Tuesday, March 28, 2006

text of my discussion on "Bengal Partition" at banglabuzz.com forum

Hi all,
I was wondering if we bengalis should celebrate one century of Partition of
Bengal since 1905 by Lord Curzon. Pl. send in your feedback.

Arnab ,Administrator
Well, it depends how you want to celebrate...if you want to celebrate it as
the starting point of Hindu-Muslim fighting or the rise of Islamic and Hindu
fundamentalists...then count me in!!!!
However, I don't want to celebrate it from the perspective of history because
that created difference among us and gave us a new religious identity...

Definitely it is the rise of separate Hindu and Muslim identities among
Bengalis which even broke though the spirit of cultural unity in Bengal.
Optimistically saying, instead of one Shonar Bangla before 1905, we now
have two Shonar Banglas' and that is definitely more shona? 2 shonas are
better than one. And all the credit goes to Lord Curzon. The british were
really great people.
what do u say?

Arnab Administrator
Well, I agree with you that the British were good people in a sense
that they introduced science and latest technologies to us. However,
we should not forget the fact that they have destroyed the 700 yearold
?Hindu-Muslim unity.? We also should not forget the way they
have raped, killed and took the wealth out of our country. If you are
trying to measure, the weight of good and bad impacts of the British
government the bad side is much higher than the good sides.
You see, in order for the British government to continue in power,
they had to introduce hatred among Indians and they used religion.
At the beginning, they supported the Hindus and the Hindus
supported the British government and many of them even converted
to Christianity. At the end, starting from 1890, they started
supporting the Muslims and the Hindus became mad. Their policies
have made Hindu-Muslim unity impossible in our sub-continent.
If you are thinking from the economic perspective, it is actually good
for India because Bangladesh is not part of them as we have a huge
and poor population and it?s also good for us, Bengalis as we have
our own country and our own language! However, it is really
unfortunate for the people in Bangladesh and West Bengal, India
who have relatives living in the other side of Bengal. For instance, I
have a good number of relatives living in westbengal and I haven?t
talked to most of them. I write to them but I don?t know how they
look like. We Bengalis are not that different from physical
appearance or in thinking styles but this border has differentiated us.
Therefore, I don?t support this separation?
About Hindu-Muslim unity?I believe both Hindus and Muslims should
be more tolerant and cooperative to each other if they want to
achieve unity and our government (both India and BD) should
emphasize on the separation of the religion and state?
The true unity among Bengalis is actually provided by the atheists in
my opinion because they don?t really find that much difference
among Hinduism and Islam.

I wouldnt support atheists as the uniting factor b'coz there is a sort of
running away from the reality in them. It was such a factor which fortunately
took Swami Vivekananda away from the Brahmo Samaj, which was the
closest thing to atheism in those days, towards Sri Ramakrishna
We definitely need religion in as many forms as possible because it not only
establishes order in society but increases the good human values. We should
actually encourage as many religions as possible to understand that all roads
lead to the same objective. Hence the path to unity is not stop walking
altogether along religious paths altogether but to walk on each and every
path to individually realise the fact. Merely stating Hindu-Muslim Unity
should exist is not enough.
Secondly, I cannot but disagree that Hindus and Muslims have been in unity
before the British came to India. In fact, we have examples of Hindu
kingdoms not at peace with neighbouring or distant Hindu kingdoms,
neither were Muslim kingdoms at peace with other muslim kingdoms. For a
good exposition on the fall of the mughal empire I would suggest u visit
gutenberg.org and search for the free etext "the fall of the mughal empire".
If we consider the history of the mughals alone, they have forged alliances
with Rajputs who were Hindus and fought against jats who were also Hindus.
The Mughals had fought with the Deccan Sultans who were all Muslims and
against Shivaji of the Marathas who was a Hindu.Not only that, the 500
years immediately preceding the British empire in India is marked by
continuous wars and battles.
The people were not accustomed to the peace and discipline provided by the
British administration.
I agree that the British have also raped, pillaged and murdered our people
but that was the custom of victors of war. Even after the World Wars I and
II, conservative estimates put the number of German women raped at 3
million, i.e. the same no. of german troops lost on the German Eastern
Front. But the undeniable fact is that British systems have allowed us to live
in relatively greater peace and prosperity than under any previous Hindu or
Muslim, or even other Christian Europeans for that matter.
I guess that is enough for today. by the way how do u know the browser and
OS I am working on???
The real reason for the rise of British power was too much infighting.

