in the country.
The Weekly Rashtra wrote in its issue of August 11, 1994. "India very carefully uses its mercenaries to arrange hartals and other tactics to destroy country’s economy. It employs stooges like Taslima Nasreen to defame the country. Its agents are at work to turn Bangladesh as a market for Indian goods. Indian agents have also been trying to sabotage Jamuna Bridge project and to hinder exploitation of country’s mineral resources in order to promote Indian interests".
National Professor Syed Ali Ahsan said in an article published in the Weekly Bikram, April 19 1993, "A few people desire to establish political affinity with India. They seldom find, any error in India’s attitude and behaviour with us. They do not protest against India’s activities detrimental for Bangladesh. They utter comments against Islam to prove their modern outlook. In fact, they are working to prepare grounds for Bangladesh’s merger with India. It is an irony that activities of such treasonous and treacherous clique are not checked and that they have been allowed unbounded freedom to speak against country’s independence and ideology".
From the above, it is apparent that the nature of RAW’s operations and activities go much beyond the usual interests of an intelligence agency. No wonder that RAW’s agents have Infiltrated everywhere like swarms of locusts.
A section of people in Bangladesh preaches that menace of India is a baseless and communalistic propaganda. They argue, why should India over-burden herself by swallowing a problematic and poverty-stricken country ? For their kind information I can note that India has already set several examples of swallowing weak and tiny territories. The world is well aware how treacherously India annexed Hyderabad, Manvadhar, Goa, Daman, Diu, Kashmir etc. How can one forget the illegal and conspiratorial annexation of Sikkim, a tiny and rocky mountainous kingdom of the Himalayas. Thus how can one be naive enough to believe that India is not interested in capturing a strategically important country like Bangladesh.
Merging Bangladesh with India is RAW’s ultimate goal. It is considered necessary to suppress the ongoing liberation struggles in North-eastern Indian states bordering Bangladesh. Thus constant efforts are being made on multiple’ fronts to weaken and cripple Bangladesh to facilitate its swallowing. RAW’s policy makers have taken it as their historical responsibility to materialise the dream of Nehru and other leaders for a united India i.e. ‘Ram Raj’. It may be mentioned that the Hindu leaders had accepted partition of India in the hope that one day it would be undone. An independent and sovereign Bangladesh remains a thorn in the eyes of Indian leaders which has to be uprooted at the earliest.
People of the then East Bengal (today’s Bangladesh) had struggled for establishment of an independent Muslim state to get dd of communal mentality and master-like attitude of the Hindu leaders. Muslims apprehended that their interests and even existence may be in jeopardy in Hindu majority India. This led to wide scale popularity of Two’ Nation Theory which became the basis for creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of East Bengal.
It is to be noted that the then Muslim leaders had tried their utmost to avoid partition of Bengal and to form an independent and unified Bengal state outside the framework of India and Pakistan. Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the undisputed Muslim leader of that time was in favour of undivided and independent Bengal, but Hindu leaders, specially Jawaharlal Nehru and his followers opposed the idea. Nehru demanded that if India was to be divided to create. Pakistan, Bengal and Punjab were also to be divided so that their Hindu majority areas could merge with India. Nehru’s motive for dividing Bengal and Punjab was to expedite the annulment of partition of India as explained in his letter to Mr. Ashraf-ud-Din, a Congress leader from Comilla.
‘The Congress has stood for the union of India and still stands for it. But w~ have previously stated that we are not going to compel any part against its will. If that unfortunately leads to a division then we accept it. But inevitably such a division must mean a division also of Bengal and Punjab. That is the only way to have a united India soon after. If we can have a united India straight way without such division that will of course be. very welcome’.
The objective of Indian assistance to the Bengalis during the war of liberation of 1971 was to boost the process of reuniting India, a cherished dream of Nehru and other Hindu leaders. An impartial view of the treaty signed during 1971 war of liberation by India and the Provisional Government of Bangladesh, make it evidently. clear that India actually wanted a crippled Bangladesh, which should . not be able to come out of the claws of Indian grasp.
The 7-point secret treaty which our Provisional Government was compelled to sign in October 1971 states :
a. After establishment of Bangladesh, the administrative officers who actively participated in the war of liberation would remain in their posts. The rest would be terminated and vacant posts would be filled up by the Indian administrative officers.
b. After the liberation of Bangladesh the required number of Indian soldiers would remain in Bangladesh(No time limit was laid down).
c. Bangladesh would not form and maintain any formal Indian regular Armed Forces.
d. To maintain internal security and law and order a militia would be formed comprisin of the freedom fighters.
e. The chief of staff of the Indian Armed Forces would lead the probable war with Pakistan. The Mukti Bahini (freedom fighters) would work under the command of Indian Armed Forces.
f. Trade transactions between the two countries would be free and open. The volume of trade would be calculated once in a year and the price would be paid in pound-starlings.
g. The Foreign Ministry of Bangladesh would maintain a close liaison with External Affairs of Ministry of India and the latter would assist the former as far as possible( Excerpts from interview of Mr. Humayun Rashid Chowdhury: by Masudul Haque : ‘RAW and CIA in the Liberation war of Bangladesh)
Mr. Humayun Rashid Chowdhury, who was the Chief of Mission of the Provisional Government of Bangladesh in New Delhi disclosed during the interview that late Syed N azrul Islam, the Acting President of Provisional Bangladesh Government fainted after signing the accord. It is intriguing that the text of this’ treaty has not been published till today neither by the Government of Bangladesh nor by that of India.
