The origins of Hindutva lie in Bengal because it is the territory where for the first time on religious grounds the partition happened in 1905. The Muslims of the Eastern areas of Bengal demanded a separate political unit in the Eastern region where they were in majority but underrepresented in government services and modern professions.
The Muslims blamed the dominance of Hindus for their underrepresentation (not their lack of education), and the British very conveniently divided the Muslim majority and Hindu majority Eastern and Western part, although they were forced to retract the same in 1911.
The experiment retracted in 1911 but it sowed the seeds of partition as well as Hindutva. The Hindus of the state realized that their dominant role in the positions of power was in danger because demography was not on their side, especially in East Bengal.
The demographic superiority of Muslims ultimately culminated in partition and the bloody post-partition migration and riots that followed.
However, one partition was not enough for Muslims in Bengal. With their growing population and a favourable government in power, the Islamists of West Bengal (which is already partitioned) are endangering the lives of Hindus and are triggering their exodus once again.
In the last few years, especially after Mamata Banerjee was elected for a second term in 2016, the influence of Islamists has consistently grown. In the last five years, the Hindus of the state have seen it all; being stopped from celebrating Saraswati Puja to Hindu women being raped and tortured in open, from being thrown out of their homes for their political preferences to being killed for allying with RSS – every passing year becomes more torturous for the Hindus of the state.
Almost two weeks ago, a PIL seeking protection of Hindus in West Bengal was accepted by the Supreme Court. As per the PIL, “As a result of violence, loot, killings and terror, Hindus en-masse have been forced to leave their native place and to migrate to Assam. Just like the Hindus who were forced to do the same thing in 1990 in Kashmir.
There is every possibility that Islamists will allegedly try to forcibly convert Hindus to condense their stronghold on future elections and TMC, who will become the direct beneficiary may push for the move.
If such a course of action is resorted to, the same will be against the sovereignty and integrity of India giving rise to a Kashmir like situation. There is every possibility that those Hindus who do not succumb to Muslim pressure will be forced to leave their native place,” the PIL claimed.
Given the situation in the last five years in the state, one can argue that if President’s rule is not imposed in West Bengal, Hindus would lose even the part of Bengal that was given to them during the partition.
The Mamata Banerjee government is trying to ‘secularise’ the Hindu children of the state by tempering with history textbooks. In 2017, the Mamata Banerjee government replaced the word ‘Ramdhenu’ or Lord Ram’s bow with Rongdhenu.
The government of Bangladesh changed the word Ramdhenu with Rongdhenu many decades ago in order ‘secularise it and Mamata Banerjee’s government followed. Even after partition, the government in Bengal is toeing the line of Muslims, which begs the question; what was the meaning of creating a separate country for Muslims?
The policies of Muslim majority Bangladesh and Hindu majority West Bengal are one and the same. Imagine the day when Muslims become the majority in West Bengal too.
The Hindu or Bengali words in the books are being replaced with Urdu words. For example, the word Akashi (Hindi) for the colour of Bhagwan Ram’s Dhanush has been changed with the word Asmani (Urdu word).
“There are linguistic differences between the Muslims and Hindus of Bengal. In an attempt to standardise the language, lot of words have already been compromised and local dialects killed. Now, I don’t feel there is any further need to import Bangladeshi words in Indian curricula,” linguist Sadhan Das said.
If the President’s rule is not imposed in West Bengal and the exodus of Hindus continues, the territory would soon become a Muslim majority. The community could either ask for another partition or a merger with Bangladesh. Therefore, the Modi government must understand that to save the territory, it must impose President’s rule in the state before it becomes a perennial problem like Kashmir.