Arnab Administrator
Dear GB,
Well, you see British have also taught us English. Now, you see how
important English is in this world. For instance, after I moved to
Canada, 3 years ago, I was able to participate in the regular English
because my English was okay (not good though). However, I feel
really bad for those Chinese, Middle-Eastern, and other people, who
don't know English that much and cannot take regular courses
because of English. Many of them even are better than me in
different areas but cannot really study them. Without the help of the
British, we would have faced that problem as well.
Nevertheless, I can't agree with you that the British have provided
us with an organized society. The only people, who were able to
enjoy organized lives were the rich jamindars. These capitalist
government of Britain used these jamindars to money away from the
poor farmers and other workers. These people also took away our
wealth such as Kohinoor. The Mughols on the other hand established
"Taz-Mahal" and brought many wealth to India. Nevertheless, at the
beginning the mughols did take wealth out of India but later Delhi
became the capital of Mughol empire.
In addition, all the "official" religious riots took place during the
British era not during the Mughol era.
Also, in our country, we were considered second-class citizens by the
British!!! In buses, we had to let the white people sit even if we had
to sacrifice our place!
I am really surprised to hear that Swami Vivekananda was actually a
follower of Brahma Samaj in his first life!! I thought he was born in a
orthodox Hindu family. The only famous Bengalis I know are
Rabindranath Tagore and Satyajit Roy, who followed Brahma Samaj.
Do you think these famous people have escaped from the reality?
Well, the importance of religion among Indians is really high I
believe as Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism were created here and
also Islam got its colour from India. However, in our society, we
don't really need religion that much if we can have an alternative
system. The poor countries only think that religions are important in
the society for instance, 95% Indonesian thinks religion is important,
93% Indians think religion is important, 92% Pakis think religion is
important and 88% Bangladeshis think religion is important.
However, if you look at the western world, ONLY 30% Canadians
think religion is important. Is Canadian economy or society worse
than the sub-continent? The sub-continent has much higher crime
rate isn't it?
I do agree that during the old times, the religions were important
because people didn't have science to rely on during explaining
various things all over the world. Also, it was important for people
not to go towards the wrong path. However, now we have latest
technologies and laws, which prohibits people from going to the
wrong path.
All these religions have provided us with riots and discriminations
against other people and most importantly women. In a religious
society, women have no rights whatsoever! For instance, I was
reading an article from Iran, an Islamic Republic. According to their
social Islamic system, men have the rights to beat up their wives.
There was a Muslim women, who was beaten up by her husband
everyday!!! Therefore, at the last moment, she became desperate
and went to the court to request her husband to beat her up once a
week because she cannot take this pain everyday. She said that her
husband could not live without beating her so she didn't want him to
stop torturing her. In addition, she didn't even ask for divorce
becasue of the society. You see what I mean!
Fortunately, atheism is rapidly increasing in Bengal. For instance,
there are more atheists in Bangladesh than Hindus! In Kolkata, the
number of athiests are also increasing.
BTW, you can get this kind of signature from danasoft.com