In pursuance of above accord, provisional Government of Bangladesh had to agree to the following arrangements:
a. Lt. General Jagjit Singh Aurora was appointed as the Commander-in-chief of the Allied Forces instead of General Ataul Ghani Osmani.
b. Surrender of Pakistani soldiers to Lt. General Aurora.
c. Arrival of Indian civil servants in Dhaka to take over the responsibility of civil administration.
d. Continued stay of Indian soldiers in Bangladesh even after surrender of Pak Army on December 16, 1971. .
e. Formation of Rakkhi Bahini.
India intended to keep its troops in Bangladesh for an indefinite period but it was forced to withdraw the troops due to return of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on January 10, 1972, who publically asked India to withdraw its troops from Bangladesh. Ex-President of India Late Zail Singh exposed Indian plans during an interview. Mr Singh said that the decision of withdrawing Indian troops was not judicious as it hampered India’s interests.This interview was published in Indian newspapers on July 27, 1987.
The original RAW plan to keep Indian troops permanently in Bangladesh having failed, efforts were initiated on other fronts to cripple sovereignty of the new state. RA. W policy makers were well aware that it was no longer easy to swallow a country by force. The traditional method of occupying a country is neither appreciable nor practicable. Now-a-days no occupation army gets world recognition. Rather it has to face world-wide condemnation and defamation.
But it does not mean that an expansionist bully will leave its aggressive zeal in the New World Order. Now to over run a country an aggressor cripples its citizens psychologically and reduces its economy to shambles to create such a situation that its citizens no longer possess mental strength and inspiration to be self-reliant. That country becomes a market of foreign goods having failed to develop its own resources. And ultimately the country becomes bankrupt and overburdened with foreign debt. The spontaneity, vigour and vitality of the people are wiped out and they loose their spirit to resist an invader. Though the country seems to be independent outwardly but psychologically and culturally its people are made subservient. They become imitative. Their cultural identity and exclusiveness and their spirit of nationalism gradually die down. A day then comes when they fail to perceive the significance and necessity of protecting independence and sovereignty. RAW relentlessly has been endeavouring to create such a situation in Bangladesh.
With this end in view India wants to turn Bangladesh into a desert by withdrawing water of forty international rivers. The Chakmas are instigated to snatch away Chittagong Hill Tracts, the soul of Bangladesh. Efforts are made to infiltrate Indian secret agents .under the cover of ‘Bangabhumi’ and ‘push back’. Educational institutions are made to cease work in order to drive away students to Indian educational institutions. Agents are engaged to help close the local mills and factories in the name of trade union movements. To create psychological insecurity Talpatti, Muhurir char, Nirmal Char and many other areas of Bangladeshi territory have already been taken away illegally and forcibly.
BSF and Indian killers are infiltrated into Bangladesh to hijack or kill Bangladeshi citizens and plunder their belongings. Above all cultural and religious identity of 90% people of Bangladesh is being eroded out by systematic attacks on Islamic values.
RAW side by side creates political instability and unrest through its agents. In such a situation people become reluctant, irritated, disgusted and disrespectful to the leadership of the country as they fail to ascertain the real friend and foe of the country. When this situation goes from bad to worse and the national leaders fail to ensure the security of life and property of the common people they themselves may invite foreign power on their soil as their saviour. Sikkim, a Himalayan Kingdom, went underthe domination of India through this process.
RAW is applying above technique in Bangladesh more aggressively and systematically. RAW plans to throw Bangladesh to the brink of such uncertainty and destruction by wiping out its cultural identity, crippling its economy, creating political impasse ,and instability so that the demand for Indian intervention should rise from within Bangladesh. To respond to such a so-called invitation India has prepared before hand the legal ground by compelling Bangladesh to sign the 25 years Peace and Friendship Treaty. In. the meantime, RAW agents like Taslima Nasreen are propagating to wipe out the border of Bangladesh in order to merge with India. Indian intellectuals also do not feel ashamed to plead for re-unification of Bangladesh with India. For RAW Bangladesh is a test case to materialise its blue print of United India.
THE PARTITION OF BENGAL:TRUTH AND FALLACY
A dispassionate analysis of historical events prior to 1947 clearly indicates that Nehru and other Hindu leaders were responsible for the partition of India, specially Bengal. The division of Bengal took place consequent upon decision of Hindu majority districts legislators of the then Bengal Legislative Assembly who at Nehru’s behest voted on June 20, 1946, in favour o(partition of Bengal by 58-21 votes. On the other hand the Muslim legislators voted in favour of undivided "Bengal by 106-35 votes.
Nehru had created an apprehension in the minds of the Bengali Hindus that administration of undivided independent Bengal would be controlled by the Muslims as they were 6% more than the Hindus. To preclude the possibility of Bengal emerging as a powerful and viable unit and to make it easy for him or his successors to take weak East Bengal back into India’s fold as soon as possible, Nehru insisted on the partition of Bengal which he later confessed:"Bengal was divided in a manner that it could easily be merged into India again"( The Weekly Jhanda: May 13, 1992).
