Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sardar Patel on Direct Action Day

To achieve Pakistan,  the Muslim League called for a Direct Action Day on August 16, 1946.  What ensued was the Great Calcutta Killings, in which several thousand were killed.  From the point of view of the Congress, the Muslim League and in particular, the Muslim League Chief Minister of Bengal, S.H. Suhrawardy, were responsible for starting the violence.  Sardar Patel had more to say.

Volume III, Chapter IV, item 145 of Sardar Patel's Correspondence, issued in ten volumes edited by Durga Das:  Sardar Patel's letter to R.K. Sidhwa in Sind.

New Delhi
27 August 1946

My dear Sidhwa,

I have received your letters of the 22nd and 24th instant along with their enclosures.  

The Muslim League tried its programme of direct action in Calcutta and to their great bewilderment they have found out that two can play at the game although it may be started by one.  The poor Muslims in Calcutta have suffered terribly and the League had discredited itself by their doings in Calcutta.  If they follow the same method of arson, loot, murder and anarchy, they may be able to inflict hardship on the non-Muslims but eventually that way will without doubt lead the League organisation to ruin and destruction.  

I am not sure that your Governor will allow any violence or disturbance to take place, because he is much too clever not to understand his own responsibility and his own reputation would be at stake.  He will no doubt try his best to keep the Ministry in office but he will not allow his own reputation to suffer.  I hope things will ultimately straighten themselves.

Yours sincerely,
Vallabhbhai Patel

Shri R.K. Sidhwa


No comments:

Post a Comment