I would like to discuss with u the issues para by para.
Inspite of the people from S Asia being comfortable in English, that has not
made us a superpower; just look at the tiger economies of S.E. Asia. English
has played an insignificant role in their growth, even China for that matter.
The fact remains that people in S Asia still follow rules based on British rules
of pre-1947.-I dont know much about B'desh though. And the rules have
stopped S Asia from exploding into a large number of independent and
unstable countries. An example I would give you, till the British were in S
Asia, the Chinese could never think of attacking the S Asian countrie,
whereas within 15 years, it annexed Tibet by 1954, large tracts of Indian
territory and even large part of Pakistan occupied Kashmir by 1962. I would
definitely support that British did a good job of defending S. Asia from any
aggression. As for the jamindars, they were relics of the past. We cannot
expect others to clean up our problems. But still I will cite two examples,
First is the elimination of Thugis-a group of bandits devoted to Mother
Second is stopping practice of Sati among Hindus and using legislation to
force widow remarriages across all Indian religions.
That the Mughals came to India and settled here permanently is a fact,
maybe we could have forced the British to change their capital from London
to Delhi once we had sufficient influence.Shahjahan did build Taj Mahal, but
I would request you to read Deccan History books by authors such as Sir
Jadunath Sirkar. In the 40 years immediately preceding the completion of
Taj Mahal, the then capital of Maharashtra, Devgiri, near present day
Aurangabad was ransacked and the entire population was massacred on
orders of the great Mughals, Jehangir and Shahjahan. And when funds for
the Taj fell short, Shahjahan came with his army and looted Devgiri a
second time. So much for love. someboy's love is others' death.
Not all Indians were considered second class citizens, imagine J.Nehru sitting
in a second class position....
Swami Vivekananda was really experimenting with Brahmo samaj; in his
quest for seeing the God. Brahmo samaj was not a atheist society but the
one closest to atheism to be found those days in Bengal. Rabindranath
Tagore and Satyajit ray became famous because of their individual work and
not any contribution to the Brahmo Samaj movement, hence the argument
is specious to correlate their individual achievements with Brahmo Samaj as
a whole...
The subcontinent has recently got a higher crime rate because people are
turning away from religion. religion is not merely praying in temples and
mosques bu knowing more about ones own self. And it is in this regard that
we in S Asia are so fortunate. we have so many religions to understand
ourselves and search for God. After all if Swami Vivekananda,S.V., and
Hazrat Moinuddin Chisti can, why not we???? even S.V. has said that
religion,Dharma, is the lifeblood of India, once Dharma dies, India will too.
No religion prosecutes women, show me one instance from any of the
religious scriptures, it is our ignorance of religion which causes these types
of troubles.
And finally, our ancestors living in pre- 1947 were definitely well off and
peaceful inspite of less money. Inspite of having 3 different countries with
different styles of government, we have been unable to replicate the type of
stability provided by the British in S Asia.
There are few Hindus in B'desh anyways, the most Hindu people having
migrated during 1947 and 1971.

well GB,
first of all can we have a little itro of you in the introduction section please?
whatever it may be the condition of india pre-independence and the
condition currently, is it enough reason to be a slave dominion? how does it
compare to a rich man's dog on a golden lash? it doesnt fully, but it does a
merely because our present governments are inefficient does not make the
british good governors.
we, at least now, cannot forsake religion. but what we can do is forsake
mixing religion with politics and state.
again, 1905 partition did not start the hindu-muslim divide, it started the
celebration of raksha-bandhan by bengalis. the later partition caused the
riots. so 1905 is really a botched attemt to divide, that was done through
the combined efforts of all people of bengal.
you are right, 1905 can be celebrated as a strong point of bengali-ism