However, despite above historical facts, Hindus keep accusing Muslim leaders for partition !Jf Bengal. They hold Mr. Jinnah in particular responsible for Bengal’s partition. Hindus call Muslim leaders as communal for propagating Two Nation Theory. However, old press reports clearly indicate that neither Mr. Jinnah was communal nor he wanted partition of Bengal. A Deccan Daily ‘The Hindu’ in its May 9, 1947, issue reported that Mr. Jinnah had no objection to allowing Bengal to ‘participate in -the Constituent Assembly if Pakistan was allowed to be created on the western part of the Indian Sub-continent. He virtually had no objection if Bengal would remain outside Pakistan(1. Mahatma Ghandi: The Last Phase: Vol.-II.P-178. Quoted by Badruddin Umar in Partition of Bengal And Communal Politics.)
On the other hand Nehru’s demand was that Bengal would have to be divided if India was to be partitioned. Lord Mount Baton, the last Viceroy of the British India, explained how Mr. Jinnah Was compelled to swallow the partition of Bengal as a last resort.He (Jinnah) presented very strong arguments as to why these provinces (Bengal and Punjab) should not be partitioned. He conveyed’ that these provinces have common cultural characteristics and that partition would be disastrous. Nehru re-iterated that why not the same considerations be applied to the partition of entire India. Mr. Jinnah did not agree and started explaining why India had to be partitioned. However, finally Mr. Jinnah realized that the Hindus and British would either have a united
India or a divided India with partitioned Punjab and Bengal. Resultantly Jinnah was left with no option but to accept the proposed partition"( Kamruddin Ahmed: A Social- Political History of Bengal: P-83).The proceeding para clearly proves that Bengal and Punjab were partitioned as a pre-condition set by the Hindu leaders for partitioning India. So the sub-continent was not divided according to Jinnah’s plan. Jinnah wanted that India should be partitioned into India and Pakistan keeping Bengal and Punjab intact. He also favoured an undivided Bengal outside Pakistan. However, when Mr. Jinnah realized that if Bengal and Punjab were not partitioned to meet the obstinacy of Nehru, the sub-continent itself would not be’divided and in that case Muslims would be deprived of any homeland at all, he reluctantly agreed to the partition of the two provinces(Punjab and Bengal). In fact Mr. Jinnah had been left with no option but to accept the partition scheme because Lord Mount Batton had told him that if he (Jinnah) did not accept the 3rd June proposal, British would transfer power to the largest political party i.e., Indian National Congress.
RAW has now taken upon itself to distort the history to suit its ulterior motives. Accordingly RAW’s agents keep propagating that only Mr. Jinnah was responsible for the partition of Bengal. This is being done to support RAW’s bigger game plan i.e., to wipe out the boundary lines separating Bangladesh from India. RAW wants to project the boundary lines as reminiscent of Mr. Jinnah and others so called ‘communal’ Muslim leaders. The next phase is to make case for undoing these’ unholy’ lines.
Attack On Existence, Ideology and Culture OF Bangladesh
The Ananda Bazar Patrika of Calcutta recently published a long feature on the so-called crippled economy and political instability of Bangladesh and shamelessly advised Bangladeshis in the following way: Realizing the cruel truth Bangladeshis should rather raise the demand to merge with India’. Getting similar message from her masters in RAW Taslima Nasreen, a derailed writer, wrote in a poem:
‘A thorn has been pricked
In my throat in 1947
I do not want to swallow it
Rather I desire to extort it
To reclaim the undivided soil of my ancestors’
(1. Quoted in the Weekly Muslim Jahan, January 3, 1995.)
Taslima Nasreen has been rewarded by conferring many awards by India for her so-called literary works.Going back to history we find that our forefathers never willingly accepted being part of undivided India. The people of this region never whole heartedly accepted the authority of Delhi-the capital of undivided India. They raised flag of independence and even fought against the exploiters and administrators of Delhi again and again. However, RAW seems to have learnt nothing from history and continues to strive for realization of its dream of an undivided India. Propounding the same thoughts in a seminar about regional cooperation of South Asia held at Dhaka on February 28, 1992, Mr. Mayaram Surgeon, a leader of Indian National Congress and the editor of the ‘Daily Ajkal’ said:"If Europe can be united, why can’t we return to pre-partition India of 1947 ?"
The irony is that nobody in the seminar objected to Mr. Myaram’s malicious suggestion. Rather some of the RAW agents hailed him for his wisdom. In another seminar organised by the’ Center for Developing the Spirit of Bengali Nationalism’ to welcome the 15th century of the Bengali Calendar Mr. Hasan Imam, a self- styled champion of the spirit of liberation war supported the call of Mr. Mayaram. He said:’The vast sub-continent was fragmented to pieces, though we wanted to remain united. It cannot be believed that we cannot be united once again in future'( The Daily Inqilab : April 30, 1994)
Mr. Hasan Imam is a member of Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee (The committee for elimination of collaborators of 1971). The, above statement, evidently proves for whom Hasan Imam and his colleagues work.Why don’t these so-called ardent advocates of Bengali spirit encourage the people of West Bengal to secede from India and reunite with Bangladesh? Why do they advise Bangladeshis to merge with India? We in Bangladesh fought and laid down lives for upholding Bengali language and to nurse and highlight distinct Bengali identity. Our merging with India will amount to undoing these achievements. On the contrary they do not advise that West Bengal should break away from India and merge with us, given their love for Bengali spirit and culture. Mr. Mayaram and host of others like him see only the reunification of Germany but they are blind enough not to see what has happened to the defunct Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.
RAW certainly is aware of the fact that religion and religion-based culture are the prime obstacles in the way of reunification of so-called undivided India. A true Muslim can never relinquish his religion, culture and life-style. Every step of a Muslim is governed and guided by his religion because Islam is a complete code of life. For this reason Bengali speaking Muslims and Hindus though live in the same territory and eat rice-fish-dal, they can never become a. homogenous community. There fore, despite living in the same country they have separate and distinct identities. RAW’s objective is to undermine Islam in the lives of Bangladeshi Muslims so that their blending with Hindus is facilitated. For the purpose RAW is trying to erode the Muslim culture and replace it by Hindu culture under the pretext of Bengali culture.
It may be noted that Muslims have preserved and protected their separate cultural identity despite living alongside their Hindu neighbours for centuries. Although language of both. Muslims and Hindus is the same yet a clear-cut distinction is visible in their way of using idioms. In many cases Hindus use words of Sanskrit origin, While Muslims use words of Arabic and Persian origin. For ‘water’ Hindus and Muslims use two separate words: ‘Jol and ‘pani’ respectively. To refer to blessing, Hindus say ‘Ashirbad ‘ while Muslims say ‘Doa’.For the word ‘Pardon’, Hindus use ‘Khama’ (kshma) but the Muslims use the word ‘Maaf. Thousands of examples of this kind of differences can be cited. Hindus sound ‘Ulu’ (sound uttered by Hindu Women on festive or religious occasions) at birth, marriage and ‘Puja'(religion worship of the Hindus).
This custom is not in vogue among Muslims. Married Hindu women use vermilion in their hairparting. Muslim women do not use it. Hjndus are cremated after their ,death while Muslims are buried. The customs of the two religious communities are totally different and sometimes poles apart. Neither of them relinquished their own customs nor accepted and developed a common one to show their devotion to Bengalee culture or Bengalee spirit. Each of them is glued to its own faith and culture. When any Hindu child is born, Hindus utter b. sound ‘Ulu’, but when a child is born in a Muslim family, ‘Azan’ (Muezzin’s call to the Muslims for prayer) is articulated in the new born’s ears. Muslim boys are circumcised in their early boyhood, whereas Hindu boys are not. Hindus consider and venerate the water of the Ganges as the most sacred (even though it is highly polluted and impure) but Muslims do not think so. Hindus believe in 33 crores of deities and worship idols. Muslims believe in only one Allah. So Muslims and Hindus, though live in the same region, speak the same language and eat almost the same food; they have different customs and developed different cultures. Neither of the two faiths could get over the religious boundaries to create common life style and culture. Each of them belong to a distinct faith and culture and has different historical background.
RAW backed intellectuals take infinite pains to prove to the new generation that the liberation war of 1971 disproved the validity of the Two Nation Theory and generated the spirit of secularism. However, this is totally wrong. The war of liberation was directed against the then West Pakistani domination and exploitation and not against Islam and our Muslim identity. None of the leaders of the liberation war ever relinquished Islam, Muslim identity and Muslim culture.
One of the main characteristics of Islam is that it wants the new converts to set aside all the tenets, rituals, customs and life-style of their previous religion and to accept and practise what is enjoined and approved, by Islam. Our forefathers when they converted from Hinduism to Islam, not only relinquished Hindu :religion but also Hindu rites, customs, culture, norms and way of living. They committed themselves ,totally to Islam. After becoming Muslims they did not continue following their previous (Hindu) practices, such as, uttering ‘Ulu’, lighting ‘Mongol pradep’ (an auspicious lamp used by the Hindus, specially, at a religious ceremony), positioning ‘Mongal Ghot’ (a consecrated pitcher placed in a house to win divine favour). They gave up blowing the conch, sounding the bell-metal disc, cremation of a widow" on her dead husband’s funeral pyre, use of vermilion in hair-parting etc.; and began to practise what is granted by Islam. For these reasons, Bengali, speal,ring Hindus and Muslims did not and could not develop a conimon cultural heritage.
In recent years RAW hirelings have been assiduously trying to introduce Hindu practices, labeling them as integrai part of Bengalee culture. They kindle Mongal pradepi sound bell-pletal" disc and utter. ‘Ulu’ in various furictions. Their aim is to promote Hindu culture; in the name of Bengalee culture.’ ‘But history testifies that the custom of kindling Mongal pradep or sounding bell-metal,or blowing conch shell was not very common, even among the Hindus in any part of Bengal, leave alone the Muslims.
Thus these are pot part of Beng-alee tradition or culture at all.
No reference to these practices (kindling Mongal pradip, ringing be~l-metal Or blowing conch shell) is found in,the ancient Bengali religious lYrics ‘CHARJAPAD’ which were composed during the reign of the Paul Dynasty that ruled Bengal from the 8th to the 12th century. After the fall of the Paul Dynasty in the 12th century the Sens from Karnataka became the rulers or Bengal. The Sens were Hindus and they introduced Karnataki Hindu practices in the temples of Bengal. The customs of kindling auspicious lflmp at time of worshipping the deities, blowing conch"shell and beating bell-metal were introduced by Sens. So, the culture the urban-based RAW hirelings try to introduce in Bangladesh in the name of Bengalee culture is not even the culture of the original Hindus of this region. However, the RAW-inspired intellectuals have been pleading for introduction of the said rituals in our important national functions. In this context the comments of the renowned national professor Syed Ali Ahsan are worth mentioning. He writes:
"A group of parasitic and invertebrate people who are totally devoid of historical facts, kindle Mongal pradeep and blow bell-metal in the cultural functions. In pursuance of historical evidence I want to say that auspicious lamp and bell-metal are totaIly,idolatrous and communal. Moreover they are by no means related to,the life-style of the people of this region"(The Weekly Bikram : April 19-25 : 1993).