Well , we need to associate with people doing their best as is the motto of
current day multinationals. Such a line of thinking allows us to praise the
British for giving us more unity than there was when they came. Without the
British all Bengalis would have been fighting the Marathas of Maharashtra
(called borgi in bengali) or the ahoms of assam or the muslims of North
India. It was a realistic scenario without the British. I am only telling that
we should thank the British for what they have done akin to the saying "Give
the devil ihis due". Not only for the homogeneous countries on the Indian
subcontinent but also that we have two different "shonar" Banglas , so to
Even with so separate countries on the subcontinent, we are continuously
arguing over some matter or the other. It is very rarely that the leaders
agree on something and it is never about the common people. People always
suffer for no fault of theirs.
Religion should not be mixed with state is an agreeable point but it is very
difficult to implement especially since atleast one country was formed in
1947 with an openly religious claim which was later proved false in 1971
with the birth of a third country inspite of having a common religious
majority. The raison-de-etre of existence of such countries would be in
doubt if their main political parties gave up whipping passions in the name of
religion. And naturally by an extension of newtons' laws we have a large
number of organisations mixing politics and religion on all sides on the
Indian subcontinent. The thing is if we know something profitable for us or in
our immediate surroundings has suceeded in the past even if it causes harm
to others we will try to do it again and again, that is a human nature and has
very little to do with actual religion taught by seers, sants and prophets.
My point regarding 1905 is that the year 2005 should not go waste. It is
time that we stopped burying our heads in sand and really discuss the issues
concerning Bengalis and S Asians as a whole on the century of this
momentous occassion.

oh i love being a english dog........we start fights over stuff we did long

The point is about celebrating 1905 not about the english, welsh, scottish or
irish people.

no have a party for us....we stole every thing so why not give us a party as

Not very clear what u meant. Besides ur profile is too anonymous.
I was not talking of personal parties by the way my dear friend but an open
discussion on a century of Bengal's partition.

ignore me as i am just a english fool playing around takeing this topic as a
joke....when it should be no joke...sorry

what i would say gb, is, thanks but no thanks.
its been enough of living in the past, be they be glorious or damning.
why need to celebrate 1905, an event of 100 years ago, when we can
celebrate todays events like say, the discovery of the first rocky planet
outside our solar system. i'm sure, some of these days well will need to resettle.
cheers to that

We need to celebrate 1905 because 2005 will come only once; most of
us wont see the next ..05 . If the date matches, why not.
As for celebrating today's things, we are already doing it, isn't it? We
are everyday told which day it is, viz. World Health day, friendship day, etc.
Everyday we turn on the news and hear of scientific breakthroughs and
terrorist attacks. We are definitely celebrating such things whenever we
listen and see them. Then why not 1905. It has touched the lives of all
Bengalis, not to speak of people in S. Asia.
If we see documentaries on world history, geography and sciences on
channels such as Discovery, National Geographic, we can see all shades of
character of Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, but just consider making a
documentary on Barrister Jinnah, J.Nehru or Mujibur Rehman, there is so
much of bias in the views; we can see the positive and negative effects of
Why do we as S. Asians and Bengalis in particular need to run away from
our emotional conflicts. Why cannot we see the date as just a date, a person
just as a person and history just as history? What are we afraid of? of
Why should we run away from facts. Facts are facts, nothing else.

1. of course, 2004 also only came once, and likewise 2006 also will only
come once. and most of us wont see the next one.
2. 1905 barely touched the lives of s.asia, though it touched that of all
bengalis for sure.
3. i dont see what link celebrating 1905 has with making documentaries on
the lives of jinnah, nehru or mujib.
most of them weren't even involved in the protest movement. the big
persona involved was rabindranath tagore.
4. sometimes the best way to solve conflicts is not try to solve them, bu let
the storm pass away.
a date is not just a date, it a day in each of our lives. a person is not just a
person, (s)he is a part of the social organism. hostory is not just history, its
a tapestry enshrouded in mystery, and which moulds the direction of our
future. facts are not facts, they are our interpretation of happenings.

very well put tukhor

Dear Tathagata,
pl. find my reply below.
1. and 2. 1905 has changed the lives of Bengalis, if this is already agreed,
then SAsia is definitely affected since Bengalis come from SAsia and 1905 is
different from 1906, 1947, 1971 for sure. We celebrate dates to realise the
significance of the events. And 1905 is definitely significant, you have
already agreed to this in your post.
3. The topic of documentaries regarding Jinnah,Nehru or Mujib is raised by
me not to link it to 1905 but to explain our inability to look unbiasedly. We
frequently get frightened of facing facts. That is all. I admit this particular
point is a diversion from the 1905 celebration topic.
4. I definitely agree with your statement and hence let us not be aggressive
about not celebrating 1905. Let us all Bengalis celebrate 1905 for the
significance it has had on our lives.