"According to the dictionary published by Bangla Academy one of the meanings of the word ‘Mongol’ is poem or lyrics or song praising deities: viz Manasa Mongol (epic in honour of the Hindu snake goddess Manasa), Chandi Mongal (eulogistic literature about Hindu goddess Chandi). Mongal Gnatmeans earthen or any other kind of pot placed with festivities to win the favour of Hindu deities.So Mangol Ghat and Mongal pradep are part and parcel of Hin’du customs and culture"(The Weekly Jhanda: April 30, 1992).
These practices never entered into the religious, social or family life of the Bengali speaking Muslims. Yet since 1990 a familiar group of so-called intellectuals has shamelessly started to indulge in these idolatrous practices on our new year’s day in the name of Bengalee culture. To display so called Bengali culture this group and their followers dance in the, streets wearing masks of deities,(ghosts, apparition, jackal, monkey and hanuman (the name of the monkey chief who was an ally of the Hindu deity Ramchandra in his expedition to Lanka).
Even the Hindus, let alone the Muslims of our country,were never seen before in our streets with such beast-like appearances. If we look into the bistory of British India when Hindus were dominant ip this region we do not get any evidence of celebrating Bengali New year’s Day in such a way. Let us again see what professor: Ali Ashan says about this exotic culture:
"The truth which history reveals is that these beastly masks and decorations are related to the festivals of Gajan held in connection with the worship of the Hindu deity ‘Shiva’ (Sri Krishna /Narayan, Vishnu, Shiva, all are Hindu deities)of the untouchable Hindus. In the ‘Gajan fair’ untouchable Hindus like ‘Dom’ (a Hindu caste who are assigned duty of burning the dead and looking after the crematorium), sweeper, chandal (one of the lowest caste of the Hindus usually entrusted with the execution of criminals) etc. used to dress up as clowns in multiforms to celebrate".I expect my learned readers to realize how tactfully RAW has been instilling the culture of lower caste Hindus among the Muslims of Bangladesh in the name of Bengalee cuUure. It should be noted here that Bengali-speaking Hindus never recognised Muslims as Bengalees. They considered ‘Bengali-speaking Muslims lower even than the untouchables like cobblers,sweepers, fishermen barbers, washermen etc.
There is not even a single instance in the history of the Bengali speaking Muslims to prove that such practices were in vogue during the united Bengal days or even thereafter. However, now the so-called progressive elements at the behest of RAW, have become votaries of alien culture. RAW wants to make inroads in the bastion of the Bengali speaking Muslim’s faith, with the ultimate object of making the Muslims of Bangladesh to repudiate Islam and its values and disdain their cultural heritage. Perhaps a day may come when RAW’s stooges will emerge in our streets dressed as Kali, Lakshmi, Sarswati,Radha-Krishna, Aurjun or Shiva (all are hindu deities) or parade the ,streets in procession as devotees of these Hindu deities. They may start wearing thread (worn by the upper class Hindus) round their necks or decorate their foreheads’ or the bridges of noses with sandal wood paste (as painted by vaishnavas worshippers of Vishnu, a Hindu deity or followers of Sri Chaitanya reformer of modern Hinduism) or’carry a trident in their hands (used by Hindu deity Shiva and now-a-days by Hindu ascetics). Some of them have already started making an exhibition of their Bengaleeism by wearing ‘Dhoti’ (a lion cloth worn by Hindus).
The people of this region had not seen such efforts for revival of Hindu culture in the name of Bengalee culture before 1990. Sheikh Mujib, the founder of Bangladesh and a Bengalee par excellence, celebrated 4 Martyr Days, 4 Independence Days, 4 New year’s Days and 3 Victory’ Days after the emergence of Bangladesh. But they never made any attempt to introduce auspicious lamp, bell-metal, conch shell or ‘Ulu’ in these celebrations in the name of Bengalee culture. Masked demon of Ram’s devotee Hanuman was not seen in the streets on Bengali New Year’s day. Not a sing (entrance is found in Sheikh Mujib’s,thousands of speeches and statements which could indicate that he encouraged the introduction of Hindu culture in the name of Bengali culture.
But since 1990 RAW hirelings have started a campaign to promote Hindu culture. After all what is their motive? Scrutiny of background of ardent supporters of Hindu culture reveals that these people are the new converts and hence are acting more holier than the Pope. Here are some details about a few of them. ‘
Sufia Kamal was an exponent of Islamic values; brotherhood and the territorial integrity of Pakistan till the sixties. She also composed a number of poems in praise of the Quaid-e-Azam and Pakistan. In the later part of the sixties when disintegration of Pakistan seemed inevitable she allied herself with the pro-Moscow elements. During the n~ne months’ of liberation war she stayed in Dhaka quite comfortably. Belfltedly she, emerged as a champion and symbol of independence and the apostle of the spirit of liberation war. She once headed the infamous’ Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee.
Mr.’ Sirajul Islam Chowdhury, another ostentatious exponent of the spirit of liberation war has become a supporter of Pakistan’s ideology. During Ayub regime he wrote a book for school students named ‘Pakistan: The country and her culture’ in which he advocated Pakistani nationalism and cultural unity of the then Pakistan.Mr. Shamsur Rehman is yet another ardent preacher of the so-called Bengalee culture. However, till December 16, 1971 Mr, Shamsur Rehman had employed his efforts and talent to safeguard the unity and solidarity of the then Pakistan. His writings in erstwhile ‘The Dainik Pakistan’ are clear proof of his allegiance to the then Pakistan.
These people are turn-coats and opportunists. They now claim themselves to be the custodians of the spirit of liberation war to draw personal benefits. They shamelessly try to introduce alien culture i:l1 Bangladesh the culture which Sheikh Mujib, the architect of liberation struggle himself never prescribed. They think that the more they glorify Hindu culture, the more will they be regarded as pure Bengalees and thus will be able to conceal their past record and gain material benefits. However, the truth of the matter is that these people were neither sincere and loyal to Pakistan in the past, nor are they sincere and loyal to Bengalee spirit at present. They are mere mercenaries doing RAW’s bidding’ for their personal gains.
RAW has realized that the sovereign existence of Bangladesh can’t be annulled so long Islam exists, as a living force among the bulk of her people and her cultural boundary remains intact. Therefore, RAW has mounted a multi-pronged attack to distort cultural heritage of Bangladesh. It has engaged so called-Muslim pseudo intellectuals to spearhead attacks on Muslim values and traditions and to introduce Hindu culture in the name of Bengalee culture. RAW has recently adopted a novel way to contact and recruit important, religious and political leaders of Bangladesh. They send some of their Indian, Muslim stooges to Bangladesh to approach high religious and political personalities of Bangladesh. Moulana Asad Madni of Deoband, Alhaj Kashani Baba of Dargah Nizam Uddin Aulia and ulema from Ajmer Sharif have been visiting Bangladesh for the purpose. They invite top Bangladeshi leaders to their hotel or place of residence and try to pass RAW’s covert message to include:
a. Partition of India has not proved good for Muslims. Hence Muslims should try for re-unification of India.
b. Indian Muslims and their religious places are well protected and looked after by Indian Government (not withstanding the plight of Babri Masjid). , ‘
c. It is propagated that Pakistan and Bangladesh do not have Islamic laws i.e., Family Laws in Pakistan as well as Bang~adesh are unislamic, while in India Muslim personal laws are being followed. Example of Shah Bano case is often cited to propagate their point.
d. Bangladeshi leaders are urged to stop criticism of India.
e. Invitation is extended to Bangladeshi leaders to visit India on their expenses. The offers for joint business ventures are also made to lure in the Bangladeshi leaders.
RAW’s ultimate aim is to affect minds of people particularly of new generation in such a manner so that they forget Muslim traditions, values and culture and adopt Hindu culture similar to that of India. Thereafter it will become easier for RAW to launch the next phase of ‘Annex Bangladesh’ operation.
Taslima Nasreen, the blasphemous and controversial writer from Bangladesh owes her sudden rise to fame and prominece to RAW. On instigation from RAW she has been writing novels and poems against Islam, morality and independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh. Since many years RAW has been using her for spreading poisonous and preposterous material against Muslim culture. RAW’s " love for Taslima N areen is indicated by conferring of an award by the Anandabazar Group of Calcutta, India, for her book ‘Nirbichito Column’.
Knowledgeable circles disclosed that although the book on its merit did not deserve such recognition, the award was conferred on her due to RAW’s recommendations. Some critics pointed out that Taslima in her said book had extensively copied from Sukumari Bhattacharjee’s book ‘Prachin Bharat: Samaj 0 Shahitya’ (old Indian Society and Literature). At places Taslima even used similar words which were written by Sukumari Bhattacharjee. But instead of taking action against Taslima Nasreen for piracy, the Anadabazer Group honoured her by the award.
Many poets, writers and literary figures of West Bengal have vehemently protested against awarding Taslima Nasreen for her plagiarism. But the Anandabazer Group continues to patronize her. Obviously it would not have been possible without official patronage. The RAW’s aim of doing the same was to establish Taslima Nasreen as a prolific writer to a literary person of substance so that her writings carry greater appeal.Taslima has been frequently writing against existence of Bangladesh as an independent and sovereign country. She openly preaches for merger of Bangladesh in India.
In many of her poems and other writings she unabashedly appeals for doing away with artificial boundaries of 1947 and regain the glory of undivided motherland.Her infamous novel ‘Lajjya’ was aimed at castigating Is1am and Muslim values in Bangladesh: The novel narrates the so saIled sufferings of an imaginary Hindu family in Bangladesh in the wake of demolition of Babri Mosque. It is intriguing. that she ignored plight of thousands of Muslims who were killed in riots in India. Instead she mlide false allegations against Muslims of Bangladesh, who have a good record of treatment of minorities. Infact, RAW had a deeper conspiracy in view while proposing to her to write the, said novel. Beside suggesting to her the novel’s plot and characters,’ RAW also provided her distorted ‘statistics’ for building up the story. The novel which was
completed within two months was printed imd distributed under RAW’s arrangements.
Many quartrers refuse to acknowledge that it is a genuine solo work of Taslima. They claim on the authority of inside sources that the final manuscript of the novel was shaped by some ghost Indian writers under supervision of RAW which was later published in the name of Taslima Nasreen.