Arnab Administrator
actually, there is no point of arguing about the TRUTH of the British era or
the good reasons behind the separation of Bengal. Actually, it is totally
impossible to know the truth.....
There is no such thing as "facts" we cannot learn the TRUE facts....it's
impossible...we can go close to the TRUTH but can never learn the whole
thing....it's like the math concept of Isaac Newton that we can go really
close to a number but never touch it (the concept of limits)....
now, yes, we can celebrate....but should we celebrate it as a "Shok
Deebosh" or "Bijoy Deebosh?" You see, we BDs celebrate March 26th even
though that's the darkest night of our history because on that day barbarian
pakis and Bengali religious fundamentalists killed thousands of innocent
people by the name of religion and that's why we celebrate it as a "shokh
I guess, you have mentioned documentary shows to show that the our
leaders are not that respected among the west....
Okay, we have to understand the fact that the western culture is much more
advanced than our culture....and that's why there is no point of asking
people if we should have documentary shows on Neheru (I don't like him
that much by the way) or Mujib. You see, the East (including South-Asia) is
pretty much alienated from the western society......Only Turkey is close to
the western culture and that's why Turkish leader Kamal Ataturk is pretty
popular among the west.....do you know why? Because Turkey has accepted
the western culture and western views of secularization of the
politics......therefore, today, even though Turkey has been associated with
the East from the beginning, it is a well-respected country on the west.....
Therefore, if South-Asia wants some recognitions then it has to drop its
radical cultural and religious views and westernize the territory.....
by the way, South-Asia also has to stop talking or bragging about the
past....i mean we have to move on.....i mean, for instance, we can't keep
saying how "tiger" we Bengalis used to be in the past....we need to accept
the truth that now, we are "rats," nothing else.....we are not "Royal Bengal
Tiger" anymore.....we are, "Royal Bengal Rats"

dear friend,
That sounds a little pessimistic; an attitude shared by Sri Aurobindo's
father who had decided to make his son totally westernized but ended up
creating a spiritual genius.
N.B: What is the duration for which a post is allowed to run? or is it
determined by last reponse made?

Arnab Administrator
Yes, I do understand that it is not little but very much pessimistic but we
have nothing to be optimistic....we have the only one way open is to
westernize our society because we need to follow the path of the people,
who are successful....for instance, at school, the unsuccessful students
follow the good students....the whole world is like a big school where,
America, Britain and others are good students and we the poor countries are
bad students....therefore, we need to follow the good students if we want to
successful....as I have mentioned before one bad student (Turkey) is doing
pretty good through following the good students....
You see, our society is very much conservative....we cannot rise with a
conservative society...if we look at Canada, the most successful party is the
Liberal Party not the Conservative Party...
By the way, Sri Aurobindo was a great brave leader but at that time we were
able to stick to our culture and views but now, it's just impossible...
Oh by the way, are you also a member of mukto-mona....I mean I have
seen you there....I don't post many message there but sure enjoy reading

Hi all,
Here is a Bengal conference scheduled in Dhaka,Jan 4-6. For those
interested details will be on the webpage.
yes I am a member of mukto-mona, what is ur id on the grp?

here is more info. on aurobindo.
while ur point is valid that western nations are stronger in the scientific
classroom, orientalist countries are stronger in the spiritual, religious and
social sciences classrooms. It is more a matter of getting help fom the better
students in each class than forgetting our strengths and trying to copy the
good students. We may become gud students in that class but shud it not be
alongwith knowledge and pride than with complexes(inferiority or

Arnab Administrator
Dear GB,
I don't really understand what you mean by "spiritual strength"?