The RAW’s objectives for publishing ‘Lajjya’ are listed below:
a. To create hatred against Bangladeshi Muslims by projecting’them as fanatics. Also to paint Bangladesh as a Muslim fundamentalist state.
b. To bring disrepute.to Islamic values and culture.
c. To raise the’ demand for obliterating the map of Bangladesh and merge it with India on the ground that minority community (Hindu) is not safe in the country.
d. To hit economic interest of Bangladesh by presenting her as a Muslim fundamentalists country where rights of minorities are not safe. RAW hoped that after such adverse ‘propaganda’ donor countries may cut or reduce econoJllic aid to Bangladesh.
e. To promote civil unrest by creatftlg polarisation in the society. RAW knew that TasIima’s uttering will be resented by Muslfm masses and will lead to establishment of two camps, one in favour of Taslima and ,the other against her. The ones who support her will be termed as anti-religious by the other group. The polarisation between the two groups will lead to severe unrest and law and order situation in
Bangladesh which may de-stabilize the Qovernment and the democratic system.After storm of protests all over the country the novel was banned in Bangladesh. However, its sale and distribution continued in West Bengal and other Indian states under patronage of RA W.,.BJP and other communal parties of India have been using the novel as an ammunition in their anti-Muslim campaign. Although RAW partially succeeded in achieving its other objectives, the economic assistance to Bangladesh was not affected due’ to timely counter measures by Bangladesh Government.
Mr. Ashoke A. Biswas, a noted Indian analyst and research scholar commenting on RAW’s involvement with Taslima said, "The latest examples of RAW’s mischief has been the notorious discovery of Taslima Nasreen. This immoral, third rate writer was initially lionized by Calcutta media and then financed by RAW. Taslima’s literary mentors in Calcutta encouraged her to challenge the fundamental tenets of Islam, knowing fully well that it would have an adverse reaction among devout Muslims. Here the plan of RAW was to create internal turmoil in Bangladesh as well as to arouse the western feminist and anti-fundamentalist lobby against Islam".
Taslima Nasreen is also notorious for immoral utterings. She preaches free sex and does not recognize the institution of marriage. She displays contempt for social values and cultural traditions on the ground that these hinder personal freedom. She argues in one of her writings that why should a woman be expected to bear the child of her husband alone. Why should she not conceive child of a man whom she loves even while married to another man? t’9bviously such writings, besides being provocative are against the tenets of Islam.
However, RAW undertakes to propagate and spread her works to spoil the moral fiber of Bangladesh’s Muslim society. Taslima Nasreeneven dared to directly utter blasphemous words for The Quarn and its teachings. She stated il) an interview with a Calcutta daily in 1994, "The Quran should be re-written to suit the changed present day world" (Nauzubillah). Obviously the devout Muslims of Bangladesh, could not take this direct assault on Islam. Soon the entire country was up against her. In many places of the country protest meetings and demonstrations were held against her utterings demanding severe punishment for her. Some secular and pro-Indian elements tried to defend her initially but seeing public’s fury, went quiet after a while. Sensing danger Taslima went under ground. On public’s demand Government instituted a case against her under relevant law of the land.
RAW’s game to earn Taslima fame and prominence was successful. Many organizations and governments of the western countries came forward to defend Taslimsa’s right to freedom. of speech and expression. Even the US President Mr. Clinton spoke in favour of Taslima. The Government under international pressure was obliged to allow her to leave the country after staging bail from a court. She is now comfortably lodged in Europe from where she keeps uttering blasphemous statements with impunity.
The case of Taslima Nasreen provides good insight about RAW’s modus operanda and overall objectives. A person of mediocre literary potentials and dubious personal morals was helped to jockey to fame and riches as reward for furthering their cause.
However, RAW made a fundamental, rather fatal mistake in their assessment.They failed to correctly gauge the reaction of Bangladeshi masses-the common Muslims. Indeed the blasphemy issue helped Muslim forces in uniting on one platform to thwart Indian sponsored onslaught against Islam and Muslim values. Such unity could not have been possible in the ordinary course. Thus thanks to RAW and Taslima Nasreen, today’s Bangladeshi Muslims are better prepared, united and determined than ever in the past, to fight conspiracies against Muslim identity of Bangladesh.
BANGLADESHI NATIONALISM VERSUS BENGALEE NATIONALISM
RAW strategists have cleverly created disagreement and division even over the issue of national ideology. A debate has been going on whether the country should adopt Bangladeshi nationalism or Bengalee nationalism. Unfortunately RAW has succeeded in making this fundamental issue an aging controversy. Bangladeshi nationalism relates to all the people living in Bangladesh. It is a description of the fee1ing of political cohesion, which inspires Bangladeshis to be proud of their separateness. Since Muslims constitute more than 85% of the country’s population., therefore, Bangladeshi nationalism in fact, means nationalism of majority of its population. As French nationalism implies not the nationalism of Algerian immigrants settled i~ France but the national feelings of those Frenchrllen who once were affiliated to the Catholic Church. Bangladeshi nationalism also reflects aspirations of majority community i.e. Muslims. The term Bangladeshi nationalism was adopted by President Ziaur Rahman as a compromise between those secularists who would not favour any description which savoured of religion and those who wanted that the nationalism should reflect aspirations and sentiments of majority community. However, even this secular expression which only indirectly points at Bangladesh’s character as a Muslim country with Muslim traditions in art, literature and social life, is not to the liking of RAW influenced intellectuals. They abhor the use of word Bangladeshi nationalism calling it communal and insist on adoption of Bengalee nationalism. Much of this campaign is being waged on wink from RAW.
Bengali nationalism encompasses all the Bengali speaking people irrespective of where they live. Going by this definition all Bengali speaking people form one nation.d HOwever, the concept of forming nations on the basis of language has become redundant. If language was the only factor for making of a nation, all Arabic speaking people of the Middle East should have formed one state instead of 22. Going by the logic of language, India has no right to function as a single country as it has 171 languages and 544 sub-languages (RuhulAmin: Our Nationalism: page, 20). Thus the concept of nationhood based on language alone is not in vogue.
Besides Bangladesh, the Bengali speaking people are inhabited in West Bengal, Tripura, Assam, Orissa and Behar states of India. In the first two states they are the predominant ethnic group. They belong to the same Bengali stock as people of Bangladesh and- in some cases have similar social and cultural behavior. But still they are distinctly different from Bangladeshis in matters of national identity, history, faith, hopes and aspirations. This difference is due to religion. In fact, the difference was created the day Islam came in this region. The advent of Islam brought in a new social culture which gave a new identity. to those who embraced Islam. The Bengali speaking Muslims and Hindus became two separate religious and cultural groups. These differences gradually became the reason for pronouncement of Two Nation. Theory and eventual division of India into Pakistan and India. East Pakistan, after separation from Pakistan in December 1971, became Bangladesh.
The basic differences between the two communities (Hindus and Muslims) are as evident today as these were thousands of years ago. Common cultural identity. and common nationalism could never grow between the two communities. British writer John Marshall while discussing the peculiarities of ancient Indian culture of the Hindus and the Muslims wrote. "It was never seen before in human history that the two religions and cultures coexisted side by side while one could not swallow the other(quote from John Marshal:by Abdul Mobin: Cultural Mischief, page 80).
The separate cultural identities of Bengali speaking Hindus and Muslims remained intact for ages despite conflicts and clashes. Such conflicts rather hardened their separate identities and religious beliefs.The Hindu poets, litterateurs and intellectuals Bever, accepted the Bengali speaking Muslims as Bengalee. They used the term Bengalee only for Benga.li speaking Hindus. The Muslims were not considered Bengalees. Instead they used to be referred as Muslims. On the other hand, the Bengali speaking Muslims did not care much about their’ Bangaleeness. They took pride in their Muslim identity and culture. Being a Bengaleecame only after their Muslim identity.
Religion based cultural identity in course of time created political conflicts. The differences on political issues specially since the advent of British rule in Bengal led the Bengali speaking Muslims of this region to think that their interests and goals are not the same as of their Hindu neighbours. The Muslims of Bengal opposed the rule of the British East India Company while the Hindus welcomed it and cooperated with the foreign rulers. In return the East India Company allotted vast’lands of Bengal to the Hindus who emerged as Zamind-ars. The anti-British struggle of Titunrir, Haji Sharlat Ullah and the 1857 War of Independence, all ended in smoke due to the non-cooperation and opposition of the Hindus.
The Hindus of Bengal once again prov~d in 1905 at the time of partition of Bengal that their interest and that of the Muslims are not the same. Not a single Hindu political.leader or intellectual rose above his communal feelings and interests to support the partition of Bengal in 1905. Rather, inspired by Hindu nationalism., they vowed to fight for annulment of partition. The very inimical attitude of the Hindus towards Muslims gave them a chance to unearth the real face of Hindus. They realized the necessity of preserving their own religious, cultural, economic and political interests.
The Bengalee Hindus had shown more affinity with the non-Bengalee Hindus and developed Hindu nationalism. The anti-Muslim attitude of the Hindus made the Muslims of Bengal to welcome the Two Nation Theory of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Based On this theory the resolution for partition of India to create separate home-land for the Muslims was adopted in 1940 in the All India Muslim League’s annual session at Lahore.
Just before the partition of India in 1947, some Muslim leaders of the then Bengal like Suhrawardy, Abul Hashem and lone Hindu Leader Sarat Bose worked for a united’.Independent Bengal. Bq.t the Hindus, led by Ghandhi and Nehru, vetoed the scheme and thus neutralized the last chance of keeping Bengal united. Had it materialized, it could have formed the basis for emergence of Bengalee nationalism. But the Hindus, who preferred Hindu nationalism, themselves gave final burial to the. Bengali nationalism.
Pakistan was created on the basis of Two Nation Theory.Partition of India also led to partition of Bengal on the insistence of Congress. Bengal’s Muslim majority area i.e.East Bengal joined Pakistan as its province named East Pakistan, while West Bengal, the Hindu majority area,went with India. Thus there remained no chance for a nationalism based on language to take roots.The Bengali nationalism, however, did find currencyduring movement against Pakistani ruling junta. But in actual fact the separatism was an expression of regionalism; phenomenon also noticeable elsewhere. The people of East Pakistan felt deprived due to the exp)oitation and usurpation of their rights by an administration dominated by West Pakistanis. Their demand for emancipation found expression in Bengalee nationalism. This was purely in the context of Pakistan and at no stage the people intended to part with the Two Nation Theory. The emergence of Bangladesh is in consonance with Lahore Resolution of 1940. The resolution says, "It is the considered opinion of this session of the All India Muslim League that no constitutional arrangement would be workable or acceptable to the Muslims unless they would be based on the following principles viz. (a) that the contiguous geographic areas have to be demarcated as a region. (b) that the territorial adjustments should be such that the Muslim majority areas in the north-west and Easter