I am too negligible a person to explain the concept .I will try though. Just as
an illustration I would compare the number of saints and holy men of all
religions in our region. You will surely agree that their numbers exceed
anything in the west.
There can be different aspects of strength. Spiritual is one of them.

Arnab Administrator
Yes...I agree but how is that helping us in our economical strength?
I mean just because much more saints or holy men came from South-Asia,
we can't consider that a strength.
Well, you see the Indian sub-continent has always been "neglected" and
foreigners just came, took our wealth, imposed their culture and language
and we were there just staring!!! We couldn't do anything!!!
Therefore, people here tend 2 side with God or spiritual development and
therefore, there are many religious people in South Asia. According to the
recent statistics from BBC, 93% of Indians think that religion is important in
our life, 92% Pakis think that religion is important in our life and 88%
Bengalis think that religion is important in our life. All these countries are
extremely poor and "dying to live."
However, if we look at the industrialized nations, Canada has only 32%
people thinking that religion is important.
How is our spiritual strength helping us? It has never helped us and it might
never help us...

Dear all,
This is purely my personal viewpoint but I will refer you to the poem by
Urdu Poet Iqbal " Sarey jahan sey accha"
Saare Jahan Se Accha, Hindusitaan Humara
Hum Bulbulle Hai.N Iski, Yeh Gulisitaan Hamara
Ghurvat Mei.N Ho.N Agar Hum, Rehta Hai Dil Watan Mei.N
Samjho Wahi.N Humei.N Bhi, Jahan Ho Dil Humara
Parbat Woh Sab se Ooncha, Humsaya Aasma.N Ka
Woh Santari Humara, Woh Paaswa.N Humara
Go-di Mei.N Khelti Hai.N, Jiski Hazaro.N Nadiya.N
Gulshan Hai.N Jiske Dum Se, Rushke Zina.N Humara
Ae Ab-e-rood-e-Ganga !, Woh Din Yaad Hai.N Tujhko ?
Utra Jab Tere Kinare Woh, Jab Karava.N Humara
Mazhab Nahi.N Sikhata, Aapas Mei.N Bair Rakhna
Hindi Hai.N Hum Watan Hai.N, Hindusitan Hamara
Yunan-o-Misr.a-o-Roma Mit Gaye Sab Jaha.N Se
Ab Tak Hai Baki, Magar Naam-o-Nishaa.N Hamara
Kuchh Baat Hai Ki Hasti Mit-ti Nahi Hamari
Sadiyo.N Raha Hai Dushman Daurei.N Zama.N Hamara
Iqbal ! Koyee Meharaam Nahi.N Apna Jahan Mei.N
Maloom Kya Kisi Ko, Dard-e-Nihaa.N Hamara
I will request all to consider above poem by Iqbal for all of S.Asia. A lot of
people have shed their blood for this land. The least we can do is feel
apolegetic about it. Money was the least of things on their mind.

Arnab Administrator
Hey GB,
Post this poem in a new thread/topic...many people will be able to read it

what shud be title of the thread?

Arnab Administrator
Why don't the name of the poem....?

can you make a separate folder titled south asia? that will be a better
place for such threads.

Arnab Administrator
Hi GB,
Well, you see, I can do that but what unique discussions will be found in
that board (folder). I mean, whatever we will discuss in South Asia board
can also be discussed in other boards. Can you please let me know any
unique type of dicussion that can take place in a separate board for South-

the poem that i have sent "sarey jahaan sey accha" will be more apt in a S
Asian context than all over the world and it is greater than the context of
bengalis only.
Even otherwise such a S Asian folder will enable the regular users to put
forth their views about problems in the region of our local neighbourhood.

hello i see that this particular thread has the maximum number of views
but is there nobody who wants to join the discussion?

I found the main answers for which i asked the questions here. anybody
wanting to discuss fuyrther can contact me at my email id.

No comments: